As poorly as Orlando City has played the past two months, the Lions are still a notch above defending MLS Cup champion Toronto FC heading into Saturday’s match between the two at Orlando City Stadium in Florida.
Orlando City (6-11-1, 19 points) has lost nine straight games dating back to May 13, tied for the fourth-longest losing streak in MLS history and the longest losing streak since Toronto dropped 12 in a row in 2012.
The current Toronto squad (4-10-4, 16) would love to add to the misery for Orlando, whose ninth-place position in the Eastern Conference is one ahead of the Reds’.
But Toronto has not fared well lately, either. A pair of draws, including 2-2 with Sporting Kansas City on July 7, have bookended three straight losses in its past five games.
Nonetheless, new Orlando City coach James O’Connor can’t worry about Toronto as he tries to change his team’s course in his second match since replacing fired Jason Kreis. Orlando City was beaten 4-1 by Los Angeles FC on July 7.
“They were the champions last year, so I’m sure there’s a lot of frustration on their camp as to what’s happening, but I’m not really too interested in what Toronto are doing or the run that they’re on,” O’Connor said of Toronto. “We need to focus and control what we can control.”
Toronto may be getting some attacking players back soon. Midfielder Victor Vazquez (knee) might be available after missing the past three games. He has five goals and six assists in 11 games.
“He is making progress,” TFC coach Greg Vanney said on Wednesday. “The key was to get the swelling out, so he had full range of motion and pain free.”
Also, U.S. forward Jozy Altidore, out since March 30 (foot), is getting close to a return for Toronto.
—Field Level Media