Two Lessons from Orlando City's Win over Columbus

Oct 9, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja celebrates the win against Columbus
Oct 9, 2022; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja celebrates the win against Columbus / Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Despite that depth that held on to the lead, Orlando also showed how thin it is at the back.

With Antonio Carlos out, João Moutinho was forced into playing center back for the first time in his pro career. He performed competently, but having him in the middle of the back four weakens the squad's defending and attacking elements. He's out of his comfort zone on defense, and the Lions missed his play further up the pitch and his accurate crosses.

Even with Moutinho and Kyle Smith playing fine next to each other, the lack of depth on defense remains a concern. The first defensive substitute available on the bench was 19-year-old Michael Halliday, who until Sunday had only appeared in 11 MLS games (with no starts this season). Halliday has a promising future, but he may not be ready for an extended MLS playoff appearance. Antonio Carlos will be back for the Montreal match and Ruan appears to be healthy after an early knock Sunday, but while the offense has the depth for winning late, the defense continues to miss Robin Jansson and feels one player short.

Hopefully that concern won't be an issue, but players staying healthy and avoiding cards will remain as essential as will utilizing the team's ability to play quality soccer deep into matches.

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