I really want to beat the Orlando City Soccer Club or at least grab a point this weekend, put aside the rivalry talk, this is the first game between these teams in 2017. I want Atlanta United to continue its good form and taking a point or three from Orlando will also hurt City as the playoffs approach.
Anyway, onto the rekrap...
Orlando City opened a new stadium with some unique features to it. For example, the club lets their fans spray paint the players’ tunnel before matches. Behold their edgy tradition:
Wait, where have I seen something like that before:
I bet their tunnel doesn’t have nearly the amount of broken glass in it that Krog does.
Anyway, the street art has worked so well that in the last six home games the team has managed one win, two losses, and three draws. And that’s just the MLS games, it doesn’t count losing to the best team in Florida when OCSC fell 3-1 to Miami FC - at home.
Orlando City is Minnesota United 1.0. Both fan bases are extremely proud of their record when they were minor league soccer teams and disregard the fact the results in the lower divisions don’t make up for being pitiful in MLS. Each team is also years away from making the playoffs, one due to terrible contracts and missing out on a designated player, the other due to front office ambivalence. Each needs serious help in the transfer window and it doesn’t look like it is coming. For all the pride that City fans have, the team has basically given them a USL quality side with Kaka and Cyle Larin on it.
Also if you think about it, Disney World is a lot like the Mall of America. Both have rollercoasters, everything costs too much money, the weather is too terrible to actually be able to enjoy anything, and at the end of the day, attendees leave wondering why anyone would want to live in such a desolate part of the country.
As far as on the field, Orlando made the monumentally ridiculous move of selling one of the best players in MLS to the aforementioned Minnesota United for $400,000.00 when Kevin Molino departed for the awful White North in preseason. They spent that money on... well nothing reflecting the forethought and intensive planning that saw the team jump from USL to MLS and change coaches in less than two seasons.
Molino scored 11 goals for the team last year and not replacing his production means that in 20 games in 2017 City has 22 goals. It also means that the team is led by Kaka, a player who OCSC can count on to play for 2⁄3 of a season, and at 35 seems to be struggling to keep up with Jason Kreis’ preferred uptempo style of play. Then there’s Antonio Nocerino, a player who is past his prime, unable to hold the ball as a holding midfielder, and is so bad that he was booed loudly by the extremely civil and not usually prone to overreaction fans of Central Florida. For all the talk of change with Kreis in charge of the team, since the end of April this looks like the same old Orlando City, just minus Kevin Molino.
What I’m trying to say is I hope the City fans act a fool, Atlanta runs past the old, broken down players on OCSC and hangs a bunch of goals on Orlando.