Editorial (August 18, 2018) – Orlando City Soccer Club is currently tied for last place in the MLS Eastern Conference, after winning just two games since May 6. They lead the league in losses and goals against and have thrown away probably their best start to an MLS season.
With 6 straight wins early on, Orlando City was in great position to make their first playoff appearance since joining the league. Things quickly fell apart when they lost an amazing 9 straight games through the summer and still have not recovered. While things are looking bleak, here are a few positives to take away from this season that needs to end immediately.
Three Positives for Orlando City Soccer Club
There are a few silver linings for Orlando City, during this disaster of a season.
#1 – Yoshimar Yotun
The Peruvian international came over to MLS in August of 2017 and has featured prominently since. Even with a shortened season because of the World Cup, Yotun has racked up 3 goals and 6 assists. Playing as either a left back or midfielder, he earned his ticket to Russia this summer with Peru and featured in each of their 3 group games.
Peru was definitely one of the teams to watch and to see them go out early was disappointing. He didn’t really miss much either, as Orlando City were on their 9 game losing streak after he departed for international duty. Not to say Orlando wouldn’t have lost if Yotun was available…but you never know.
#2 – Chris Mueller
The 6th pick of the 2018 MLS Super Draft, Mueller started off the season on a tear. The attacking midfielder scored in three straight games in April, as well picking up 4 assists this season. He is a bright player and should play a big part in the team’s rebuild for next year. He also picked up the fastest goal in the club’s history when he scored in just 63 seconds against San Jose Earthquakes. Mueller is going to turn just 22 at the end of August and should only get better and add to his game.
#3 – Dom Dwyer
Since returning to Orlando City, Dom Dwyer has enjoyed a healthy amount of success. So much so, that he earned his first international appearance for the United States in 2017 during a friendly against Ghana in preparation for the CONCACAF Gold Cup that summer. Dwyer went on to score against Ghana, as well as Panama during the opening game. Dom Dwyer was replaced after the group stages -for reasons that still keep me up at night- and has only appeared for the United States twice since.
Regular Season Goals Scored By Americans (2014-2018)
1. Christian Ramirez — 74
2. Dom Dwyer — 71
3. Chris Wondolowski — 61
4. Chandler Hoffman — 57
5. Jozy Altidore — 48
6. Gyasi Zardes — 47
7. CJ Sapong — 37
8. George Davis IV — 37
9. Matt Fondy — 35
10. Chris Cortez — 34
— Alex Schieferdecker (@alexschief) August 16, 2018
Orlando City saw Dwyer’s value and signed him to a contract extension back in January of this year, locking him in for the foreseeable future.
NEWS: Orlando City SC Signs Forward Dom Dwyer To Three-Year Contract. #VamosOrlando
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) January 3, 2018
As far as this season, Dwyer has appeared in only 17 games but has scored 11 goals. His goals rank tied for 5th in the league and put him in elite territory. Superstars Josef Martinez (Atlanta), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy), and Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls) sit ahead of Dwyer but have also featured in more games. Something else to consider is that Orlando City does not have Dom Dwyer taking their penalties. The rest of the top scorers in the MLS take penalties for their respective teams, giving more opportunities for them to add to their tallies.