Change is coming - New Lions are coming on loan
Adrian Heath looks to bolster the squad this weekOrlando City experienced something this past week that hasn’t ever happened before. The team lost two competitive (non-preseason) games in a row. The loss to Sporting Kansas City in the Open Cup, combined with Saturday’s first regular season loss in Wilmington, have exposed some cracks in the Orlando City armor. Now it’s time to repair them.
“I’m disappointed with the result in Wilmington,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I thought the five games in 12 days showed. We learned a few lessons about the squad from the Kansas City game, and that was furthered by Saturday’s loss.”
The time for change has come to Orlando City. The Lions will welcome new players on loan beginning this week.
“From my point of view, it was pretty apparent that we needed a couple more bodies to bolster the squad,” said Heath. “We need a few more bodies to help deal with the injuries. When you play a bunch of games in a short period of time - we’ve got four away games in just over a week coming around the corner - injuries are going to happen.”
The injury bug is something that for the most part stayed away last season. This season, the Lions haven’t been so lucky. Rob Valentino, last year’s Iron Man, has missed a few games, and has left others early due to a problematic hamstring. Moreso, Dennis Chin, viewed in the preseason as a super-sub, is now the only available forward.
“With Matt Luzunaris not starting, first due to his hernia and now because of an illness, and Max Griffin having hamstring issues, I think the group needs some help,” said Heath. “We’ve already confirmed one, and I’m looking for a few others.”
Having players in on loan will also offset some losses the City will be experiencing in the coming weeks. Anthony Pulis will miss this week’s match as he is getting married. James O’Connor will miss the June 22 match against Harrisburg as he’ll be in Europe finalizing his UEFA Pro coaching license.
Missing players are not the only concern Heath has. The team’s form has been on a decline of late, with the draw against LA at home on May 24 and the loss to Wilmington on Saturday. New players on loan should help reinvigorate the squad.
“The form of one or two players is concerning me,” said Heath. “I’m really not happy with one or two of the players’ performances. We’re bringing in players to put some pressure on the guys, but also to help offset the amount of games that are coming up. Bringing in extra bodies is good for the squad all around.”