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Orlando City vs New York Red Bulls: What should be the Lions’ formation?

March 27, 2018

 

4th game of the Lions in this 2018 Major League Soccer season, where they will play at home against one of the sides with one of the best frontline in the MLS. New York Red Bulls, a CONCACAF’s Champions’ League competitor who is  already in the semifinals of the tournament.

 

So far now Orlando City has not fully convinced the purple crowd as they only have lost or draw in the first three matches. However, as OrlandoLionsDen reported, there are different solutions to achieve the very first win this regular season, being rotation and well-done formations one of the key aspects.

 

Based on this, we are going to briefly analyze three possible line-ups capable of resisting Red Bull’s powerful attack and piercing their compact defense:

 

*All the formations have Bendik as the goalkeeper.

 

4-2-3-1

 

Very balanced formation with diverse options for both attack and defense.

 

A unique target man accompanied by an always-needed creative midfielder or number “10”, alongside a right and a left midfielder which both would translate to wingers on the attack and support for the fullbacks on the defense.

 

In this particular formation the right and left midfielders play a very important role as their physical shape must be at a high level to resist the continuous runs to the opposite field and Orlando City’s own pitch.

 

The CAM would orchestrate the vertical offensive play while the midfielders in both sides are positioned open-wide to “open” the rival’s defense. The target man would play as usual: positioning himself inside the box to score every chance he has on his feet. On the other hand, the two holding midfielders would support the build-ups and the circulation of the ball, being part of the offensive structure.

 

Players for the formation:

 

-----------------Mueller

------Meram---Kljestan---Colmán

-------------Yotún----Rosell

---El-Munir---Sané---Tarek---Sutter

 

Josué Colmán is added to the line-up since the Paraguayan is already 100% ready to play according to the own player. In addition, Sané and Mueller would play as Spector and Dwyer have problems with injuries. However, in case Rosell is not still fit for playtime, Johnson could be in that spot.

 

4-4-2

 

Conservative formation which provides solidity on defense and structural order.

 

Four compact midfielders to populate the field and two forwards which would receive long passes from the back.

 

With this scheme Orlando City would be stronger on the backline and a tougher side to beat. However, with the potential control of the midfield, the Lions can dominate the ball and dictate the timing of the match.

 

Corners, free-kicks and long balls would be another extremely important aspect to improve in case the whole pitch is in continuous dispute.

 

Players for the formation:

 

-------------Mueller---Meram

---------Kljestan------Higuita/Rocha

---------------Yotún—Rosell

 ---El-Munir---Sané---Tarek---Sutter

 

Higuita or Rocha would replace Colmán as their height and physical strength would be more helpful with the continuous and rough contact this particular position requires. Moreover, Higuita/Rocha’s height would increase Orlando City’s aerial capacities over Colman's.

 

 4-3-3

 

A more offensive line-up which would be established to be continuously on the rival’s field.

 

Two quick wingers, a target man for crosses and as a pivot, two midfielders on front to have more presence on the opposite pitch, and a holding midfielder which will axis for distributing the ball to both sides.

 

With this formation the wingers would also be a very important aspect of the defensive structure as the 4-2-3-1 mentioned before. Their support on the sides to the fullbacks would be a main consideration when recovering the ball in Orlando City’s own field.

 

Players for the formation:

 

--Meram-------Mueller------Colmán

---------Kljestan--------Higuita

-------------------Rosell

 ---El-Munir---Sané---Tarek---Sutter

 

Although Colmán would not be in his main position, the young Paraguayan international knows what is to play open-wide on the right with Cerro Porteño. His precise passes, fast sprints and skillful dribbling would be complemented with Higuita’s positioning on the creation.

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