Orlando City

Orlando City Utilizes Two-Week Break to Get Well, Build Chemistry

Players and coaches discussed how Orlando City utilized its time off between matches.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

It has been two Saturdays since Orlando City last took the pitch on a disappointing evening, dropping points at home for the second time in the young 2023 Major League Soccer season. The two-week break could not have come at a better time for the squad after a hectic start to the season, which included the club’s first-ever fixtures in the Concacaf Champions League.

The breakneck pace included five matches in 15 days, with travel to Mexico, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia. The players needed an opportunity to catch their breath and having last weekend off was an opportunity for the Lions to get healthy and for new teammates to build some rapport on the field.

“The time off is definitely good, especially for players who are dealing with knocks or injuries to get the extra week to recover,” defender Luca Petrasso said after training this week. “It has been nice to train every day and just to get that rhythm going again and to get the boys going again after a difficult result against Nashville.”

The bye week allowed Orlando City to have its longest uninterrupted period of training sessions since the preseason. If the Lions can find their rhythm — and each other — on the pitch, this break may be looked at down the road as a huge springboard for team chemistry for a squad that throughout the first two months of the season was dealing with absences from injury, international duty, and the integration of new pieces.

“I think that the coaches did a really good job to give us the time and days this week and last to recover both mentally and physically,” Gaston Gonzalez said. “And I think we have recovered really well and are in great condition to be prepared for the next match against Minnesota.”

Growing more cohesiveness was a goal of the coaching staff during this two-week period, according to Head Coach Oscar Pareja. His club began the season with lots of attacking talent but without much flow in the attacking third.

“We tried to use the trainings to improve, to get more chemistry, and to balance the team and now to prepare for the next match,” Pareja said.

Finally, at the media session, Head Coach Oscar Pareja took to the podium and spoke about how the team has used the last two weeks to recover from the hectic start to the season.

Based on what the players and coach said heading into the Minnesota match tonight, it seems that the added week off could be a big help in getting Orlando City on the right path.


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