It’s been a tough month for Orlando City. After reeling off a club record 6 game win streak, the team has not picked up a decision in their last 5 league matches. Head coach Jason Kreis is looking for more from his team as they head to Montreal for a mid-week matchup.
“You can’t play 90 percent well. I’ve been saying for five games in a row,” said Kreis following the loss in Vancouver. “I have been saying you can’t play 90 percent well. The problem with that line of thinking is it makes you forget about the 10 percent, that is the difference right now. We start the game dictating things, then we give the ball away one time, and they go right down the field to score on their first chance. It’s too many times that we’re making critical mistakes at critical moments, too many decisions are going against us. We need to focus on that 10 percent.”
Kreis is looking to key players on his team to bring that extra effort.
“We need players to step forward. We need players to say enough is enough. I think that we are going to have to talk to individual players about their performance. We have to expect more, and we have to demand more. Again, it’s not to say everything is bad, because it’s not. There are a lot of positive things, but at the end of the day, we need that 10 percent.”
Perhaps Dom Dwyer may be able to shoulder some of that load. The striker returned from injury on Saturday, entering the game in the 64th minute. The Lion’s scored two goals after Dwyer entered the match, adding one himself in the 94th minute.
Dwyer was a key component to Orlando City’s win streak early in the season. During the 6 -game run Dwyer found the back of the net 6 times. The Lions average 2.38 goals-per-game with Dwyer in the lineup or coming off the bench this season and only .66 goals-per-game when he isn’t available.
With veterans like Dwyer, Spector, Kljestan and others in the locker room, the mindset is positive and set on getting the team in the right direction.
“All the guys are willing to give good advice, especially during times like this,” said rookie Chris Mueller. “We are just trying to keep a strong mentality. We have to continue believing. We know we have the right guys in the locker room and what our principles are, things are going to turn around for sure.”
The Lions will have a chance to turn things around this Wednesday when they take on the Montreal Impact on the road.