After Orlando City’s final home MLS match on Sunday, Head Coach Jason Kreis sat in front of the media and talked about the Sunday’s match against the Union, the final MLS bout of the season. After the FC Dallas game earlier in the month, Kreis has made sure to nailed home the point that he wants to see what his players will do over the final few games. His statements on Sunday did not change that fact.
“I think I said earlier this week that often times when you’re in a game where you know the result is gone, you’re looking around at the players to see who’s got life,” Kreis said, “Who’s willing to fight and once they know the scoreline is gone? And tonight, being our first game where we knew mathematically we were done and out of the playoffs, that’s what we were looking for. And we’ll continue to look through the week of training, through next week’s match against Philadelphia and then we’ll have a week to prepare for Puerto Rico so still lots of opportunities for players to show us they want to be here next year.”
Since day one of the season, Kreis has said that him and his staff are constantly evaluating players throughout the year and reading how they react in different in-game situations. Now, as his side prepares to play the final MLS game of the season, Kreis will look to his players to step up and prove themselves.
“I think it’s time for other players to now step up and take bigger leadership roles, be willing to take more responsibility for how we do, and I think it’s time for us to improve this team using the resources that will be available. It’s time to take a big step forward. I think ultimately, at the end of the day, can I say that this club has been close? Absolutely. And I think this year we’re close again. There’s so many games that we were so close to. If things had gone a little bit better for us I think we’d be in a much different situation right now. But close can’t be good enough. So we need to take a big, big step forward this offseason.”
The Lions play in Philadelphia against the Union on Sunday October 21st at 4:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast on TV27 and on MLS Live.