There is little attacking cohesion among the preferred front three of Nani, Daryl Dike and Chris Mueller. Those three guys actually combined to create the Orlando goal, but that was very much the exception to the rule, and has been. Both wingers are always flaring wide and demanding the ball rather than getting into the box on a secondary or tertiary, potentially goal-scoring run.
So that leaves it up to either the No. 10, Mauricio Pereyra, or the No. 8, Junior Urso, to get into the box and attack the space that Dike creates with his gravity. Those guys have combined for just five goals all season, so it’s not going great.
Of course, Nashville are good at tracking those types of runs and preventing teams from getting possession in spots to feed those types of runs in the first place. They have played some very good soccer this year – there is a reason they’re third in the East and have lost just four times – but “wear ‘em out and wait ‘em out without the ball” is still very much a part of who they are, especially when on the road.
That road odyssey has taken its toll, though, as they’ve gone just 1-1-6 since mid-September and, as mentioned, they’re not playing their best soccer right now. They finish with a home game against the Red Bulls next weekend, with playoff seeding (Nashville could climb as high as second or drop as low as fifth depending upon how things go this week) on the line.
It’s much dicier for Orlando. They’ve got just one game left, at Montréal, and there’s a pretty decent chance the Lions will need to take a result out of that game to get into the postseason.