After third straight loss, Orlando City vow to bring urgency on the road

ORLANDO, Fla. – Cristian Higuita was blunt following Orlando City’s 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium.

After scoring Orlando's goal, the veteran Colombian midfielder emphasized an urgency from his teammates -- particularly the more experienced ones -- as the Lions embark on a three-game road trip this coming month.  

“We have to get our hierarchy out,” Higuita said. “We have experienced players, veteran players and we know that right now we have to get the points because, if not, we’re going to be out of the playoff picture.”

After starting the season 0-2-1, Orlando City assembled a club record six-game winning streak, only to follow that with a three-game losing streak to send the Lions slowly sliding down the Eastern Conference standings.

For fans, Orlando’s current dip in form is reminiscent to last year’s summer swoon. And with what's ahead, avoiding a similarly prolonged slump won't be easy.

Orlando (6-5-1, 19 points) face New York City FC on Saturday at Yankee Stadium (7:30 pm ET | TV & streaming info), then fly across country to visit the Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place before closing their road trip back East at Stade Saputo against the Montreal Impact.

Coach Jason Kreis disputed the idea that his side are lacking confidence, and believed they deserved more Saturday after outshooting Chicago and dictating play, only to lack a finishing touch.

“I think we can look at the statistics and the players know in their hearts that we were the by far the better team,” Kreis said. “You won’t hear me say that very often but I will tell you there was only one team that was pushing things tonight. The other one was there to try to pick up a draw or catch something on the break.”

Right back RJ Allen agreed with his coach's sentiment and understands Higuita's sense of urgency, to a point.

"It's a long season, I wouldn't say these next couple of games defines a season, but I mean we are getting close to out of the playoffs picture and it's a goal of ours to stay in that playoff picture,” Allen said. “For me, I think it's even a possibility to continue to stay in that top three. That's a challenge for us, and we definitely have the players and the experience in this locker room to do that.”