Orlando City recently posted an article saying that Head Coach Adrian Heath is encouraged with what he’s seen on the field despite the recent string of results and I just don’t see where the optimism is coming from.
The last three Lion games have been extremely hard to stomach. We’ve only claimed one point from a possible nine. Yes there have been terrible referee calls and no calls that have gone against us, but we shouldn’t be leaving results in the hands of the referees. Let’s face it, this team is under-performing and that could be attributed to a variety of reasons; injuries, referees, or just being plain unlucky, but the largest factor is that the team is just flat out, not playing good enough.
In these last three games, Orlando City has been out-shot 60-40, out-possessed 53.2%-46.8%, and they’ve completed just 185 passes in their opponent’s defensive third, while the opponents have completed 321 passes in their defensive third. Once again, not good enough.
The players need to hear that from Heath however, not me.
After the Red Bull match where our attackers couldn’t string 3 passes together and our defensive midfield and defense got picked apart all night, Heath is praising the efforts of Rafael Ramos, Cyle Larin, Tommy Redding, and Joe Bendik, instead of chewing out the team that was out-shot, out-possessed, and simply outplayed.
I have a couple of issues with the way Heath handled this. First, if a team loses a match and right after the match the Head Coach is praising 4 players, what does that say about the other 7 players? Second, when the coach absolves certain players of blame publicly after losses, it creates a mindset that as long as I play well, it doesn’t matter how the team does.
I don’t think it’s any coincidence that after the latest game, Rafael Ramos tweeted “Tough to fight when everything’s against you! Proud of my teammates. We’ll be back stronger than ever! Come on lions
@OrlandoCitySC“, seemingly blaming the referees for the fact that the defensive four he’s a part of conceded 3 goals and allowed 26 shots on goal, the second most by any team in an MLS game this season. I think it’s always good to look for positives, but at some point this team has to stop making excuses and address that they haven’t been good enough collectively.