Orlando City

Orlando City look to build on latest results in matchup with Colorado

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — As the Lions gathered for training this Tuesday, the players gathered on the field, listening to head coach Oscar Pareja set the mood for the day.

It's a similar scene for almost every training session over the last three years that he has been in charge. In fact, one of the key's to the turnaround for Orlando City over the last five matches has been rooted in those principles of consistency.

After only recording three wins in a span of 12 games, the Lions now find themselves unbeaten in their last five and coming off a statement 3-0 win over the New York Red Bulls this past weekend.

Now, Orlando turn their attention to their next match at home, a place they have struggled to find that aforementioned consistency this season. (7:30 p.m. kickoff | TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV - free match).

"It's not secret, we haven't been great at home," said Pareja. "That's been a difference which has us fighting midtable. We're responsible and aware and what we have to do is to continue to try. We know have a good record on the road but we also have to be competitive at home."

Pride in our City

Pride in our City

Orlando City is set celebrate those in the vibrant and strong LGBTQ+ community of Orlando, recognizing the seven-year remembrance of the 49 Angels of the Pulse shooting.

Despite the struggles at home, the Lions have continued to grow and build on recent performances. 

On the sidelines, Pareja has seen his team become more confident in every aspect of the game, and with confidence comes success.

"I think we have found some rhythm in the way we create sequences," he said. "I think we are more confident now in the box, obviously the boys are finding the way to score goals. That was what we missed on the first part that we create and we were playing okay games, but we were not putting the goal in the back of the net. So that obviously creates a different environment once you find it, so we're good but we're not overconfident at all. We know that it's a lot of work to do still."

On the pitch, Lions defender Robin Jansson has seen the team's consistency in training start to flow into games incrementally throughout the season, but now with the team having found a consistent lineup, it's become a better mesh with the players on the field.

"You get to know each other, the more you play with each other and games are where you are getting to know your teammates the best and also in the training too," said Jansson. "Consistency is very important and then of course it's a lot of games, we always need to do change the squad here on there because of injuries or whatever happens to get through the season. So I think on that part we need to step up as a team to be better when we're changing around the squad."

The Lions look to keep that consistency going as they take on a Western Conference team in the Colorado Rapids, who currently sit 13th in the standings. 

“Colorado are a team that are finding their way," Pareja said. "We know the [Head] Coach [Robin Fraser], and they have good players. We have to be very cautious about thinking that it is going to be an easy [match]. Colorado is good and have very good players. They have been playing well, regardless of their scoring. We are respecting the rival, trying to get better, and not thinking that we are already there. We're not, we're far from it. We need to keep going and if we keep this consistency of performing well, we are closer to getting better results.”

Colorado, who has not won since May 6, played to a scoreless draw last weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes.

"They're gonna come into try and leave the position that they're in right now," Lions goalkeeper Pedro Gallese said. "They're going to try and come in and take points from us in our home. We know that they're going to come in strong, but we have to do the same and we've got to continue the form that we've had during this run that we're on right now."

Odds and ends

  • Forward Gastón González is "getting better and better" according to Pareja, who also said he is close to getting back to training with the group. 
  • Defender Luca Petrasso is "ready to go" after missing the last month and a half due to injury, according to Pareja. He remains listed as questionable heading into this one. 
  • Defender Mikey Halliday is back from his stint with the United States Under-20 National Team at the U-20 World Cup, after the team was knocked out in the quarterfinals. Pareja said the team would give him a few days to rest before integrating him back with the team.

Don't miss Kickoff -60, airing one hour before Orlando City's match against New York, 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.

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