Orlando City Soccer Club (7-17-3) will roll into Toyota Park this evening with one of its best opportunities to win a match when they face the Eastern Conference’s last place Chicago Fire (6-15-6). The Fire are the only team that’s currently below the Lions in the league standings and gives Orlando a chance to notch its eighth win of the 2018 season. Orlando is coming off a 1-0 loss to Sporting KC. 

This 2018 campaign hasn’t been anything Orlando’s front office has imagined it would be, as the Lions are well out of the playoff picture and have a lot of proven players on their roster. With solid strikers like Dom Dwyer, Sacha Kljestan and others, the Lions weren’t expected to be battling out of the basement of the Eastern Conference.

The appointment of a new manager nearly halfway through the season, with James O’Connor stepping in as head coach, results have remained primarily the same. Today’s match will take place on the road for the Lions, scheduled for a 5 p.m. kickoff. game and will be televised on Fox Sports 1. We take a look at some of the keys to today’s game.

Someone has to come out with a win, right? 

Something has to give when a couple teams that have combined for one win in their last 27 matches. Each club has their own issues winning contests, with Orlando winning just once in the last 18 games (1-15-2) and the Fire winless in their last nine (0-8-1). Yikes.

Orlando needs to start quickly

Theres no preference for how Orlando City plays on the road or at home, but the Lions do struggle just a bit more away from Orlando City Stadium. The Lions need a couple quick scores from their attacking midfielders to keep the Chicago Fire on their heels.

O’Connor, Orlando need a win

O’Connor managing the club hasn’t yielded much different results. One of the biggest issues the team has faced is putting goals up and the problem hasn’t been solved on a consistent basis. A victory today would be huge in helping build chemistry.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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