To get everyone ready for Atlanta United's clash against Orlando City, we spoke with The Mane Land's Michael Citro to get his take on newly acquired Dom Dwyer, Jason Kreis’ job security, and what Orlando need to do differently this week to get a result.
DSS: What do you think about the Dom Dwyer move? Any chance we see him on Saturday?
TML: Dom started training with the club on Thursday. It might be a stretch to see him start but I wouldn't rule it out, as he's certainly match fit. However, I'm expecting we'll see him in the 18 with the potential to come off the bench depending on how the match goes. He certainly seems eager to get his Orlando City (MLS) career started, and the fans are more than ready to see him on the field with Cyle Larin. If I'm handicapping it, I'd say maybe a 30-40% chance he starts and about 70% chance we see him on the field at some point. Please note that this is entirely a gut feeling and my gut is an idiot.
DSS: There have been some questions regarding Jason Kreis' job security recently. What are your thoughts?
TML: Aside from a small but vocal cross-section of the fan base I’ve not seen or heard anything to make me believe Jason Kreis’ job is in jeopardy at this time. Of course, that could always change depending on what happens the rest of the season. I feel like many of the people who want Kreis out never wanted him to begin with or were pro-Adrian Heath. I get their frustration. Orlando may have been losing in the past but at least the Lions were exciting and capable of scoring goals. It’s much more difficult to watch a team struggle to score goals when the results aren’t there.
I’m of the opinion that Heath should have been given the full season last year. The front office didn’t feel the same and so now we are where we are, and I think they went out and found the best replacement available. However, blowing things up in one year rarely is a good idea. How can a manager make over his team in one transfer window (we’re now in the secondary window, but I believe personnel changes in the summer are often quite limited and this particular team has little liquidity due to some of the salaries on the books). Without continuity, you’re constantly chasing the right players for a new coach’s system. The impatient people don’t want to hear that, but it’s a reality. Kreis is a proven winner in this league and I put little stock in the one year NYCFC gave him as evidence that he’s somehow lost his ability to coach. He’s got a real lack of attacking options on the roster right now and that’s bearing out in the results of late. His top two guys counted on for offense have not scored a goal in two months. How much blame can you really put on a coach if scoring chances are being created but players aren’t scoring?
DSS: What does Orlando need to do differently this week to get a result in Atlanta?
TML: Probably just not give Villalba space to shoot from distance. I thought the game plan worked well on Friday. If you’d have told me before the game that Orlando would allow only eight Atlanta shots, I’d have taken that in a heartbeat. Maybe the one thing the Lions could do differently is flick on their set pieces out of Brad Guzan’s reach because he’s really the only reason Atlanta took any points from that match. Those two set piece chances from Spector would have beaten the majority of the keepers in this league.