Turd Rail

Orlando City v. Philadelphia Union Match Preview

Your boy is back and I'm here with a match day preview for you ladies and gents! It's been awhile I'll admit, I spent the majority of the off season catching up on sleep, eating an unhealthy amount of mozzarella sticks and looking at old pictures of Lewis Neal. Anyways, the season on paper has gotten off to a perfect start. 3 points against NYCFC, a letter from Third Rail asking for an apology, smoke in the stadium, what else could you ask for? Last weekends postponement of the match against New England was a huge let down especially for those that traveled but nevertheless we'll start the 2017 season off with two home matches in a row. With that all said, I bring you my match preview for this upcoming Saturday's match between Orlando City and the Philadelphia "We really play in Chester" Union.

Injuries:

Remember when I said the season started perfect on paper? Well that's cause we're now without Kaka for 6 weeks, Carlos Rivas for an undetermined amount of time and Seb Hines for 6 weeks. Yes, Kaka will be 35 in April and his legs are basically shot at this point but the threat of Kaka on the pitch is better than not having him at all. We're probably looking at the end of April before we see our captain playing again. The Rivas injury news is a bummer because word has been going around that this could be his breakout season where he puts it all together. I never wish injury on any player or opponent so I'll simply wish Hines a speedy recovery and hope he can at least be a reliable rotational player when he returns.

Background:

I hate to say it but Orlando City has had it's struggles against the Union in the past. In their last 5 meetings, Orlando has compiled a 1-2-2 record including a loss late in the 2015 season ending OCSC's playoff chances and a late free kick by Philly last May to rob OCSC of all 3 points.

Bendik/Blake Faceoff:

It's a match up between the best goalkeeper in MLS and some guy named Andre Blake. Now that it looks like Joe might have a solid line in front of him, his numbers will show how much of a class MLS goalkeeper he really is. This time last year I gave Bendik a lot crap for silly mistakes but as the season progressed he not only owned up to his mistakes but corrected them and now will be a Lion for the foreseeable future with his new three year contract. Saturday could be a low scoring affair with two of the best goalkeepers in MLS.

Prediction:

A Saturday evening match in Orlando City's new stadium? That place is going to be next level LIT. I'm excited to see if the likes of Spector, Toia and Will Johnson can put in brilliant shifts like they did against NYCFC and if Barnes can take on the roll of filling Kaka's boots while he's out. I fully expect a close match but with Orlando City being well rested after last weekends postponement, I can see the Lions taking this one 2-1.

Vamos Orlando! 

 

 

Orlando City v.s Oil Money FC: Match Recap

      Friday marked the first win of the Orlando City season and continued the Lion's undefeated streak in the early 2016 MLS season. While not the greatest of performances, three points is three points and that's all that matters against Oil Money FC.

CYLE LARIN, SO HOT RIGHT NOW:

I told myself before writing this that I wouldn't allow myself to come off as obsessed with Larin and to avoid being overly clingy at all costs but I sadly can't help it. The Canadian kid is really something special. He scored this week with his face. WITH HIS FREAKING FACE. How good do you have to be that you get bored with scoring with your feet and start scoring with your face? That's three goals in three matches for Cyle which if my math is right means he's on pace to score like 84 goals this year (I've failed math countless times). Sophomore slump? Nah son.

BENDIK WEARS ICE SKATES:

While many will praise Joe Bendik for making a few crucial saves late on in the game, it should be noted that Bendik was skating the first half hour of Friday night's match. Slipping while clearing the ball and performing triple axles in front of goal is not something we like to see from our goalkeeper. Bendik is a semi-decent goalkeeper, but we don't suggest showing off his professional ice skater moves during an actual match especially against an Eastern Conference rival. Get some actual cleats, this isn't the Winter Olympics.

Kaka's World Tour:

After missing his third match in a row and no word of a return in the near future, it's safe to say that Mr. Kaka has fully embraced his celebrity status. "Last I heard, he was opening up for Rihanna on tour" said one Orlando City front office member. This would explain Kaka's absence from training pictures and his increase of Instagram pictures with celebs like Travi$ Scott, Gloria Estefan and Grape La Flame. Well, it was fun while it lasted. Thanks for everything Ricky.

HIGUITA READ OUR BLOG:

It's no myth that the ILF blog has a history for calling out players. We wouldn't be doing our job if we didn't put our own players under the microscope from time to time. Last week's victim was Cristian Higuita and he clearly reads our blog when he's on break from his part-time job at Junior Colombian Burger cause he put in a great shift on Friday night. Against Chicago, the Colombian midfielder was lazy and showed no heart and we're going to let you know it if you put in a weak ass performance like that. However, against Oil Money FC the kid from Colombia put in a performance full of hustle, outstanding slide tackles and got in the face of multiple New York players. We see you, homie. (Next time send one of those slide tackles Patrick Vieira's way)

Third Rail "Tifo":

Your parents own shares in Apple, gave you a $50,000 car when you turned 16 and you have courtside Knicks tickets? You must be a Third Rail supporter. Oil Money FC love making tifos when Orlando City goes up to the Bronx and we always appreciate that kind of love. Friday nights tifo was brought to you by Mrs. Johnson's 3rd grade class at PS 83 in the Bronx. While the artwork was mediocre, we can respect allowing kids to design your tifo.

UP NEXT:

The Lions have two weeks off before the MLS defending champions Portland Hipsters roll into town on April 3rd. We can expect an increase in beards, unicycles, birds on things and people asking "is this gluten free?" when their away supporters make their way to Orlando.