Ramiro Enrique Leads The Lions To A 4-3 Win Over Columbus.
Good teams take advantage of circumstances. Good teams have the depth to plug and play when starters are unavailable. Both held true last night with Ramiro Enrique standing in for the injured Duncan McGwire, with Enrique delivering a brace before 22,802 supporters at Orlando's Exploria Stadium. Here are a few short takeaways from last night:
I keep emphasizing the offseason work by Luiz Muzzi and Orlando's staff in rebuilding a roster with both depth and talent. Game after game, manager Oscar Pareja has used a combination of players to fill in for usual starters on suspension or unavailable due to injury. Last night was no different with Rodrigo Schlegel in for Antonio Carlos, Felipe Martins in for Wilder Cartagena, Martin Ojeda giving Facundo Torres some rest, and Ramiro Enrique taking over the front-runner spot for Duncan McGwire. This depth is especially important as the regular season comes to a close.
How Orlando's goalkeeper Pedro Gallese is still with the Lions and not playing for a top European team still puzzles me. Sure, 'El Pupo' is a bit unorthodox with his technique, but his uncanny shot-stopping ability and leadership from the back is bar-none in Major League Soccer. Maybe international scouts know things that we do not see day in, and day out, but Gallese holds his own with any goalkeeper worldwide.
Martin Ojeda is an anomaly. While it is evident that he has a high level of technique and tactical awareness, the Orlando designated player sometimes disappears during a match. Just when I am thinking why Ojeda is not imposing himself on the match, he scored another goal last night, his sixth of the season. Ojeda also earned his ninth assist of the season, the fourth time this season he has delivered a goal and assist in a game. Let us hope that the limited minutes Ojeda has enjoyed this season provide him with a great deal of match fitness in the last six regular season and playoff games.
Orlando City's resilience helped them climb back from a 3-1 deficit last night. Their comeback win puts them in second place in the Eastern Conference with six games to play. The Lions travel to New York City on Wednesday night before coming home next Sunday with Inter Miami. The big question: with Inter Miami playing Toronto on Wednesday night, and the U.S. Open Cup final on September 27, how many minutes will Inter Miami manager Tata Martino give to Lionel Messi when they visit Orlando?
Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net
photo credit: Yahoo Sports