New York Red Bulls midfielder Sean Davis expressed that Orlando City SC came into the game well prepared to defend their system.
Soccer analysts can now stop digging for answers; the mystery of how the 2018 MLS Eastern Conference’s worst team, Orlando City SC, defeated the New York Red Bulls, 1-0, on Saturday night.
Orlando knew the Red Bulls’ gameplan.
No, they didn’t send a spy to New York’s training facility. They watched the highlights of RBNY’s last game, a 4-1 win over San Jose Earthquakes.
The Jersey-based team scored all of their goals from crosses.
“If I’m Orlando, I look at the San Jose game and I see that we scored on four crosses and I thought that Orlando was very good in their low block, especially when we got the ball at wide,” midfielder Sean Davis said, per On The Record. “It seems like they were prepared for what we were throwing at them.”
There were two clear examples of how Orlando came into the game ready to beat the Red Bulls’ crossing game. One such instance came in the 92nd-minute when they had five players on the left wing. New York still managed to get in the box; Marc Rzatkowski sent a cross in but due to his opponents’ pressure, he directed his cross at keeper Brian Rowe’s reach.
Again in the 98th-minute, OC defender Robin Jansson sprinted at Kyle Duncan on the right flank as if his life depended on it.
All of the Red Bulls’ five MLS goals this season have come through crosses. Davis expressed how crucial it is for The Metros to have other scoring methods.
“It’s important for any great team to have a number of different weapons in the final third, an arsenal of an attack and so we’re just continuing to find our way early on in the season,” the 26-year-old said.
RBNY was also missing four key players, which made it harder to beat Orlando’s defense down the wings.
OC were winless in their first three games of the season yet they still managed to read and defeat the Supporters’ Shield champions’ tactic.
The Red Bulls’ next game is against the Eastern Conference’s 11th-placed team, the Chicago Fire (0-3L-1T), on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. ET away from home at SeatGeek Stadium.