To be honest, I don’t even know. Orlando started the season flying with a six-game winning streak. In that streak, two games involved spectacular comebacks, versus the likes of Portland Timbers and New York Red Bulls. And to add on, these were pretty decent results, while Orlando was under former head coach Jason Kreis.
Orlando’s streak came to an end against southern rival, Atlanta United. After suffering a 2-1 loss, it all went to shambles. They go to Toronto, loss. Chicago, loss. NYCFC, loss. It kind of turned around after a 3-0 win in the Lamar Hunt Open Cup match vs NPSL side Miami United FC. To some fans, they thought this win might give the players some confidence going back to the MLS play, and get another win…
They go across the border to play Vancouver Whitecaps, and they were embarrassed. 5-2 loss, and 17-year-old Alphonso Davies of the Whitecaps tore Orlando apart. They stay in Canada, to play Montreal, another loss. And to many fans’ delight, the dreaded Jason Kreis era was officially over, with him being sacked by the board on June 15th of 2018.
During the hunt for a new manager, Assistant Coach Bobby Murphy took over as an interim spot. They go to Maryland to play DC United in another Open Cup match-up. It took penalties to decide the fate of either of the two teams, and Orlando City advanced, 4-2 on penalties. Finally, Orlando are back home to play the Impact once again, and again, they lose. This time it was 2-0. After this, they traveled to Mercedes-Benz Stadium to face Atlanta United. And I think this is where I and 99% of all Orlando City fans gave up. A 4-0 loss to Atlanta was a shot to the heart, and Orlando was to blame. A well-needed break was great for this club, as they signed their new manager, James O’Connor.
The new era begins with a brand new manager, and their star midfielder Yoshimar Yotun returning after a World Cup with his home and native country of Peru. O’Connor’s first game was a very big test, against new expansion side Los Angeles Football Club. To be honest, they looked so much better than they have the previous seven weeks or so. But only Orlando’s luck, we lose 4-1, with Adama Diomande scoring again, to continue his streak.
FINALLY! two weeks into the James O’Connor era, the dreadful streak ends. A 2-1 win at home versus Toronto FC was needed by many fans, and everyone thought, this may be the end. They go on to play the Union in the quarterfinal of the Open Cup, to lose 1-0. Now after a undeserved 3-2 loss against Columbus Crew (check last week’s article for more), we’re here. After hitting the woodwork five times, Orlando fail to win at home against NYCFC, this time losing 2-0. Maxi Moralez and Anton Tinnerholm with the goals.
At this point, all hope is lost for a playoff push. The players looked uninterested after the 70th minute or so, and that has been the memo for the past weeks. Orlando are desperate for some new life, and some new players might be the way. With new signing Justin Meram wanting out of the club, new signings are imminent.
According to many different sources, Joao Plata of Real Salt Lake wants a move out of the club, and Orlando City definitely need him. Can Orlando City turn this season around, and possibly make a push for the playoffs? Nobody knows, the fate is in the hands of the players, fans, and everyone involved with Orlando.
Written by Max – (@Dwyer_AndCo)