I told myself before writing this blog piece that I'd remain as positive as I could, as difficult as that is becoming. The Lions only managed a draw on Friday night which puts them at over a month since their last win. Although Orlando City sit currently in 4th place, anything less than a victory against Sporting Kansas City next weekend could see the Lions drop as far as 8th or 9th. With that said, I bring you my takeaways from Friday nights action.
That Atmosphere Though:
It was something I mentioned in my match preview and it once again was true, Friday night matches are something special. Perfect weather, 31,264 in attendance and one of my favorite Tifo's ever displayed by The Wall made for quite a night despite the match result. It started off with an emotional return by fan favorite Aurelien Collin which was followed up by fans making it rain wads of cash on the refs who clearly aren't making enough on OBT nowadays. When the refs made a bad call you could hear it and when Molino equalized you could hear it all around Orlando all the way to Holly Hill. While our next home match is on a Saturday which everyone will be hyped for, I'm looking forward to our next Friday home game.
It's been a little over 2 months since the Antonio Nocerino signing was announced and we're all hoping Phil Rawlins and company kept their receipt. Nocerino has made six appearances as a Lion and let's just say we'd love to have those back. The suave Italian has gone missing every single match he's been in and has shown no sign whatsoever that he'll be turning things around. "But it's still early you have to give him time". No, shut up nerd, we'd be better off trading him for a Winn-Dixie gift card with $3.47 left on it and an old Wawa hoagie . Yes I know I sound salty or what have you but you should know that I hate watching players strut around the pitch just thinking about their fat bank account.
With four goals in his last six appearances, its safe to say Kevin Molino is back to his ways. While the team results haven't been favorable, Viva Molino is eating right now. Some may have questioned Molino's place in the squad after a rocky start to the season but at this point he has to be one of the first names on the squad sheet. After the match was said and done Mr.Trinidad and Tobago was announced as the MOTM with his wonderful display. All those dweebs that were calling for Molino to get benched, where you at now?
I Can't Even With You, Hines:
Seb Hines is why we can't have nice things and really doesn't deserve his own section but nevertheless here it is. If Hines scored a game winner against SKC and decided to retire immediately after and buy a beach house in Miami I would completely forgive him. However we'll never be that lucky and we're stuck with Hines for as long as Flávio and Phil decide to overlook the need at center back. Anyone need a useless 27 year old center back? Bidding starts at 99 cents.
Make A Damn Substitution:
Chants of "Sub! Sub! Sub!" began ringing throughout the Citrus Bowl on Friday night as fans became concerned with the players becoming clearly gassed on the field. Just like the match against the Union, Inchy decided to wait until the last minute to make a change in his lineup. Like a college kid waiting until 11pm to do a 10 page paper due at midnight, Inchy's decision was a head scratcher. Larin was clearly fatigued, Nocerino was invisible and Rivas and Baptista were more than ready to takeover. So what does Inchy do, he brings on Carrasco for Molino in the 88th minute. You what mate?? We could've brought on Earl Edwards Jr. for Nocerino at that point and I would've labeled Inchy a genius.
Our Lions travel to Nerd Fest Stadium next weekend to face Dom Dwyer and Sporting Kansas City. We're absolutely buzzing to hear "I Believe" repeated 114 times throughout the match and the inevitable lame Tifo that the Cauldron jabroni's will display. Here's to hoping Hines and Nocerino miss their flight later this week.
Have a great Mother's Day!