Since the start of the 2018 Major League Soccer season many hard critiques have surrounded Orlando City due to the loss and a draw in the two home games against arguably the two weakest sides of the Eastern Conference, DC United and Minnesota United. However, one of the positive points for the Lions are Justin Meram’s capabilities and Cam Lindley’s adapting.
The rookie holding midfielder has shown a great adaptation to the MLS , fast-paced soccer. In fact, his game against Minnesota United has brought a lot of noise from different parts of the fan base and soccer media analyst.
First was Chris Mueller and his amazing performances in preseason. Now, the young defensive midfielder holds the attention.
Although in the opener game against DC United the first goal of the match came from a freekick conceded after a Lindley’s foul, his overall delivering was decent thanks to a good tactical positioning. His movement on the middle of the field allowed Yotún and Johnson to support Meram in the offensive and increased both El-Munir’s and Sutter’s projection on front due to his constant support on the sides and back.
Nonetheless, Lindley’s commitment facing DC United made possible to sustain an offensive play-style with one man down and just 45’ minutes on the clock. His outstanding physical shape allowed a continuous recovery of the ball and quick transitions from defense to offense.
On the other hand, more praise to Lindley’s performances would have been heard if a quick Minnesota’s counter-attack would not have decided the second match of the MLS regular season. Before this particular Orlando City’s defensive mistake, the rookie had made an almost-perfect display of holding and controlling the Lions’ own midfield.
However, there are many more games to come and time to forget this not-so-good start for Orlando City. So far now, it’s time to be cold-headed and keep working for the main objective of this incredible team: reaching playoff for the first time.