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A Great Three Points For Orlando City.

Orlando City Goes to Nine Straight Wins Over All Competitions With A 2-1 Win Over St. Louis SC.

 

Before a loud and raucous crowd of 22,156 at Exploria Stadium, Facundo Torres' brace, his 9th and 10th goals of the season, led Orlando City to a big win over Western Conference leaders St. Louis SC. Here are a few short takes from last night's game:

  • Orlando City manager Oscar Pareja has made a starting lineup change in the last two games that is paying big dividends. He has included Dagur Dan Thórhallsson into the right fullback position, and the 23-year-old Icelandic international has had an immediate impact. While Kyle Smith is an excellent defender, Thórhallsson's technical skills, tactical awareness, and pace have added another dimension to the Lions' attack. An interesting aspect is how Thórhallsson, when getting forward, sometimes runs the inside channel to add support as well as another point of distribution. Scroll to the forty second mark of the highlights and watch Thórhallsson receive a pass from Mauricio inside the eighteen, take a touch and play a simple ball to Facundo Torres, resulting in the opening goal.



  • Pareja is still operating the team without much impact from two designated players. Ercan Kara continues to recover from illness and fitness issues, and Martin Ojeda, though leading the Lions with eight assists, has only seen cameo appearances in the last few games. As I have mentioned many times, the good news is that Orlando City's player pool is deep, giving Pareja variable players to start and substitute. A big question, as Orlando City looks to the last nine games of the regular season, is whether Kara and Ojeda, who should be well-rested, can help the Lions down the stretch?

  • Orlando City certainly benefited by St. Louis striker Joao Klauss only playing the last twenty minutes of the game, as well as former Orlando City player Nicholas Gioacchini having to come off at halftime due to injury. With that said, the Lions back four of Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Rafael Santos, and Thórhallsson, supported by the midfield duo of Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena, shut down St. Louis for most of the game. Schlegel, who provides a tremendous work rate and ball-winning ability, has stood-in admirably for the injured Antonio Carlos, another Lion who should be well-rested heading into the last nine games. The concern I have is how long can Robin Jansson, who has played the majority of minutes in his center back role, hold up for the balance of the regular season and into the playoffs?

The Lions have a quick turnaround as they travel to Charlotte for a Wednesday night game, and then stay on the road to TQL Stadium to take on Eastern Conference front-runners Cincinnati FC on Saturday. Orlando must figure out how to get points out of these two away matches before a well-needed two-week break in the schedule.


Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net


Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

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