Orlando City

Orlando City’s Tumble in the MLS Power Rankings Shows Current Troubles

The Lions are who their record says they are…at least for right now.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

The first indications that spring is here are in full bloom for all to see. The flowers are budding, the trees are sprouting green leaves again, and Major League Soccer is now in full force around North America. Well, forget about the recent snowstorms in some MLS cities and the fact that in many places the temperatures won’t feel like spring well into May or even June. Soccer is alive and well for most teams, but for the Orlando City SC, this early 2024 regular season is proving to be anything but alive, and certainly well, for all involved.

Orlando City has Fallen in the MLS Power Rankings

The most current MLS Power Rankings have Orlando City sitting in 27th place in the league in terms of franchise strength. Remember, there are only 29 teams in MLS so the Lions are sitting perilously close to falling down into the dank, dark cellar known as last place in the Eastern Conference. Let’s face a hard dose of reality right now and accept the fact that Orlando City rightly deserves the lowly ranking at this point in the young season. With an 0-3-1 record and one measly point earned so far, the Lions look more like toothless cubs rather than a legitimate contender for this year’s MLS Cup. 

While it’s easy to forget about the early season drubbing at the hands of in-state rival Inter Miami CF, the fact remains that Orlando City has at best an anemic offensive attack that produced a grand total of zero goals against CF Montreal, Inter Miami, and most recently, Atlanta United. Fans and pundits alike also need to put behind them the Lions’ elimination from the Concacaf Champions Cup at the hands of Tigres UANL. Call it player fatigue from travel, a lack of early season motivation, or just bad luck, but there’s no denying that Orlando City is in an unenviable place right now. 

There’s no crying over spilled milk, and the best thing for this franchise is to move forward. However, moving forward requires a team to actually move forward  in the attacking third and making a concerted effort to puts shots on goal. The off-season signing of Luis Muriel and the return of Duncan McGuire need to pay off now. Orlando City sits rock-bottom in Major League Soccer with a -8 goal differential (two goals for, 10 goals against) and with numbers like that, it doesn’t take a soccer genius to figure out that matches are being squandered and that the Lions’ defense is taking a beating. Orlando City’s bleak outlook at the moment is vividly portrayed in goalkeeper Pedro Gallese’s -1 goal differential in the first four matches of the season, and with numbers like that, soccer teams cannot sustain any type of successful run at the MLS playoffs.

Calling Austin: Can We Get a Break Here?

My apologies for harking back to an old Blake Shelton song about “calling Austin,” but right now, Orlando City needs to get hold of Austin FC’s number this weekend and pull off a huge win, and more importantly, three points for the overall standings. Although Austin FC joins Orlando City in the current winless column, El Tree has pulled out draws in three of their four matches so far. Three points in the standings isn’t a lot, but it’s 300% higher than the lone point claimed by the Lions. While it may be easy to predict that one of these squads will win this Saturday evening, the fact remains that another draw may drag both of these teams down into the standings quagmire, but at this critical junction early in the MLS season, Orlando City needs a big win and three big points to reverse the tide. 

Another scoreless loss will only stir up the chorus of wailing and teeth gnashing among the faithful in central Florida.


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