I'm hearing all the right things and seeing all the right quotes coming out of Orlando City coaches and players this week. Dom Dwyer is back. Lamine Sane is ready to start. The players are focused. Sacha Kljestan is excited to face his former club and hungry for a victory.
But that is all talk. And talk is cheap. I'm tired of talk. I'm ready for a win. I've reached the point now where I was at the end of last summer. If this team is going to want me to expect them to win, they need to start proving to me that they can win.
Make no mistake, I will be at the match. I've got my season tickets and nothing is more important to me on match days than following my team. And yet this team has but a single lousy point out of three matches. It's a bunch of new faces, but on the pitch, it's the same nonsense we have seen since May of last year.
The Red Bulls have started the season well. They have lost only one match, and more importantly, they have reached the semifinal round of the CONCACAF Champions League. This puts them in a position that few MLS clubs have shared, and I hope they can go win it all in the CCL this year. It would be a great thing for the league. They've scored seven goals in three MLS matches, despite having lineups that rest as many as nine regular starters due to the importance of CCL play so early in the season.
The Red Bulls appear to be playing in midseason form, and that's why I expect them to continue the streak of misery for Orlando City's fans today. Despite Dom Dwyer being back, I just don't see enough organization, discipline, or focus from this Orlando City side yet to favor them to win any match. That's why I predict the Red Bulls will win today by the count of 3 - 1. I hate picking against my own team, but I hate it worse when I favor my team and they stink up the pitch with a lousy performance. I'd rather be proven wrong by them winning and have a happy surprise instead of a miserable one.
What are your thoughts on today's match? Do you think Dom's return will inject some kind of magic to help Orlando City get their season turned around? Or do you expect the Red Bulls to continue the momentum they have with their CCL success and pick up the road victory? Let me know in the comments below!