Playoff Hopes Turn to Last Place Fears as Orlando City Falls 5–0 in Toronto
Orlando City arrived in Toronto in desperate need of a result, in desperate need of a turnaround and in desperate need of confidence. They’d go home with none of those things, falling 5–0 and continuing the worst stretch in their franchise history.
It was ugly. That’s probably the best, and nicest, way of putting it.
“We’re obviously bitterly disappointed with the result. I thought we were doing okay, up until the sending off. I thought the game plan was working well, and obviously the sending offs has cost us dearly,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “We started the second half by giving away a goal early which didn’t help. We had a couple of chances to tie the game, but the bottom line is that it wasn’t good enough. We compounded our problem by going down to nine men, so its be a very difficult day in the end.”
Orlando City started the match defensively, displaying what many would probably call “parking the bus.” It would seem that Adrian Heath was looking to keep the Reds off the scoresheet and hoping to snatch a goal late. For a time his plan to keep Toronto scoreless was working, they were under assault by the Reds, but it seemed only a matter of time until Toronto would take advantage.
The Lions managed to keep the score even until Rafael Ramos was sent off in the 36th minute. Down to 10 men (again) the inevitable was coming.
Toronto would eventually take advantage of the short handed Lions with a goal just a minute into the second half. Michael Bradley capitalized on a horrible turnover by Adrian Winter and Marco Delgado easily slotted the ball past Tally Hall. Four more Toronto goals would follow, including a brilliant free kick from Sebastian Giovinco and a brace from substitute Jozy Altidore.
It was the most lopsided match this season for Orlando City, and they’ve found themselves outscored 9 to 0 over their last two matches. To make it look even worse, they’ve been outscored 13–1 over their last four matches.
The team is simply lost at the moment.
The Lions can’t seem to get out of their own way either. Orlando City picked up six cards in the match, including a Second Yellow — Red Card from Adrian Winter while managing only a single shot on target. In fact Orlando City had more Red Cards in this match than they’ve had shots on goal over their last 180+ minutes.
There are some major questions that need to be asked of the coaches and players. While visions of the playoffs are a distant memory at the moment, trying to not finish in last place seems to be the last remaining motivation for Adrian Heath’s men.