It was a frustrating night for Morris. He missed a point-blank shot just before the half that he headed almost straight down into the turf. Then he pulled up lame on a non-contact injury that looked to be yet another hamstring injury. The injury doesn’t appear to be too serious; he’ll have a MRI later this week and Coach Brian Schmetzer said it was a strain, as opposed to the pull he suffered in LA that put him on the shelf for the latter part of the 2017 season.
A delay that results in 8+ minutes of extra time, five of which seemed to be the head ref conversing with the folks in the booth to determine if a foul had been committed in the lead-up to Handwalla Bwana’s goal. Schmetzer was diplomatic after the game, noting he didn’t want to put more pressure on the referees. Still, why did it take nearly five minutes to decide whether the referee on the field should go to the booth to look at the play?
Orlando’s travel schedule
Sounders fans like to complain about about the miles the team racks up, but Orlando won’t be feeling too sorry for anyone. They played in Orlando last Sunday, then flew cross-country for the game tonight, and return home to host Cincinnati this weekend.
Delem had an incredible game, possibly his best yet. After the game, Schmetzer specifically called out his performance, noting some subtle improvements in his game thanks to his work with Gonzalo Pineda. He won most of his headers, broke up numerous passes and started some counter attacks. He had one iffy challenge, but aside from that it’s hard to say he put a foot wrong all game.
After a couple of matches where he struggled to make an impact (or didn’t play), Bwana came on the field and immediately made life difficult for Orlando with his passing and direct play. He still lost possession a few times, but those were deep in Orlando’s end and thus didn’t cause any major issues. He rewarded Schmetzer’s decision to play him with the winning goal, and a heck of a celebration. With Morris likely to miss a game or two, Bwana will likely earn some additional minutes and get the chance to continue making a positive impression.
With Chad Marshall’s status up in the air, Torres was again called upon to fill in and did more than an admirable job. He cleaned up a number of messes and was instrumental closing out the game. Some of his passes caused a bit a heartburn, but overall he continues his return to form. Given the limited depth at the position right now, it’ll be interesting to see if he gets the call again this weekend.
Every time he gets on the field, Mueller makes something happen. The second-year player had one great chance that he skied over the bar, moments before he cut through the Sounders defense to score the goal to close the deficit to one. One wonders why Orlando coach James O’Connor won’t start him.