Orlando City Comes Back From a 2-0 Halftime Deficit To Earn A Point In Columbus.
"The quality of always behaving or performing in a similar way, or of always happening in a similar way." That definition of consistency can work both ways - and Orlando City is fighting to gain some consistency with their full-match performance, as well as their ability to put the ball on frame and in the back of the net. Here are a few takes from Saturday night's 2-2 draw with Columbus at Historic Crew Stadium.
A third of the way through the 2023 regular season schedule, we have witnessed Orlando City, more than once, not put in a full ninety-minute performance. With their home record, their is no correlation with this syndrome playing at Exploria Stadium or on the road - they seem to turn on and off no matter the venue they are playing in.
The good news: playing on the road at Columbus' home ground, and being down 2-0 at half, the Lions turned the last forty-five minutes into a tough, hard fought draw with both of their number 9's scoring timely goals. Ercan Kara's opening goal early on in the second half gave OCSC some confidence, and substitute Duncan McGuire, the rookie from Creighton University, scored a timely stoppage time equalizer to earn a well-deserved point on the road.
It is obvious that Martin Ojeda is a quality player but after eleven league games, something is amiss. Whether it is the system Oscar Pareja employs or the position Ojeda plays, the 24-year-old Argentinian is not yielding the numbers OCSC needs out of this designated player. Including the two CONCACAF Champions League and MLS regular season games, Ojeda has produced two goals and three assists in thirteen games. I do not have the answer and hopefully this lack of production will change as Ojeda continues to adapt to a new country, club, teammates, and system.
Along with six other Eastern Conference teams, Orlando City sits on fifteen points after eleven games. Hopefully, whatever message Oscar Pareja delivered to his players at halftime of Saturday night's game will resonate and ensure that his side plays the full ninety minutes. That message needs to hit home starting Wednesday night with NYCFC at Exploria Stadium.
Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net
photo: Orlando City Soccer Club