The type of victories Orlando City have to be content with are not the ones they want.
On Wednesday, the Lions (5-7-13, 28 points) suffered a 2-1 loss at home to Toronto FC (12-7-7, 43 points) in a match where the deciding goal didn’t come until the 86th minute. The Lions, who are 0-2-2 in the month of August, are forced to be content with putting up a fight against the now top team in the Eastern Conference. The killing blow came off the foot of U.S. men’s national team striker Jozy Altidore, who sent it sailing into a vacant net to propel TFC to the win.
Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik made five saves, including two impressive, quick-reactions against Altidore, but was ultimately duped when Altidore received a pass from the reigning league MVP Sebastian Giovinco. Lions coach Jason Kreis thinks this is a make or break point for his squad.
“We’re in a moment right now, after a difficult loss at home, where the players and staff face a decision. The decision is, do you want to kind of pack it in and think that we’re not good enough or feel sorry for ourselves? Or do we choose to look at the positive side, which is I think this is a team moving in a positive direction?” Kreis told The Orlando Sentinel. “And so, I choose to believe. And I ask that the players and everybody else believes as well.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Lions in their next match. On Sunday they square off against New York City FC (11-8-7, 41 points), who is second in the Eastern Conference. It’ll be the third meeting this season, with Orlando City holding a 1-0-1 advantage. The challenge for the Lions will be winning a match on the road. The team has won only road match, and it came way back in March against the very same New York team they’re facing on Sunday.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) August 25, 2016
New York City, undefeated in its last four games, will try for the three points to reclaim first place from TFC.