So all of a sudden, Orlando City SC’s two opening home games of the 2016 Major League Soccer season are now over with an accumulation of two points from a possible six.
Drawing 1-1 with last season’s Eastern Conference whipping boys Chicago Fire at the Citrus Bowl, it was a tale of frustration for Adrian Heath‘s Lions who couldn’t find a winner despite playing against 10-men for round about an hour after Michael Harrington’s first-half dismissal.
With Matt Lampson in inspired form and the Fire back four stubborn to say the least, although Heath quoted in his post-game presser that he “couldn’t fault them (the players) for their efforts,” City must be doing far more to capitalise on being in advantageous positions such as this.
So what did we learn from a Lions point of view?
Well, although it’s still incredibly early days, it really depends whether you’re a pessimistic or optimistic soul because it appears as if there’s no stopping Cyle Larin who must quite simply be racking up European admirers by the game.
Registering 17 goals in 27 MLS appearances last term, he already has two in two this season and looks well on the way to surpassing 20 this time around.
While Heath himself claimed that “Cyle was probably the best player on the field” last night, for all the disappointment at only grabbing a point, somebody else caught our eye.
Scoring that incredible equaliser against Real Salt Lake at the weekend, the Swiss star earned the start yesterday evening and for us, was one of the Lions’ better performers.
Slowly becoming a truly important part of this Orlando City SC squad, it appears 29-year-old Winter is a man hell bent on staying in Heath’s starting eleven.
Prior to last night’s fixture, Winter had started seven of his 11 appearances in the Lions’ matchday squad since his transfer from Luzern last July and with a strike rate of around one goal every 3.3 games, he has to be a part of a fully fit Lions team, no?
Adrian Winter’s Orlando City SC appearances – 2015 to 2016 (Credit: ESPN FC)
While patience must still be paid to Kevin Molino who is working his way back to his best after such a long injury, Winter seems a player raring to go for the here and now and it’s the directness and speed of his play that Lions fans need to see more of from the team as a whole.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 12, 2016
Stinging the palms of Matt Lampson with a decent effort in the second-half of last night’s game, Winter’s ability to quickly turnover possession into an attack is clearly making him standout in the early stages of the new campaign.
According to our most recent Twitter poll at @Orlando_CityUK, it appears you guys agree that Winter’s performance was up there nearer the level of Larin judging by the results so far.
— Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK) March 12, 2016
If you’ve not cast your vote yet, head on over to our handle now and have your say!
Before we go, shout out to the fans who made it down to Citrus Bowl last night with a total attendance of 29,041 which is fantastic on a Friday night with people getting home from work at the end of the week.
So our mini opening run at home is now over and New York City FC away on Friday March 19th takes on even more importance.
Is it a must win for you?