The Morning Roar: A day of hope
It's a huge day for Orlando City with Don Garber & the final group day of the #DisneyPSCWe’ve been talking about for a month, and now the day has finally come. MLS Commissioner Don Garber is here in Orlando! Following a day packed full of meetings with Orlando City ownership and Central Florida leaders, Commissioner Garber will meet with Orlando City fans in a town hall setting at Mojo Bar & Grill. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. with the event starting at 12:30 p.m. Let’s be sure to pack the place and show MLS how the City Beautiful supports the Beautiful Game!
As important as the commissioner’s visit is, it isn’t the only thing on Orlando City’s agenda. Today marks the end of group play in the Disney Pro Soccer Classic. While the cards are stacked against the Lions, there’s still hope for Orlando City to play in Saturday’s Third Place Game.
Here’s what needs to happen:
FC Dallas wins over Toronto FC in the 6 pm game
Orlando City wins over BK Hacken
Orlando closes the seven goal gap in overall Goal Differential
The first two items are relatively simple. I have nothing but confidence in our boys’ ability to defeat Hacken as they are definitely not the same team that beat us 3-2 last year. Still, in this case winning isn’t enough. Where things get tricky is that all-important Goal Differential stat.
Right now we sit at minus-4, with Toronto sitting at plus-2. While the gap is technically six, it’s actually seven. If City and Dallas each win 3-0 tonight, the Goal Differential will be tied at minus-1. The next tie-breaker is Goals Scored. The two 3-0 score lines would leave City and TFC tied at five goals apiece. The next tie-breaker would be Goals Allowed, where we would also be tied, this time at six. Head-to-head is a wash as Saturday’s match was a 2-2 draw. The World Cup scenarios indicate the next step is a drawing of lots, essentially a coin flip.
Now you can see why the gap is really seven goals. That seventh goal, meaning a 4-0 victory over BK Hacken, changes everything. Orlando’s Goal Differential would rise to 0, and give us the tiebreaker.
Still, at this point you’re probably wondering how TFC could lose to Dallas 3-0 with a spot in Saturday’s final on the line. Toronto has a Champions League match in Toronto on March 7 against the LA Galaxy. They’ve already indicated they are pulling nearly all of their first-team players to Toronto after tonight’s match. I’d be surprised to see many of their starters play more than 45 minutes, if they play at all.
In the end, all this means is there’s still hope. The chances are slim, but those are the kind of odds we like. In the 2009 Confederations Cup, the US faced a similar scenario, needing to win 3-0 over Egypt combined with a 3-0 Brazil over Italy result. That worked out pretty well for the Americans. No reason to think we can’t do the same tonight.
I’ll see you all at Mojo at 12:30 today, and then at Disney at 8 pm. Let’s make today the biggest day in Orlando City history since September 3, 2011- the day Orlando City won the 2011 USL PRO Championship!