Orlando City

Orlando City at Inter Miami CF: Three Keys to Victory

What does Orlando City need to do to earn all three points on the road in Ft. Lauderdale Saturday night?



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City heads to Ft. Lauderdale Saturday to take on Eastern Conference rivals and inaccurately named, Inter Miami CF. This is the first meeting between the two clubs this season, and the Lions will look to prove that Florida is once again purple. What does Orlando City need to do to secure all three points on the road?

Take Advantage of the Schedule

Both Orlando City and Inter Miami are coming in on short rest, with the Lions having played New York City FC to a 1-1 draw during the midweek at Exploria Stadium and the Herons having lost to Nashville 2-1 on the road. The trip down to Ft. Lauderdale isn’t nearly as bad for Orlando City as the one coming back from Tennessee is for the Herons.

Orlando City has the upper hand over Inter Miami given the Lion’s next match is the following Saturday against Atlanta United at Exploria Stadium. Inter Miami will play Nashville on Tuesday in the U.S. Open Cup at home. That’s three matches in seven days for the Herons, but Orlando City will have a normal week of rest following the match against Inter Miami. The Lions won’t have to manage minutes as closely as the hosts, and that is a big advantage.

Stop Martinez

Josef Martinez only played in the second half of Inter Miami’s match against Nashville and it’s a good bet he’ll want to get another goal against Orlando City. Keeping Martinez from doing so will give the Lions the best shot for points on the road tomorrow night. With the departure of Michael Halliday for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup squad, I expect Oscar Pareja to go with a three-man back line and utilize Ivan Angulo and Gaston Gonzalez on the wings.

Orlando City will need Cesar Araujo to start the defense against Martinez and for Antonio Carlos, Robin Jansson, and Rodrigo Schlegel to make things difficult for Miami’s striker inside the box. Martinez has a bad habit of making Orlando City pay for defensive breakdowns, and the club will need to do better for the entire 90-plus minutes than they did against NYCFC.

Feed Kara

In my opinion, Ercan Kara has gotten too much hate from some Orlando City supporters. He has only played in seven of Orlando City’s12 regular-season matches so far this season. He has three goals in those seven matches, with one goal in each of the last two matches. Given the time he spent injured, and the necessity of working back into form once recovered from said injury, I think he is now in excellent form and will continue to score goals for Orlando City.

Kara has not only found the back of the net the last two matches, but he is also making very good runs behind the opponent’s defense. He is also getting back to contribute on Orlando City’s defense. He is doing the little things he needs to be successful, and if he can get more service like he did from Gonzalez on Wednesday or Facundo Torres last Saturday in Columbus, the goals should keep coming.

That is what I will be looking for as the Lions make the trip to Ft. Lauderdale. A third result in a row will be welcome, and if it’s all three points against Inter Miami? Well, that’s even better. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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