Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls: Five Takeaways

What did we learn from Orlando City’s 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls?



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City was able to salvage a point at home against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night with a 1-1 draw at Inter&Co Stadium. It was a frustrating night as the Lions dominated possession but weren’t able to score enough to get a second win in a row. Here are our five takeaways from the match.

Kyle’s Mixed Night

I’m a fan of Kyle Smith, but I’m not at all certain that Cesar Araujo fouls Lewis Morgan and gives the Red Bulls the penalty. I can’t say for sure he doesn’t, but I think it’s less likely. Morgan scored on the penalty kick to give New York the lead. There wasn’t much Pedro Gallese could do to stop it. He went the right way, was able to get a full extension, but it was a perfectly placed kick in the lower right corner with power.

It was good to see Araujo come on late in the match. Orlando City has missed his presence in the defensive midfield. Overall, the Smith experiment has garnered mixed results, much like Smith did in this match. There were several times he made good passes to help move the ball into the attack, but then there were times he wasn’t quite as sharp — like on the penalty.

The Nordic Factor

Orlando City is well known for having a South American flavor, but don’t ignore the Nordic influence in the form of Robin Jansson and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. Jansson was his normal steady self, anchoring the back line and performing the duties as captain. His passing rate was an impressive 94.7%. Just one example of his contributions was his block in the 57th minute to keep the score from being worse. I often feel that his efforts are overlooked because the expectations for Jansson are so high that when he consistently meets them it becomes the norm.

Meanwhile, Thorhallsson was everywhere on the right side of the pitch. He was a big part of the attack, but was able to recover on defense when needed. His energy was seemingly endless as he either passed or took the ball through the midfield on his own. The consistency from Thorhallsson and Jansson reminds me why I’m a Dagur Dan man and a Beefy Swede fan.

Possession Isn’t Everything

There was a lot of talk about how this version of the New York Red Bulls still utilizes the press with a good defense that the Red Bull organization is known for, but this season the visitors were also comfortable with maintaining possession. Orlando City ended the match with 66% of the possession, out-shot the Red Bulls 14-7, and attempted 654 passes to the Red Bulls’ 356 passes. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to get the victory. It’s what you do when you have the ball that matters. That leads me into our next takeaway.

The Last 10%

Once again, Orlando City created no small amount of chances to score multiple goals in the match, only to come away with the draw. The official stats show the Lions with 14 shots, with three on target. Those numbers don’t include the numerous times that a ball was sent in just past the outstretched toe of an Orlando City attacker.

There’s a Chinese saying that states if you are 90% down the path, you are halfway there. In this match, the Lions were 90% of the way to scoring a goal, but were unable to finish the last 10%. The result of that lack of finishing quality is a draw rather than a win. It hasn’t been just this match or even just this season, but Orlando City needs to figure it out to climb back into the top of the table.

Lynn Deserved Credit

I’m going to end on a high note. If I’m being truthful, when Jack Lynn came on in the 82nd minute as the Lions were chasing the match, I was less than enthused. I know he scored his first MLS goal in his first senior team start against Austin FC, but what were the odds he’d score two matches in a row? Turns out I was both right and wrong.

Seven minutes after Lynn came on, Ivan Angulo sent a good cross towards Lynn in front of goal. Lynn made a cheeky back heel attempt that deflected off Noah Eile and in. So I was right that Lynn didn’t score two matches in a row, but in my heart I was wrong because that goal was only scored because of him.

That is what I saw in Orlando City’s draw against the Red Bulls. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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