MLS: What to expect for the Orlando City Soccer Club Lions
During this offseason, Orlando City Soccer Club Lions made numerous amounts of trades, free agent pickups, and draft picks. The Lions made these moves to bulk up their team for the upcoming MLS season. With that being said, there are some expectations set by the fans, front office, and players themselves, for this upcoming season. With some of the expectations being blatantly obvious, others are just as important to help in achieving all the goals together.
The first expectation obviously is making the playoffs. The Lions have had a tough first three seasons. They have not reached the playoffs at all since becoming an expansion team in the MLS. This is definitely a top priority for everyone. Considering first-year expansion team Atlanta United, made the playoffs in the first year, and last year New York City FC made the playoffs as well. Orlando’s biggest issue the previous years was not having enough depth in certain areas. However, with the recent acquisitions and building the team for the future, the Lions look like they can make a run all season long for the playoffs.
The second expectation for the Orlando City Soccer Club is to stay healthy all season. While this is something that is uncontrollable by the players and staff, both can help control this by different variables. Players can stay healthy by making sure they are maintaining a healthy diet, stretching as much as possible, and attending all practices and warm-ups, to make sure the body is ready to go on game day. Coaches and staff can assist by making sure if the game is becoming lopsided or if a player is noticeably fatigued/injured to take him out and exercise the depth of each position. Health issues have caused the Lions to miss the playoffs numerous times. Now with enough depth and younger players, the Lions should be able to stay healthy all year-long with a steady rotation.
Winning the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is a huge expectation and would benefit the Lions throughout the rest of the season. The Lions have only made it a few rounds into the U.S. Open Cup tournament, but the lack of depth was always the issue. The Lions need to do everything that they can to win the U.S. Open Cup Tournament and succeed throughout the season. Especially with the major offseason changes that happened during the break.
These expectations are set for The Orlando City Soccer Club. All fans want to see these expectations met because that would ultimately result in winning the MLS Supporters Shield. Also, it means becoming one of the best teams in the MLS. What are your expectations for the team, and how do you think the Lions will do this year?