Orlando City

Not dwelling on tough stretch, Orlando City focused on 'bringing the energy back'

KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The effects of a two-game losing streak weren’t visible among Orlando City players as they filtered in for training on Thursday morning at Orlando Health Training Ground at Osceola Heritage Park.

Midfielders Dagur Dan Thórhallsson and Gastón González were teaching each other Spanish and English as they walked out, and forward Duncan McGuire remarked about the heat while the rest of the team got to work in warmups.

With just one day of training in between coming back from Charlotte and leaving for Saturday's match at Columbus (7:30 p.m. | TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV), head coach Oscar Pareja has put importance on the team's recovery and making sure it has the energy for their game over the weekend.

"Trying to recover from our games is the most important objective," he said. "Trying to get our legs back, trying to level the guys that don't have much minutes in the prior game. All those things are part of the routine obviously in terms of the training in the field, so obviously bringing the energy back is the objective."

The quick turnaround from Tuesday to Saturday has also been helpful for the players and staff to be able to move past the last two results and not ruminate on them for a longer period of time.

"It's not much thinking of what just happened," Pareja said. "There's a lot of games coming as well in short time and our our character is intact. We have to be there and the boys are ready. It's just getting these games, and this gives you a change of energy very quick."

Orlando coach Oscar Pareja has put importance on the team's recovery and making sure it has the energy for Saturday's meeting with Columbus.

As the Lions now head to Columbus, Pareja has been working to prep his team for the different style that the Crew employ and the aggressive play that they should be expecting. 

"It's a model that play with a defensive three and very aggressive wingbacks with three attacking players that have very technical characteristics and a lot of mobility," Pareja said, "A team who, at home, is very bold on just going forward, put a lot of guys in the box and had a lot of problems defensively, but they score goals.

"It's a game that needs a lot of concentration from us but a lot of ambition. We need to go there with the mentality of 'go win it.' It's a game against a tough, very aggressive rival, but we're good. They need to be worried about us too."

Odds and ends

  • Captain Mauricio Pereyra was back at training, working off to the side to start the session. Pareja said that the team has not ruled him out for Saturday's match and will determine on Friday what his status for the match will be.
  • Homegrown Thomas Williams has been called in as an alternate for the U.S. Youth Men's National Team's under-20 squad as it prepares for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina. Pareja said it was good for him to be involved in the team and that he will continue to grow as a player with this experience.
  • Another quick turnaround is ahead of the Lions as they play a midweek match against NYCFC next Wednesday at Exploria Stadium. Click here to get your tickets now.

Don't miss Kickoff -60, airing one hour before Orlando City's match against Columbus, exclusively on the LionNation App. Join host Gabrielle Amado and Orlando City’s English-language radio talents Evan Weston and Paul Shaw as they break down the upcoming match, with special guests appearing regularly throughout the season.

Fans can download the LionNation App at the link here.