D.C. United: Calling out Orlando City SC for parking the bus

Little worth remembering came for D.C. United in their 1-0 loss to Orlando City SC. That is, except for creating a new understanding of “park the bus.”

D.C. United head coach Hernan Losada described Orlando City SC players as tap-dancing around legal soccer rules for time-wasting in their narrow win over his team recently.

At the end of the game, United had just as many wins as Orlando with two. But they lay behind them in the Eastern Conference standings because of no draws. Orlando had three.

SINT TRUIDEN, BELGIUM – DECEMBER 30: coach Hernan Losada. (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/BSR Agency/Getty Images)

Losada assured fans his team could win games. But he wouldn’t put up with them winning the way Orlando did. Because it’s ultimately learning how to lose.

[It’s] a way where you dominate the whole game, a way where the opponent doesn’t know what else to do to neutralize the game, to make time, to park the bus.

This is a new way to think of park the bus in soccer – time-wasting. If anyone asks, Losada originated it. Rest assured, this parking the bus is just as annoying as the environment the original term describes. And it’s just as frustrating to opponents. And it’s truly worthy of regurgitation by fans.

Orlando would not have found a way to lose this game. The team’s actions just make coaches and players unworthy of winning it.

LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 11: Jose Mourinho. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

When the media first heard Jose Mourinho spout this term in 2004, he said he couldn’t claim authorship. He first heard it in Portugal.

It was after a hard-fought draw between Mourinho’s Chelsea and the Spurs. He said afterward that Tottenham might as well have parked their team bus in front of the goal.

The opponents parked the bus, figuratively, by placing the entire team between the ball and their goal. It’s a tactic just as repulsive-looking as it sounds. And it’s profoundly lacking in entertainment for fans.

Shutting the game down like that for a draw, as did the Spurs, isn’t as common launching such a reprehensible game plan after first establishing a lead.

Certainly, it’s no less reprehensible than the cheap series of stunts Orlando pulled with a razor-thin lead against the much-less-successful D.C. United.

This new idea of parking the bus involves more unsavory behavior like taking all the time possible to execute a free kick or goal kick. City SC players had to carefully time when the official might yank out a yellow card for time-wasting.

Also parking – delay throw-ins as long as possible and after contact try to stay on the pitch long enough to bring out a trainer. Then, have a miraculous recovery. Don’t forget to thank your diety.

This all fell into place for Orlando after a 7th-minute goal in their win against D.C. Shortly after the second half started, City subbed in a third center back.

Yet even in this game, Losada saw improvement by his players.

His system is working slower than fans would like. But it’s working.

And as for Orlando City SC, Losada was right not to get mad at their parking the bus. Instead, he and D.C. United will await the opportunity to get even.

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