It's becoming a disturbing trend now, Orlando City playing up to the league's best and playing down to MLS's bottom feeders. Friday night was no difference as Orlando City suffered a 2-1 defeat to the hand's of the Philadelphia Union. City is the type of squad to beat Bayern Munich one day and get rolled over by Aston Villa a few days later. Not even a week after embarrassing the defending champion Portland Timbers, the Lions went into Philly (I mean Chester, PA) and left with nothing but a half eaten Wawa hoagie.
Inchy, What Was That?:
I get it, coming off a huge win against Portland their was bound to be a little hangover and yeah Shea getting his yellow card turned into a red mid-week is a huge blow along with Cyle picking up a knock last Sunday. I get it trust me, but damn homie what were you watching? This false 9 formation clearly wasn't working and you had Baptista on the bench ready for his debut and you decide to sub him and Rivas on in the 90th? You Serious? And did you not see Nocerino putting out the laziest fucking performance I've ever seen from a professional football player (don't worry Nocerino, you get your own column this week). It's the Union for crying out loud, this ain't rocket science.
Lay Off the Olive Garden Breadsticks:
I mean damn Nocerino, you couldn't wait 2 more hours to fill up on some Olive Garden breadsticks? You looked like the Uncle on Thanksgiving that eat's too much and then your Aunt makes him go Black Friday shopping after. To be honest with you, Nocerino hasn't put in a good shift yet and from what we've seen it might not come sooner than later. He's been shifted around the pitch throughout his short stay with Orlando but not showing any kind of promise at either of the positions isn't a good sign. Nothing I hate more than seeing a player especially a guy getting massive amounts of paper just walking around the pitch when he doesn't have the ball. Even when he has had the ball, Nocerino hasn't done anything that stands out and makes you say wow. You still got a nice beard and all fam but we need to see a little more hustle.
Winter, More Than Just The Hair:
Adrian Winter probably deserved his own appreciation column before he leveled the match on Friday right before the half. Winter came in last summer and it was assumed he'd lock down a starting position with his experience in Europe but that hasn't been the case. In fact, Winter has switched back and forth between a starters role and bench role during his tenure as a Lion but one thing has remained consistent, his effort. Shea gets a lot of hype because of his motor and rightfully so but this dude Winter never stops hustling and we absolutely love that. Doesn't matter if you're playing 90 minutes or 5 minutes, we're going to call you out if you're not giving 100%. Enough about his hustle, that Winter goal was NASTY. Could've caught a charge for snapping that defenders neck and then the tidy finish to tie it up before the half. The "We See You Homie" award for this week goes to none other than Adrian Winter.
Less Instagram Posts, Ramos:
I've gone on record raving about the young Portuguese right back on multiple occasions but damn did Rafael Ramos have a rough Friday night. 30 degree weather in Philly (I mean Chester) isn't exactly ideal for posting beach pictures on Instagram with your girl but come on Ramos you're better than last nights showing. We're sure the kid is still beating himself up about it but that opening Union goal was on Ramos and no one else. On other occasions throughout the match Ramos was seen getting worked by Philly's (I mean Chester) left winger and putting in crappy crosses into the box, one cross even landed in the Delaware River we're sure. Lay off Instagram for awhile and work on your crosses kid.
A Face Only A Mother Could Love:
He might not have the looks of Nocerino, the hair of Brek, the pearly whites of Kaka and he might make saves with his face. Bendik put in another good performance despite conceding a 90th minute free kick, the Barnetta goal was placed well and would freeze 8 out of 10 goalkeepers. Screw that Barnetta guy though, this is the Joe Bendik appreciation column. Fact is, City wouldn't have been in the match up until that point if it weren't for Bendik's performance. While the entire Lions defense decided to take the night off and visit the Go Go Lounge, Joe was trying to keep us in the game. If you have to save a goal every week with your face and have to lose a few teeth, we totally support that.
The Lions will get a full week off before the New England "We still think Tom Brady is innocent" Revolution come into town. While Orlando's track record against the Rev's isn't encouraging, the return of Shea and Larin should have fans excited. Back to winning ways next Sunday and as always Vamos Orlando!