It’s the debut for newly appointed Orlando City SC manager James O’Connor and to say there’s some sizable expectations are upon his shoulders right off the bat would be pretty pinpoint. The Lions will have a late start to tonight’s road contest against Los Angeles FC, which the contest is slated to kickoff at 11 p.m. Eastern Time at Banc of California Stadium.

Orlando City heads into tonifht’ match looking to finally snap an eight-game losing streak, which has dropped the club all the way down to 9th place in the Eastern Conference. If the Lions are going to make any headway towards getting back into the playoff picture, it’ll need to start tonight in O’Connor’s debut as lead man. We take a look at a few keys to tonight’s game in Los Angeles.

What should we expect differently under O’Connor?

For one, hopefully a much improved point of attack on the offensive end as Orlando City hasn’t shown much life at all on that end. The Lions rank 13th in shots, 14th in shots on target and 16th in goals in Major League Soccer. Something has to give.

Dwyer, Kljestan gotta show up

To be fair, Dom Dwyer was regelated to more of a bench role towards the end of Jason Kreis’ tenure in Orlando and Sacha Kljestan wasn’t getting the involvement he was getting accustomed to. If anything is going to change on the attacking end, both have to be heavily involved.

Getting it together on defense 

Though the offensive end has been pretty nonexistent for Orlando City, the seemingly carelessness has carried over to the defensive side for the Lions. During this eight-game skid, Orlando City has yielded 23 goals.

Will the late start make a difference? 

For a contest that was originally supposed to start at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time, but was pushed back because of a heatwave coming through the area, it should benefit both clubs having the game back a couple hours.

Slow down Los Angeles FC on the attack

Los Angeles FC is first in all of the MLS in goals per game, averaging 2.2 a contest. Orlando City will need to get back on defense and contest every attack to slow down LA’s midfielders and forwards.

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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