This has been a very underwhelming start to the season for Orlando City, to say the least. Fans and even MLS observers expected a much better performance from the Lions this season, particularly after a good preseason.
However, three games into the season it seems as though the team is already in a crisis of confidence with most of the star performers of preseason failing to shine when needed the most.
Before the situation gets worse, coach Kreis has to make some tactical changes from what we have come to see so far.
Last season the Lions played in an almost predictable 4-4-2 formation, however, with several departures in the offseason, it was expected that coach Kreis would make some switches to fit the new set of players he has signed.
In the first game of the season against DC United, the Lions did not really perform at the level we would have wanted, but they ended the game with a share of the spoils, that is the only point they have collected so far.
In that match coach, Kreis deployed a 4-4-2 Diamond formation, with Cam Lindley shielding the defense and Yoshimar Yotun at the tip of the diamond. In the next two games, 4-3-1-2 has been coach Kreis preferred formation.
Here are three tactical switches that could help the Lions get their first win of the season.
1. Play Justin Meram on the left of the attack
Justin Meram has been played up top with Chris Mueller for most of the Lions games so far, but Meram played predominantly on the left of attack in the 2017 season for Columbus Crew scoring 14 times and providing 6 assists, taking him back there could kick-start his season and the Lions’.
2. Play with a front three
Much of the Lions goals conceded have been because the team is exposed to attacks from other their opponents, I believe a front three would occupy the opposition and give them limited chance to attack the Lions as they would be under pressure for much of the game.
3. Experiment with other formations in-game
When your opponents know much about your preferred formation and style of play, you become easy for them to break down. Coach Kreis should lead the Lions to practice other formations that they can switch to in games when they are struggling to make a breakthrough, this way they would become less predictable and more proactive.