Orlando City

Orlando City at Philadelphia Union: Three Keys to Victory

What does Orlando City need to do to earn all three points on the road at Philadelphia?



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City travels to the City of Brotherly Love hoping to get back on the winning track against the Philadelphia Union. The Union are currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference with 14 points, and have a 3-2-5 record overall. However, the Union are 1-2-1 at home. Subaru Park hasn’t been the fortress it was in 2023 — though Orlando City did give them their first home loss last season.

Of course, the Lions are riding a two-match losing streak heading into this match. What does Orlando City need to do to take all three points from the Union on the road?

Defense, Defense, Defense

The Union have scored 19 goals so far this season and over half of them have come from Daniel Gazdag (6), and Julian Carranza (4). Obviously, stopping those two is a priority. However, the Union also have excellent midfielders in Alejandro Bedoya and Jack McGlynn — the two players that scored in the Union’s last match against DC United.

I feel like a broken record, but Orlando City’s defense needs to stop making the dumb mistakes that have resulted in way too many goals this season. Philadelphia’s attackers will punish the Lions if that is allowed to happen yet again. So please, for the sake of my sanity, stop giving up the stupid goals.

Score Some *%$#ing Goals

The Union have given up 16 goals so far this season. Philadelphia is not some impenetrable defense, meaning the Lions should have chances to score against the Union. The bigger questions is: Will Orlando City find the back of the net? The dearth of goals so far this season is a great source of frustration for all who support this club. It’s not necessarily the shots that go in — though that does stink — but the missed opportunities.

Orlando City has had more passes/crosses just past a toe or just over a head, and more bobbled balls at a player’s feet than I care to count this season. The missed opportunities are a good reason for the results we’ve seen. I’ve spent plenty of time wishing for Facundo Torres, Luis Muriel, and Martin Ojeda to start scoring. Now, I’ll be happy with any player putting it in the back of the net. Robin Jansson header? Yes, please. Michael Halliday deflects it in with his face? I’ll take it. Own goal by the opposition? Bring it on. Just score some darn goals.

Find the Formula

I’m not certain why it’s taking Oscar Pareja so long to figure out the balance for this club. Most of the players from last season are there, but for some reason the recipe is off. There are a few new players and there have been some injuries to deal with, but the switch needs to be flipped. Pareja needs to figure out which players can turn it around.

It might be the players who haven’t made the necessary adjustments. Perhaps it’s just bad luck. Regardless, every coach and player needs to pull it together to get the ship righted. Preseason expectations might need to be adjusted, but we can still hold out hope for a turnaround. This weekend against the Union is a perfect time for that to start.

That is what I will be looking for Saturday night. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Vamos Orlando!


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