Orlando City

'We are in the right direction': Orlando City turns corner in dominant rout of Red Bulls


A week ago, following the Lions' draw with Atlanta United, head coach Oscar Pareja talked at length about his team being unable to find a full 90-minute performance so far this season.

Days later in New Jersey, Orlando City found just that. A performance that ticked off all the boxes: clean sheet, multiple goals scored, points on the road and, most importantly, a win.

“We had a very complete game tonight," Pareja said following the match. "We scored goals and kept their goals at zero. New York is a team that never gave up, and we maintained our discipline, we did not relax. All the time we were obviously trying to dominate, but the opposition was high all the time. Going away and scoring three goals and having these three points with a solid performance is very encouraging.

"There are a lot of things that you may think we need to get better at, but as we have said before, we are in the right direction."

Performances from the Lions started trending upward right after they were knocked out of the U.S. Open Cup by Charlotte. It almost acted like a wake-up call for the squad, since they have not lost a match since then.

Over the course of the last five matches, Orlando have come back from a two-goal deficit to draw, conceded late in two home matches to draw and won away in Fort Lauderdale and now New Jersey.

"I think the game against Atlanta we were playing really, really well and the only thing we were missing was finishing off the attack at times," forward Facundo Torres said. "I think the way the team flowed and worked in the last couple of games, I think tonight was the best in our last stretch of games. We can probably say it was our best because we were able to get the three points.”

One of the biggest contributing factors in the latest performances has been the consistency in the starting lineups. A lot has been made over the building of the team chemistry and how it's taken a bit longer than anticipated. Over the last few weeks, the growth in the relationships on the field have started to bear fruit and bloom into cohesive and fluid football.

Saturday's key talisman for the two goals in open play was forward Iván Angulo, who notched a tally on the scoreboard to open the scoring and an assist to Facundo Torres to seal the game in the second half.

"I'm so glad for him, especially seeing him scoring," Pareja said. "It's incredible the amount of energy that he spends during the game, working defensively, providing us control of the sequences or being collected for the game. But he knows, Facu as well, that they need to score goals and these characteristics of Iván to use those spaces that we open when we create connections in the middle, he knows how to do it and today was important that he opened again that way with his first goal."

With the Lions now unbeaten in five and the team continuing to improve, it looks like the team has finally turned a corner in the season.