Considering the competition over the first two weeks of the 2016 MLS season, Orlando should have been expecting more than two overall points out of the gate. Starting off the campaign with Real Salt Lake and Chicago Fire would seem to be a dream for most teams in the 2016 season, however Orlando has worked that scenario into an unfortunate circumstance.
Friday with a point from the previous week in the bag, Orlando looked to combat the Chicago Fire on home turf and take away three points. The plan that surely was put in place by the front office to come away with a nice two game home stand with a strong four points looked to be solidified when Cyle Larin slotted home an early goal. Unfortunately this was to be undone, as David Accam evened the score only 10 minutes later after a long ball over the top put Joe Bendik in no-man's-land. The Lions continued to struggle finding scoring opportunities even after the Fire were reduced to 10 men in the 32nd minute.
Considering the overall lackluster performance from Orlando over the past two weeks this Sunday Statistical Showdown piece will be centered around the performance from this past Friday. Here we'll look to pinpoint issues that Orlando saw when playing a man up against an opponent that is considered to be in the cellar of the Eastern Conference.
Looking back at this past Friday there are some specific metrics that should help tell the story. Even though Orlando leaned heavily on possession and even showed strength in passing accuracy throughout the match, that were found to be disappointing in the shots metric considering they were up a man for a majority of the minutes.
Considering the man advantage Orlando saw a strong commitment to possession over the course of 90 minutes.
A 65 percent to 35 percent differential should drive the same type of expectation within shots on goal or goals scored. Unfortunately for Orlando, that type of possession saw neither an overwhelming increase in shots or goals scored.
The issue here is that the 30 percent increase in overall possession for Orlando led to an increase of 30 percent in shots produced but inevitably did not lead to an overall increase in goals scored. This equal production increase may cause for concern as Orlando moves into mid-season form as the team seems to lack shots to goal production metrics. Perhaps the team should focus on producing more chances, or otherwise shots on goal that may have been lacking from this past Friday where seemingly there was one more pass than needed.
This may also play directly into the hands for a triumphant return of the venerable Kaká, who could lead the slow starting Lions into frenzy that encapsulates the mismanaged crowd and leads them to MLS glory.
Two weeks into the season and there is already a lot for the team to work on–hopefully they can turn it around on Friday against NYCFC. Go Lions!