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The Manager is Accountable...

...but DO NOT fire the manager.


Gonzalo Pineda in Atlanta. Gary Smith in Nashville. Nico Estevez in Dallas. Luchi Gonzalez in San Jose. A manager's carousel midway through the 2024 season with no end in sight. The micro-managing by Orlando City's media and fanbase is blaringly wrong with their Oscar Pareja assessment that he should be fired.

  1. The player pool is basically the same except for one huge miss. Mauricio Pereyra's departure has had both cause and effect with Orlando City's season-to-date performance. He was the captain, the leader, and a box-to-box midfielder. His ability to create and deliver the final pass has gone missing with the Lions. With all due respect to Nico Lodeiro, there is no comparison between the two.

  2. The player pool I praised, from the hard work that Pareja and Luiz Muzzi have done in the last two off seasons has not yielded the same results as last year. The ridiculous MLS schedule calls for plug-and-play rotation of the roster and the player pool, due to quality, injury, and availability has again gone thin.

  3. Quality - say what you want, call it the way you see it, etc., but the quality of play (not managing) has diminished from the 2023 season. Friday night's game showed us that the Orlando City squad plays hard for Pareja, but the final third execution, as well as systemic defensive mistakes, are NOT the manager's doing. Case in point, designated player Martin Ojeda, in the thirty-third minute, with numerical advantage in the attack, with no pressure from NYCFC's defense, served a ball that went 30 feet above the goal and landed in the fourth row of seats. This is a designated player brought in last year to enhance the attack that is anemic at best. Unacceptable.

I do understand that teams often get a short term ''bump" from a managerial change. More importantly, I do recognize that a manager is accountable for performance. In the case of Orlando City, this accountability, similar to the situation in Kansas City, is on the players. There are twenty games left in the 2024 season - let's see what the Wilf ownership group, Luiz Muzzi, and Oscar Pareja do to quickly pivot the player pool and performance. Fourteen games and 42 available points to be earned. Pedro Gallese and Wilder Cartagena back from Copa America, and David Brekalo possibly back later this week (Slovenia and Portugal play tomorrow). This is a 'get it done' moment with Orlando City and Oscar Pareja is the manager to make that happen.

Gary Levitt @gary1123

Photo credit: Major League Soccer


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