Though the losses just continued to pile up for Orlando City SC, the effort surely hasn’t dissipated as the Lions showed some grit in last weekend’s 4-3 loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy. If not for a hat trick from Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Orlando City would be talking more about its second win under the watch of James O’Connor. Instead the Lions look to put an abrupt end to the season’s worse stretch against the New England Revolution tonight at Orlando City Stadium.
The Lions enter the matchup with a record of 7-14-1 and set in ninth place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference. On the other side of the spectrum, the Revolution are currently 7-7-7 and are in sixth place in the East. If there ever had presented a solid opportunity to get themselves out of the current funk they’re in, Orlando City facing New England is one of those matchups they could look back on.
We take a closer look at some of the keys to tonight’s matchup between the Lions and Revolution.
Offense showed up in a big way last weekend
Three goals in a match will usually earn you a win in the MLS. Not last weekend for Orlando City, but a replication if that performance is much needed. The Lions are going through a stretch in which they’re 1-13 in their last 14 matches and a victory is sorely needed. Forward Dom Dwyer scored last weekend, which was a bright spot for the club.
Home field advantage should play a role
Playing back at home should be the perfect antidote for a club that hasn’t been anywhere near as successful on the road. Orlando City playing in front of the home faithful should be a boost for the players.
Can the defense get it right?
Giving up four goals in a match is not where Orlando City’s defensive calling card has been in 2018. The Lions in the early part of the season were pretty solid on the defensive end, but have fallen off lately. They’ll need to slow down New England forward Teal Bunbury (10 goals) if they want to have success on the defensive side.