The Houston Dynamo just halted a 10-game winless stretch and they are the squad in better shape heading into Saturday’s road match against Orlando City SC.
That’s because the Lions have just one victory over their past 19 matches as they limp to the finish of a highly disappointing campaign.
Orlando City (7-18-3, 24 points) isn’t mathematically eliminated from a playoff spot but the last place team in the Eastern Conferences is more focused on seeing some progress over its final six matches.
“I think the best analogy I can give is when you look at us as a club right now, we need to analyze where we are,” Lions coach James O’Connor told reporters. “We need to look at from a mentality standpoint, from a cultural standpoint, from a technical standpoint — there’s so many layers that go into creating a successful football club.
“We will create something really beautiful here. We know what we’re doing. We need to analyze, we need to process, and then we need to make decisions. There’s a lot that has gone on, but I can promise our supporters and I can promise everyone that we’re going to get things right here.”
Orlando City, which is 1-16-2 during its lengthy slump, lost 4-0 to the Chicago Fire on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Houston went 0-7-3 during its funk before producing an impressive 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers last Saturday.
The Dynamo (8-13-7, 31 points) also appear to be outsiders in the postseason race. Houston resides in ninth place in the Western Conference, 13 points behind the sixth-place Seattle Sounders with the Vancouver Whitecaps and Los Angeles Galaxy in between.
Making the Dynamo’s chances of making a late dash even more difficult is that four of the club’s last six matches are on the road. Houston is just 1-8-4 on enemy turf this season.
Still, Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera is optimistic after the team emerged from a two-week break with a strong performance.
“We’ve been working for two weeks to try to forget what’s been happening lately with our results,” Cabrera told reporters. “The players made a commitment to work harder, to push.”
Forwards Mauro Manotas (14) and Alberth Elis (11) have combined for 25 of Houston’s 47 goals. Manotas scored two goals against Portland and has three in the past two matches while Elis had scored in each of the past two matches.
Forward Dominic Dwyer leads Orlando City with 12 goals but has misfired on 10 shots over the past two matches as the Lions were blanked both times.
Orlando City continues to have troubles defensively as it has allowed a league-worst 66 goals.
—Field Level Media