There is a multitude of things that can be used to describe this years Orlando City team.
Resilient is probably the most apt of all.
Five times this season the Lions have been down in a game and five times they have come back in the second half to either draw or win.
Orlando did it once again, turning a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead in a span of four minutes. Goals from Dom Dwyer and Lamine Sané, his first in purple, pushed the team into the lead, while Yoshimar Yotún put the cherry on top with his goal in the 78th minute to secure a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday.
The teams resiliency has been on display since the end of March, when the winning streak began. A back and forth affair between the Lions and Red Bulls saw seven goals scored, with Orlando’s Josue Colman scoring the eventual game-winning goal of a deflected Scott Sutter shot.
Since then, Orlando has pulled out come-from-behind wins over the Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, Colorado Rapids and now Real Salt Lake, en route to six consecutive victories.
Head coach Jason Kreis, who has been at the forefront of this teams revitalization, has taken it to heart that his team can continue to battle back from the brink and continue to grind out victories still early in the season.
“It says a lot that we can continue to come back from difficult situations, being a goal down in the first half after I thought we started so incredibly brightly,” Kreis said after the match. “It was difficult for the guys. In the beginning of the second half there were some difficulties again, but we continued to push, we continued to believe, we continued to stay together and we get the result I think in the end we deserved.”
Orlando has had to overcome some steep adversity over this winning streak to keep pulling out results. The biggest knock for this Lions side is that they have yet to put a complete 90 minute performance together and truly dominate an opponent for the entirety of a match. While that is important for Kreis and his team in the long run, just battling for those 90 minutes and staying in the game is what is helping the team earn these deserved victories.
“As a coach you probably much prefer not having to come back so many times, not to be suffering the first goal in so many matches, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because it’s about 90 minutes,” Kreis said. “Over the 90 minutes our guys continued to work and stay together and get the result. As I said, we deserve that result and we got it.”
(Photo courtesy of Peter Lous/Getty Images)
The Orlando Soccer Journal is now on Patreon. If you’re enjoying our independent coverage of Orlando City, Pride and OCB, please consider becoming a patron.