Dom Dwyer’s return to Orlando City hasn’t kicked off to a great start.
Marked by a series of setbacks since coming back to Orlando last month, Dwyer made his debut at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, but it was the status quo for the Englishmen and his strike partner Cyle Larin after a frustrating 1-1 draw against the Columbus Crew.
“Of course, my couple of weeks haven’t been ideal. I have been in and out, and the nose pushed me back a little bit,” Dwyer said on playing with Larin up top. “We got a little bit of time tonight. We are working and building on it. Like I said before, he is a very good player. I think we can do good things together.”
Dwyer’s recent setback: a nose injury suffered during a road game against Atlanta United on July 29 resulted into the forward getting surgery. That followed by leaving the club days after joining to take part of the MLS All-Star game on Aug. 2.
The following fixture with the Lions saw Dwyer play 73 minutes during a 2-1 loss against the Montreal Impact at Stade Saputo on Aug. 5. That again followed by missing the New York Red Bulls road game on Aug. 12 to recover from his required nose surgery.
On Saturday, there was a masked man, but even that prevented Dwyer from scoring his first Orlando City MLS goal.
“It wasn’t the best. It is what it is. It’s protection, and I will try to talk to the doctors next week and make some little adjustments,” Dwyer said on the face mask.
Dwyer has yet to play a full 90 minutes for the Lions. And for a club desperately looking to regain its winning way from earlier this season, it’s frustrating to a certain degree, says Orlando City head coach Jason Kreis.
“It is frustrating but to a certain degree, because again, we got Dom to help this team now but he’s a long-term solution as well,” said Kreis. “I thought he brought some fantastic energy tonight, took two really good strikes that the goalkeeper made good saves on. You can see when he brings that kind of energy that it can really help our group. But again, I think now he has trained with the team three times, maybe, so there’s still a level of understanding that needs to come.”
Despite a rough start to his second stint with the Lions, his teammates rallied behind him after Saturday’s game insisting injuries and other setbacks are part of the game.
“You can’t say that, in football there’s always injuries, suspensions, those kinds of things. Things that you can’t control, but it’s great to have him back in the group,” said teammate Giles Barnes. “Everyone knows what he’s capable of, but I think that our strikers [on Saturday] played fantastic as well.”
(Photo Courtesy of Orlando City)
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