I am glad someone else said it before I did--I never want to be that guy who gets too negative. But on last week's FS1 broadcast of the Orlando City match at Chicago, the TV analysts appraised the dismal performance on the pitch and pronounced that the players have given up on the season.
I understand the sentiment, and I think it would be more proper to say that a good portion of the players on the roster have given up on each other. I think they are all competitive and I think they all want to win. However, I believe that there is such a mish-mash of play styles and such a lack of consensus in the locker room on how they should be playing the game that a number of the players just don't believe they can be productive on the same roster with many of the other players. I don't think that will change until someone in the executive staff learns how to evaluate talent with an eye for matching symbiotic skills. Currently the back line doesn't play like they trust the midfield, the midfield plays like they don't trust the defense or the strikers, and the strikers play like they don't have any connection with the rest of the team. And... wait, do we even put a goalkeeper in our Starting XI? It seems like the frame of the goal makes more saves for our team than anyone else.
Orlando City has been scoreless in their last two outings, and I don't foresee that changing today against Houston. I don't know and I don't much care how many goals Houston will score--all I am pretty certain of is that our players won't be able to find a way to register a goal for the home fans.
Renewed for 2019
Some of my friends call me crazy but I have renewed my season tickets. And there's a very good reason in this city why I did. People have short memories and most of those forget that in 2015 there was a team that went winless in this town--the UCF American Football Knights. In 2017 that same team (with 51 of the players from the 0 - 12 season) achieved an undefeated season with a perfect 13 - 0 record. In the offseason they lost their entire coaching staff to Nebraska (it happens when you are a younger program like UCF and you don't have the deep pocket boosters like teams that have been playing football for a century or more). And in the new season the Knights are already 3 - 0 and appear to be on their way to having another good season.
So that gives me hope for Orlando City. As bad as this losing streak seems now, and as annoying as it feels to watch our team lose week after week, I am reminded of how much fun it is to go watch Josh Huepel's team led by McKenzie Milton throw the rock around the pitch and put up 40 or more points on their opponents every week. I'm a firm believer that Orlando City can make the same kind of dramatic turnaround in a short period of time and can become one of the best teams in MLS. So I'm willing to stay around and watch that develop.
But for now, my level of interest in putting in effort to write about this team week in and week out is about where the players level of effort for playing with each other seems to be... little to none. I'm ready for the off-season, when I have a fun change of pace planned for this blog space, and it could be something that continues going forward into future seasons and years as well.