The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Silver Linings, the Playoff Push, and PRO



Welcome back, Mane Landers. It’s been a rough week to be certain. Not really much to be happy or excited about, is there? That’s the challenge after a weekend like we had. We need to keep moving forward, but before we do, let’s take a look back.

The Good

I’m really having to reach this week, but here it is: Orlando City didn’t give up. The Lions haven’t given up. Heading into the game at D.C. United, the team was missing Sacha Kljestan, Yoshimar Yotún, Lamine Sané, and Jonathan Spector. The team was riding an eight-game road losing streak. The first half seemed to go well, until the very end when once again the Lions conceded the first goal.

However, the they did not give up, and were able to draw even on the own goal off Uri Rosell’s cross. They didn’t give up after Cristian Higuita was sent off and United went up by another goal. Indeed it was Rosell’s assist that allowed Dom Dwyer to level things for the Lions again. The team equalized while they were a man down. A team that has given up doesn’t do that.

We’re all lamenting the unfortunate turn of events on the Will Johnson and Wayne Rooney clash, but it happened because Johnson didn’t give up. He was exhausted, and still ran down the ball and tried to make a play to a teammate to get Orlando the win. A player who has given up doesn’t do that. So, while it was a ninth straight road loss, and there may not be anything to play for soon, I hope that this team doesn’t give up. The players and the supporters deserve a team with heart, even if there’s nothing else.

The Bad

The Orlando Pride’s loss to the Portland Thorns was bad. The team dropped to fourth in the NWSL standings, one point over the Chicago Red Stars, who entered last night with two games in hand over the Pride. The Pride have three matches remaining in the regular season: at North Carolina, home versus Chicago, and away at Sky Blue. North Carolina has been the best team, bar none, this season, and the Pride need a result or things get a lot tougher. I’m not saying that they are out of playoff contention, but any loss might doom those of us who wear purple to feel awfully blue.

The Ugly

Video review. It’s worse than a four letter word at this point. For years, Mane Land editor, Michael Citro and I have preached that there is no conspiracy against Orlando City — to not conflate incompetence with intention. Honestly, I’m worn out. I would love it if someone wanted to pull together the data and prove my impressions wrong. “They” say these things are supposed to even out over time. How long do Orlando City supporters have to wait? How many seasons before all the game-changing bad calls come back around? I don’t hold out hope that it’ll change anytime soon, or that there’s some great cosmic scale that is currently punishing Orlando City, nor that the scale will balance. That is the thing about being a supporter. It’s your team through the good, the bad, and the ugly.

If you’re not still curled up on the couch with a pint of ice cream, feel free to comment below, and let me know what you think. Go City, and go Pride!


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