It’s... uh... I guess it’s Rivalry Week?
Can’t argue with that; as soon as a Twitter poll exceeds 118 votes, it becomes science.
So! MLS is forcing the issue in pushing this pairing of the league’s two newest teams as some kind of uniquely heated tilt. Nah, this is more like cheap heat.
Even the ice-cold Jason Kreis can’t cool that down.
Try as he might.
“I have no particular love for their club or no particular fantastic remembrance for it,” the Orlando City gaffer told FourFourTwo this week.
“I took a lot of the responsibility for the failures of the [2015 NYCFC] team coming together as quickly as we all had wanted to,” he continued. “But it seemed like I was certainly the only one. I did feel I was a little bit on an island.”
I’ve long maintained that Jason Kreis always looks like he just saw a ghost. His particular lugubriousness at the helm of New York City FC nailed that down over the course of last year’s campaign, and how. It’s all of a piece that says Kreis doesn’t appear to be capable of having fun anymore.
Tonight at Camping World Stadium, that’s not going to change.
New York City FC are undefeated in their last four; the Lions of Orlando are winless in theirs. The Blues have reached a baseline of consistency at the back and boast a murderer’s row of attacking options up front; the Floridians don’t stand on terra firma defensively, and have been stuck on the wrong side of the red line in the Eastern Conference standings for most of the year, despite top-line performances from Cyle Larin (13 goals) and Kevin Molino (9).
And it doesn’t help that the Lions are playing on short rest, having just dropped a result against Toronto Wednesday night.
Sounds like the perfect moment for NYCFC to kick ‘em while they’re down.
“I think every time we play [Orlando City], we play some really good football, but we give too many chances away,” City manager Patrick Vieira said during training this week. “We will expect a lot of pressure from them, and we will have to deal with it.”