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Orlando City are running out of steam.
Once of the more exciting teams in MLS’ Eastern Conference, Orlando have lost a serious amount of energy since the early days of the 2021 regular season.
They’re currently in the middle of a four-game losing streak, their defense has been porous, and up top, they’ve had issues with finding the back of the net.
In short: Orlando are a mess.
Up against a Nashville SC side that have been a solid week in and week out, Orlando will expectedly face some problems.
Following a fairly average MLS debut season in 2020, Nashville been able to absolutely turn things around as one of the top teams within the league this year.
With only three losses in their first 26 games of 2021, Nashville are currently sitting comfortably at 2nd in the Eastern Conference table.
They aren’t just scraping by with draws either. Nashville have four wins in their last six matches and have only allowed three goals during that run.
There’s a lot to like about what manager Gary Smith is building, and up against an Orlando roster that are struggling, three more points should be within reach for Nashville.
Logically, we need to get results and add points, and we have to look at the situation which is nothing comfortable.
Said manager Oscar Pareja after Orlando’s latest defeat. The defeat, which was a 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution, marked the fourth time in a row in which Orlando have lost this month.
Defensively, Pareja hasn’t been able to patch up the backline that has allowed 14 goals in just five games.
Orlando is sinking quickly, and when looking at what Nashville have accomplished, it’s difficult to assume that the away side will be able to keep up on Wednesday.
In comparison to the 14 goals that Orlando have allowed in their last five, Nashville have only allowed a meager total of three during that same timeframe.
This isn’t just something that has happened in the last month or so either.
No team in the Eastern Conference have allowed fewer goals this season (so far) than Nashville.
Through a style of play that excels in aerial battles, defending set pieces, and also relies on consistent starters, Nashville have thrived this year.
Nashville are close to hitting their peak, and as for their opponents, Orlando will be heading into the midweek battle with far too many questions about their marquee attackers.
It’s not exactly a positive sign when your best player suddenly begins to have problems with creating goals or assists.
Nani has been a bit off in recent weeks, and in his last six appearances for Orlando, the Portuguese winger has zero goals and just one assist.
In support, Tesho Akindele has also been lacking some good performances.
After a thrilling start to the season, Akindele now has just one assist and zero goals in his last 16 appearances.
This is worrisome for Pareja and Orlando.
Looking elsewhere in his roster, there are no guarantees that hit or miss names like Benji Michel, Chris Mueller, or Daryl Dike will step up if needed.
|Nashville SC vs Orlando City Information|
|Teams||Nashville SC vs Orlando City|
|Location||Nissan Stadium (Nashville, Tennessee)|
|Time||Wednesday, September 29th at 5:30 pm PT/8:30 pm ET|
|How to Watch||ESPN+|
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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