Going down 2-1 on the road to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday, Orlando City SC are back at Camping World Stadium this weekend looking for all three points after going winless in six MLS fixtures.
Having last won a Major League Soccer game back at the start of April where Adrian Heath‘s Lions trounced Portland Timbers 4-1, City have slouched to eleventh position in the Eastern Conference.
Banned from the touchline for Sunday’s game against Sporting KC, this week Adrian Heath came out and apologised to the travelling Lions supporters for their lacklustre performance at Children’s Mercy Park.
But with last Sunday now done and dusted, Orlando City SC must focus on how they’re going to overcome Mauro Biello’s Montreal Impact who have started 2016 efficiently, sitting in second place with 16 points to their name thus far.
In what will be the fourth meeting between the two sides in Major League Soccer, 2015’s trio of head-to-head encounters resulted in a draw, loss and a win for Orlando City SC.
Overcoming the Impact 2-1 last time out in October 2015, this was simply a must-win game for Adrian Heath‘s side who were desperately chasing an MLS Cup play-off spot.
With Seb Hines striking a late winner that evening, it is that kind of spirit and heart that will get the majority of Lions supporters back on board for this one.
2015 head-to-head stats
Facing their Canadian opposition on three occasions last term, Orlando City SC conceded FIVE goals to Montreal Impact in 2015.
- March 28th 2015 – Montreal Imapct 2 Orlando City SC 2
- June 20th 2015 – Montreal Impact 2 Orlando City SC 0
- October 3rd 2015 – Orlando City SC 2 Montreal Impact 0
The good news however is that a hip injury is likely to rule Didier Drogba out of Saturday’s fixture with the Chelsea legend having already scored FOUR goals for the Quebec-based side so far this season.
That still leaves Ignacio Piatti though…
Scoring ONE goal less than Impact’s haul against us last season, the Lions managed to breach Montreal’s net FOUR times in 2015.
Kaká ties Orlando City SC level at 2-2 with Montreal Impact – March 28, 2015 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
Orlando City SC would very much welcome more strikes from a variety of sources outside Cyle Larin and Kevin Molino who have carried the goalscoring fight so far this term.
What is reassuring heading into Saturday’s fixture however is that in TWO of the THREE meetings against Montreal Impact last term, Orlando City SC managed to score AT LEAST TWO GOALS on TWO occasions.
Whilst scoring has never really been an issue for the Lions in MLS so far, keeping them out has been the problem with Joe Bendik still only boasting one clean sheet thus far in 2016 – against New York City FC away back in mid-March.
Orlando City SC form
Orlando City SC haven’t tasted the losing feeling at home for a spell lasting for a whopping TEN MONTHS now!
With New York Red Bulls being the last team to emerge from Camping World Stadium – then the Citrus Bowl – back in July 2015 courtesy of a 0-2 win, the Lions just don’t seem to lose at home.
That said, having drawn FOUR of our FIVE home games so far in 2016, we really need to starting turning one point hauls into three if we are to realise our MLS Cup play-off ambitions come the end of the regular season.
Sunday’s 2-1 loss against Sporting Kansas City contributed towards OVER 2.5 GOALS being scored in SIX of Orlando City SC’s last SEVEN Major League Soccer fixtures now.
As we’re all aware, Orlando City SC are in desperate need of a settled centre back partnership right now and with all of Tommy Redding, Seb Hines and David Mateos having been rotated with one another this term, there is no harmony in the back line at the moment.
If we are to keep conceding goals, it would appear we need to simply outscore the opponent so getting Cyle Larin back in the groove after a rare quiet showing from the Canadian international will be paramount.
Another unwanted stat for Orlando City SC is the fact that the Lions have now conceded AT LEAST TWO GOALS in FIVE of their last SIX Major League Soccer fixtures.
The way in which the Lions surrendered the lead away at Sporting Kansas City at the weekend was incredibly disappointing so we hope the whole team has been working on their tactical discipline in training this week.
Montreal Impact form
You thought Orlando City SC were the draw specialists in Major League Soccer.
How about Montreal Impact however with Mauro Biello’s side having tied their last FOUR fixtures!
- April 27th 2016 – New York City FC 1 Montreal Impact 1
- April 30th 2016 – Montreal Impact 2 Colorado Rapids 2
- May 7th 2016 – Columbus Crew 4 Montreal Impact 4
- May 14th 2016 – Philadelphia Union 1 Montreal Impact 1
Columbus Crew 4 Montreal Impact 4 – Highlights – May 7, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
While another draw against Orlando City SC on Saturday would only serve to frustrate the home faithful with the Lions really needing victories to catapult themselves back up the Eastern Conference table, a tie could prove another likely result.