Well, once again, Orlando City came back in the final 25 minutes to pick up its second victory of the season in a 3-2 win against the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
With Orlando City winning its second consecutive victory, here are five takeaways from yet another amazing match.
Dom Dwyer’s Presence Alone Changes Everything
After last week’s performance, Dom Dwyer picked up right where he left off. Dwyer forced a penalty kick in the 82nd minute with Stefano Pinho basically untouched on the back post, showcasing again that his presence on the pitch makes Orlando’s attack better. Dwyer added his third goal of the season to win the match in the 87th minute from a nice pass by RJ Allen. With defenders so focused on Dwyer, the other Orlando City attacking players have even better chances to put the ball in the back of the net.
The Bench Gives Orlando City More Options Than Ever
Orlando City looked stagnant for the first part of the second half, but it seemed as soon as RJ Allen (57th minute) and Chris Mueller (67th minute) came onto the pitch, the entire mindset of Orlando City changed. Mueller netted his first MLS goal in the 80th minute to spark the comeback and Allen, as mentioned before, assisted Dwyer on the eventual game-winner. With other depth players such as Pinho, Uri Rosell and Amro Tarek, Orlando City has more options than ever before.
Shot on Target Percentage Raises Concerns
Against Portland, Orlando City took 24 shots with only seven of them hitting the target. Overall, Orlando City has shot 58 times with 18 of them on net, a 31% shot on goal success rate. Although this is near the league average in MLS, it still raises concerns. Orlando City can’t rely on comebacks against top teams in the Eastern Conference such as Atlanta United and New York City FC that can easily score enough to put games out of reach. Shot accuracy has to improve. It doesn’t matter how many shots you take, if they aren’t on target, they won’t matter.
Mohamed El-Munir’s Recovery Speed is Something
Once again, Mohamed El-Munir showed out within what looked like a lackluster back line at one point. El-Munir had a bit of a flashback as he had to chase down Dairon Asprilla in the 73rd minute to keep the game in reach for Orlando City. El-Munir just flew around the pitch leading all players with seven successful tackles and numerous interceptions and blocks to shut down Portland Timbers’ attacks. Even though he conceded the penalty that brought Portland into the match, El-Munir has shown why the Lions signed him in the off-season and his play should only continue to grow as he gets more MLS games and time on the pitch with his teammates.
Orlando Can Get an Early Season Win Streak Going
A few weeks ago, Orlando City was looking for its first victory. Now, Orlando City has two wins in a row under its belt and that can turn into a streak if the Lions can continue to score. Through the first three matches, they could only muster three goals. Now, through the last two victories, they have netted seven goals, three of which have come from Dwyer. Even with lackluster defensive play in the final third, Orlando has made up for it in its opponent’s final third. If Orlando can continue to score at will, and maybe not just in the final 25 minutes, it can become a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference.
That’s what I took away from yesterday’s match. What did you see? Let us know what stood out in the comments section below.