Your #1 most trusted Orlando City blog is back with another banger bringing you a recap of Orlando City's win over that team named after a subpar energy drink.
Yes this was only the fourth match of the season but the Lions are roughly a quarter of the way to the point tally (41) they achieved in 2016 in which they missed the playoffs by 1 point. There are still plenty of matches to be played but with the game in hand against New England in the fall, Kaka returning in the next month or so this team needs to have their eyes set on playoffs and nothing else. Plus I just like saying "Playoffs? Playoffs?" in my best Jim Mora voice.
Spectors Back Pocket:
Many are already calling him our best signing of the season and while I personally would give that to Will Johnson, I can't doubt how brilliant Jonathan Spector has been for us in his short time in Orlando. Guys like Kaka, Rivas and Barnes will get you on your feet but Spector is the type of player you'd let your daughter go on a date with and have home by 9. The man literally clears everything in the box, if an asteroid was plummeting to Earth I'd feel confident that Spector would clear it. The best part about Spector is that he's made everyone on his line seemably better. Guys like Jose Aja and Tommy Redding have looked class when paired with him and I'm sure Bendik will be sending him a nice Christmas card later this year.
Frustrating at times? Yes. Capable of moments of brilliance? Hell yes. During warm ups Rivas was seen launching balls 20 stories high and all the way to Orange Avenue but once the match kicked off Rivas put on a wonderful display of skill that had many in the stadium drooling and European clubs ready to open their pocketbooks. There's days when Rivas is on his game and he's the most talented player on the pitch and there's also days when he's the most frustrating player and you want to punch yourself in the face. Turning 23 later this week, Rivas still has time to work on his shot and when that day comes watch out, boys and girls.
Six Lions players were involved in the match yesterday that weren't here at the end of the 2016 season. This team is quickly being molded to Jason Kreis's vision and early results are proving that. Toia has thrived at left back, a position that's been a revolving door the past two seasons. Spector and Will Johnson have provided coverage for Bendik that he's long deserved. Early showings from Scott Sutter and Luis Gil are good, while Giles Barnes has brought a new energy and passion to the attack that Orlando City has needed. Again, we're only 4 matches into the season and there's still a high possibility that the shit hits the fan in the upcoming summer months but there's definitely a different feeling about this squad.
The LA Galaxy roll into town next Saturday for a sold out showdown in Orlando. Last time LA came to town, we opened a can of whoop ass with a 4-0 victory at the Citrus Bowl in 2015. Losing 3 of their first 5 matches sounds nice and all but clubs in the past have loved coming to Orlando in bad form and turning up against us. Things feel different in Orlando nowadays and my gut tells me we can add another 3 points to our tally on Saturday.