With time running out, and winning ways looking like a thing of the past, the Lions remain in a familiar place after another disappointing result during Saturday’s 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew.
Struggling to make the playoffs isn’t new for Orlando City. For the last three seasons in MLS, the Purple Kits find themselves sitting outside the red line, again.
And while their backs are against the wall, the Lions remain believing that a berth to the postseason is still possible.
“Obviously I feel very, very strongly that there’s been a lot of games this year where we should’ve gotten more out of them. We should’ve gotten some draws that we ended up with losses and we should’ve gotten some wins that we ended up with ties, like tonight,” said Orlando City coach Jason Kreis. “But that happens. I still believe that this group is good enough and everybody else out there can think that we’re dead and we’re not. We don’t believe that we’re dead. We still have every chance to push forward and reach our objective.”
Last Saturday’s draw extended Orlando’s winless run to six games with their last win happening on June 30 during a 1-0 road win against Real Salt Lake, and their last home win happening on May 31 during a 2-0 win over DC United.
Orlando (8-10-7, 31 points) sits in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, five points away from playoff contention. Its current run in form, however, doesn’t paint a convincing picture about making a push for the playoffs.
With only two wins in their last 18 games, Kreis acknowledged the worries of the club and fan base.
“Listen. We know what everybody thinks. That’s fine,” said Kreis. “That’s absolutely fine because we also know what we think. We believe.”
Nine games remain to the regular season, and while most soccer pundits have Orlando City written off the playoff picture, there’s still enough time for the Lions to turn things around and climb up the standings, according to Giles Barnes.
“We don’t think we’re dead. The table is really close still. We believe that we’re cable of beating anyone on any day regardless of how many games are left. I think we just gotta take each game as they come,” said Barnes. “We just gotta keep on pressing for the three points, and if you can’t do that, don’t drop any points. We’re a hungry group, ambitious group.”
“The last month or so hasn’t gone well for us with results wise, but we feel the performance we’ve been playing like put together. It’s just about that finishing touch, and again today to come back from a goal down, just shows our character,” he added. “We’re here to win. We’re hungry. We’re here to give this support system what they deserve, which is for us to be in the playoffs at least.”
(Photo by Victor Tan / New Day Review)
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