Orlando City hosts the Chicago Fire on Saturday seeking to end a two-game losing streak that was preceded by a franchise-record six straight wins.
The up-and-down stretch isn’t a cause for concern in the mind of Orlando coach Jason Kreis. In fact, he remains bullish on his 6-4-1 club.
“It’s odd, because we’ve lost two games in a row, which makes us all very sick to the stomach,” he said, “but I do feel like we’re heading in a very positive direction. If we can marry a performance with the result, I think we can go on another tear like we did a few weeks back.”
Orlando midfielder Will Johnson said it’s the brief moments in matches when the team loses concentration that has been costing the Lions points.
“Right now, we’re middle-of-the-pack, winning some games, losing some games,” he said. “To get to that next level, we gotta earn that respect and that comes through executing defensive plays and getting more shutouts.”
Chicago (3-6-2) is going through a rough patch as well. The Fire appeared headed on the right course when they took four of a possible six points in consecutive road matches.
Unfortunately for them, that has been followed by one win in four matches, including a 3-2 defeat to the visiting Houston Dynamo on Sunday for a second straight loss.
“The last week wasn’t good for us but we have to know the team is still growing, getting more together as a unit every game and getting better,” Fire coach Veljko Paunovic.
He talked this week of needing to regain confidence.
That isn’t a problem for Orlando.
“We’re not going to let two games decide our season,” Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik said. “We’re going for three points and we’re going for them at home.”
—Field Level Media