Stopping the rot with a 0-0 draw at Toronto FC in midweek, a point doesn’t seem enough right now with only THREE games remaining and the Lions FIVE points behind sixth-placed D.C. United.
With the 1-4 home loss to Columbus Crew on September 17th looking like the straw that broke the camel’s back right now, Orlando City SC must beat Montreal Impact on Sunday to keep any faint playoff hopes alive.
Also needing results to go their way from elsewhere, the last couple of weeks have been particularly disappointing given the fact the last time we played Mauro Biello’s Impact, we all thought the 1-4 win was the springboard we needed for a late rally.
The simple fact of the matter is that Orlando City SC‘s Eastern Conference playoff rivals Montreal Impact, D.C. United and New England Revolution have all been able to pick up crucial victories in the time that the Lions have surrendered multiple losses.
But perhaps Jason Kreis‘ Lions can take heart from the position the club were in almost exactly a year to the day ago when Adrian Heath‘s Orlando City SC defeated Impact 2-1 in nearly the exact same circumstances.
Not only undefeated but taking nine points from nine in the last THREE head-to-heads with the Canadian side, all Orlando City SC supporters wish we could’ve played Impact every week in 2016!
2015/16 head-to-head stats
September started so well but finished horribly wrong for Orlando City SC.
After conceding an absolute pile-driver of a free-kick from Didier Drogba in just the 2nd minute at Saputo Stadium back on September 7th, nobody could’ve predicted that Orlando City SC would run out eventual 1-4 winners.
Just a massive shame there hasn’t been more road performances like it!
Montreal Impact 1 Orlando City SC 4 – Highlights – September 7, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
In our fledgling Major League Soccer history to date, Orlando City SC have really enjoyed facing Montreal Impact more than most other opponents.
Winning THREE of the FIVE head-to-heads contested thus far, the Lions usually seem to get the better of the Quebec outfit and they will need to yet again on Sunday to guard against our season fizzling out with a whimper.
If you’re looking to predict the correct scoreline on Sunday, perhaps you should look no further than a 2-1 Orlando City SC victory!
On the last two occasions that Mauro Biello’s Impact have visited Central Florida, the Canadian side have ended up on the wrong side of 2-1 scorelines.
While Cyle Larin‘s brace overcame Impact in May 2016’s meeting, it was goals through both he and Seb Hines that completed October 2015’s rousing 2-1 triumph with Adrian Heath‘s men building real momentum and belief that they could sneak a late playoff spot last year.
A positive trend is that Montreal Impact haven’t managed to score more than ONE goal on the last THREE occasions they’ve faced off with the Lions.
Single strikes from Dominic Oduro, Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba just haven’t been enough in recent times with Orlando City SC always managing to outscore their opponents in the last trio of meetings.
Orlando City SC 2 Montreal Impact 1 – Highlights – May 21, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
Orlando City SC form
When Toronto FC versus Orlando City SC was reaching it’s latter stages on Wednesday, many couldn’t believe City were closing in on a scoreless full-time result!
After all, the Lions have only been involved in THREE scoreless fixtures all season long with a glut of goals usually following the men in purple around.
In NINE of the Lions’ last TEN home fixtures at Camping World Stadium, there has been OVER 2.5 GOALS scored serving to suggest we’ll receive another helping on Sunday.
Montreal Impact form
Another positive sign is the fact that Montreal Impact are anything but free scoring on the road.
Mauro Biello’s side have been notorious for contesting low scoring away encounters in Major League Soccer of late with fans having witnessed UNDER 2.5 GOALS being scored in SEVEN of Impact’s last EIGHT road fixtures.
The last time Impact were on the road, they fell 1-0 at New York Red Bulls where a Daniel Royer strike proved the difference.
New York Red Bulls 1 Montreal Impact 0 – Highlights – September 24, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
Yes, Montreal Impact have won one more away game than Orlando City SC in MLS this season but their record is hardly handsome heading to Central Florida.
In a game that the Lions must simply win, statistics such as this should yield the belief that Jason Kreis‘ side can grab a first victory in FIVE games while at least going out on as big a high as possible.
After all, Sunday’s fixture is the penultimate Orlando City SC game at Camping World Stadium, a venue in which so many positive memories have been made since the club’s foundation back in 2011.