Already with a win verse the New York City Football Club, Orlando packs their bags - hopeful to accomplish the same results. The Lions attained their win on March 18 when Orlando forward, Cyle Larin scored the game’s only goal. Yes, it was certainly a game that was comprised of defense rather than offense. There was only a combined twenty six shots taken. Despite the lack of scoring, I’m sure Orlando would love to live up to Albert Einstein’s famous definition of insanity: “When you keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” In this case, someone please put in a large order of insanity.
Let’s talk strategy. There seems to be a common denominator when it comes to winning games: defense and a guy by the name of Joe Bendik. In all three of the Orlando’s wins they have only let up two goals. Adding to your daily math warm-up, on the reciprocating end, in their three losses, they have let up a total of seven goals. Don’t get me wrong here, Orlando can put up shots with the best of them. But so far, the formula for winning games seems to be how well they are applying pressure defensively. Rather than playing a reserved style defense, Orlando’s zone is designed to get the ball out of the offensive player’s hands as quickly as possible. Credit Adrian Heath, Mark Watson and the rest of The Lion’s coaching staff for this. It would be very logical for Orlando to apply the same formula verse New York on Sunday. On the other side of the equation, Joe Bendik has to continue to be Joe Bendik. Bendik’s presence makes the size of the soccer net look like that of a hockey net. Athletic, agile and able to make quick decisions - and no, I’m not describing a lion (although Bendik seems to turn into one when he sees the ball racing at his net). Again, he has to continue his tenacity to be the goalkeeper that we’ve grown accustom to seeing.
Getting back to tomorrow’s game, New York forward, David Villa leads the way for their club, tied for a league-leading eight goals. His heavy foot has already allowed him to take sixty nine shots this season, certainly showing no signs of reaching for the brake pedal. It should be an entertaining game watching two of the top five scorers in Villa and Larin. Watch for both teams to double the ball whenever it falls anywhere in the vicinity of either of these two guys. They’ll continue to be relentless and look to stay on the goals’ leaderboard.
Find out if Orlando can maintain its momentum or if New York intends to dampen their spirits tomorrow at 4:30 PM at Yankee Stadium.