This is not the only piece I'm going to write this week reacting to Orlando's devastating loss at the hands of the New York Red Bulls, and they won't all come with the same opinion. I'm going to trying and dissect a loss like this in both positive, negative and more nuanced perspectives.
For right now, let's try and minimize the pain and look at all the glass half full. This is one game in a 34 game season. Orlando are third in the East in points per game and eighth in the Supporter's Shield race in PPG. Maybe that's a little lower than you'd like, especially if a Shield race is what you're after, but that's still exceptional through nine games.
Sunday was just Orlando's third loss of the campaign, and the first time the Lions have been blown out all season. It's also worth remembering that the week as a whole was a success.
The Lions were faced with a midweek game, an Open Cup showdown with the Tampa Bay Rowdies, and advancing in that tournament is a far more important goal than a result at home against the Red Bulls in April.
Sure, getting blown out sucks, but if Orlando had flipped the results, losing to the Rowdies and cruising past the Red Bulls, this week would've been a failure. Oscar Pareja and his crew got the result to start a cup run, even if it might've come at the cost of a result against a group that's notoriously a bogey team for Papi.
Maybe the midweek didn't or shouldn't have had much of an impact, especially against a lower league side, but regardless of the tangible effect, the result is that Orlando are on to the next round in the US Open Cup and closer to a trophy. If the Lions come back next week with a win against Charlotte, the sting of this loss will be forgotten entirely.
Over the course of the season, you'll have some duds, and this was Orlando's first real dud of the year. On to the next one.