Written By: Raul Sosa
ORLANDO - On a very challenging Sunday evening for Orlando City SC against Sporting Kansas City in the search for the Playoff Spots, the Lions finally found victory after 7 games without adding 3 points.
Adrian Winter (2) and Bryan Rochez (1) were the heroes that finished with the winning drought at the Citrus Bowl that welcomed 22,241 fans on MLS soccer Sunday. The Kansas community was also present with an average of 100 fans supporting the away team.
On a desperate search for adding 3 golden points in order to make it to the Playoffs, Orlando City scored an early goal with only 3 minutes of the initial whistle. The Lions fabricated a free kick at the right wing that ended with a perfect cross towards A. Winter’s strong header.
Adrian Winter made history with his goal debut in both Orlando City and the MLS.
Despite Orlando’s vital absences in tonight’s match (Kaká and Ceren), the team fabricated a decent game in midfield by creating numerous attacking chances. Carlos Rivas, Adrian Winter and Cyle Larin were greatly active as the players in charge for Orlando’s attack upfront.
Sporting Kansas turned the match and became the sole owner of the possession by trying to get into the game at the first 15 minutes of the second half. Constantly creating scoring chances and pressing hard, Orlando started to show lack of defensive authority.
Krisztian Nemeth scored the equalizer at the 59th minute assisted by Benny Feilhaber after an unpleasant error by Aurelien Collin trying to clear his defensive line.
Feilhaber took advantage of the error, stole the ball and assisted with a killer pass inside the penalty box. Nemeth shot to the upper right corner, where it was impossible for Tally Hall to prevent the momentary 1-1.
After that distasteful action for the entire stadium, the Lions seemed consumed by the fact a draw would practically end with the possibility of reaching the Playoffs. Inconsistent in every pass, Orlando lost their focus and almost gave away a second goal in a matter of only 5 minutes.
Brek Shea finally reappeared for duty after a long-term injury since July 24th and giving high hopes for Orlando City fans, he made an incredible run from the left wing into the penalty box in order to assist Bryan Rochez who scored the 2-1 at the 66th minute.
The Lions regained control of the game after that heroic reawaking. Everything changed. Passes were smooth and exact, Orlando recovered pace response and attacking chances were being remarkably formulated. It was a party.
Only 6 minutes later, Adrian Winter fabricated an amazing play by giving the ball to Luke Boden inside the box and by receiving it again in a blink of an eye. Breaking Sporting Kansas’ defense, he terminated the keeper with a coldblooded and solid shot that ended inside the net.
Good news for Orlando City SC due to the fact Philadelphia Union and New York City dropped 3 vital points in the run for the Playoffs spots. Sitting 7th in the Eastern table, the Lions just need to rise one more spot in order to accomplish their mission.
Next game is versus Chicago Fire at Toyota Park on September 19th.
Written by: Raul Sosa
ORLANDO, FL - The game between Orlando City SC and Chicago Fire FC originally scheduled at 7:30PM got postponed numerous times due to heavy rain and lightning.
The initial kickoff was rescheduled for 9:20PM, but the match only lasted 18 minutes before the first official announced the game unplayable for the same bad weather conditions. The game finally resumed at 10:45PM with no stops until the end.
As with every Orlando City game this season, 28,921 loyal fans came to the Citrus Bowl despite the bad weather in Central Florida with the hope to see their team add 3 crucial points towards the end of the season.
After the game stopped due to the weather, many fans gave up and the Bowl was slowly emptying. However, around half of the fans stayed until the end of the game, which concluded at midnight.
As the game moved forward, Chicago Fire had complete control of the game for 15 consecutive minutes. Orlando City seemed so lost in the field that the sensation of Chicago scoring was constant in every chance they had.
Consequently, Chicago’s forward, David Accam, found a way into Orlando’s box from the left side, and, when everyone thought he was going to cross the ball, shot a low and fast ball towards the post Tally Hall was defending to score the first goal of the night.
Orlando City tried to recover, but Chicago rapidly recovered the ball and created a chance that ended up in a miss from a header in front of the goal… It seemed like a long night for the Lions and their remaining fans.
When everything seemed negative and uphill for Orlando City, Lewis Neal appeared from the right wing and sent a promising long cross to the penalty box.
Cyle Larin hindered and helped Chicago’s defender, Eric Gehrig, to score Chicago’s 3rd own goal of the season and tied the game at the 37th minute with his shoulder.
By the start of the 2nd half, Orlando City came back to life with the equalizer. They finally found their game and started to be dangerous in every chance they had. The Lions slowly became the sole owners of the ball and possession.
Carlos Rivas became Orlando’s most dangerous man by providing up to 4 crosses for his teammates inside the box. He sprinted towards every through ball Kaka and Darwin sent to the open. He even crashed a powerful shot onto the right post at the 69th minute.
Despite Orlando City’s effort to add those 3 vital points, the draw gives them one point that puts them back in the playoff standings. Head Coach, Adrian Heath, reacted to tonight’s final result: “I thought on the whole considering the evening, the players on both teams put a great show on. It is hard after a 4-hour (rain) delay. I can't fault the players.”
With the regular season coming to a close, the Lions are in need of win's in order to make it to the playoffs in their first MLS season. Not an impossible task to achieve, but Orlando City has to return to their old winning habits in order to reach their goal on their 1st season in Major League Soccer.
Written by: Raul Sosa
Orlando City SC made a disappointing performance by drawing 0-0 over Philadelphia Union at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The 28,495 loyal fans were expecting an easy win from Orlando, given the fact that Philadelphia Union came to Central Florida as the second to last team in the Eastern Conference.
Orlando City suffered the absence of many key players in today’s starting eleven due to numerous injuries in the entire roster. Players such as Brek Shea, Rafael Ramos and Seb Hines that were absent, prevented the Lions of being more dangerous in the right and left wings.
Orlando’s attack was greatly shy and inconsistent in every facet of the game. Kaka was in charge of creating attacking moves and through balls for Kyle Larin to find a spot and shot on goal.
The midfielder and the forward tried such tactic multiple times but it never ended in a true danger against Philadelphia Union. On the other hand, the visitors had only one shot in the entire first half, which crashed onto the right post of Orlando’s goal.
Despite Orlando’s abuse of possession (55.9% to 44.1%), Philadelphia Union ended up having more chances of scoring as in visitor condition compared to Orlando City (11 to 8 shots).
Orlando’s attack died the second they reached the edge of the penalty box and their lack of danger creation over that zone ended up with a faulty cross or a good clearance by Philadelphia’s solid defense.
The second half came to a start and there was no change of mindset from Adrian Heath’s players. Too much possession and very few shots on target almost cost the game for the locals.
Philadelphia Union found their momentum in the last 15 minutes of the game and by increasing their intensity; they almost scored in three consecutive occasions. A wonderful and miraculous Tally Hall drowned Philadelphia’s cry of goal in their first appearance ever at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
Due to a disappointing night for the Lions and an overwhelming draw, head coach Adrian Heath said: “To be honest, I though we were going to lose in the dying minutes… It was very frustrating but we need to keep it up even though we have numerous injuries affecting our playing style”.
Orlando City adds a single point and loses 2 at their own stadium, leaving them in 7th place and underneath playoffs spots. As the second half of the season has started, Orlando has many possibilities of classifying, but really needs to be a little more effective compared to the first run in the league. The next game is against Seattle Sounders on August 16th at the CenturyLink Field.
Written by: Raul Sosa
Orlando City SC was defeated in the Orlando Citrus Bowl for the first time in 5 consecutive games. The Purple Lions suffered the absence of 4 starters, (Ricardo Kaká, Darwin Cerén, Brek Shea, Cyle Larin) since the team had a worrying lack of shots on target from start to finish.
FC Dallas showed up fully determined to stop Orlando’s home winning streak from the very 1st minute of the game. They came all the way from Texas with one thing in mind: having the entire control of the game despite their visitor condition.
With Orlando City SC having a lot of trouble controlling the ball and retaining possession, FC Dallas felt comfortable in the field little by little. Their attack was shy at first, but Orlando’s lacking attack and creativity gave Dallas the incentive to search their 1st goal of the night.
It was on a lost ball by Orlando City in the middle corridor when FC Dallas created a counter attack at full speed. Fabian Castillo stepped inside the penalty box and Cristian Higuita conceded a penalty after taking him down. High hopes were placed on Tally Hall of blocking the penalty, but Mauro Díaz converted the 0-1 at 45’+1 of the first half.
Being down in the score, the 30,513 Orlando loyal fans pushed their team to search the equalizer since the 1st minute of the second half. Despite their chants and their unstoppable support, the Purple Lions showed up very weak in every sense and had a night to forget.
Orlando City SC created very few good scoring chances; in fact, their most dangerous play in the entire match was a goal from Pedro Ribeiro that ended up in a very doubtful offside. Orlando had 0 shots on target in the entire game.
The crowd was furious with the 4 referees, but actually they were only frustrated with the poor performance of their players.
Since Orlando City had no reactions on scoring the equalizer, FC Dallas opted on attacking again in order to ensure their partial victory. It was in an amazing first-touch play in the left wing from 3 FC Dallas players, which found their way inside the box due to a tired Orlando City's defensive line.
It was a simple pass to the net that ended up in the second goal of the night for FC Dallas. The crowd was shocked and that late 2nd goal finished with all hopes of having a positive score at the end of the night.
At the 87th minute, Orlando City received a penalty kick that gave everybody a little bit of hope. Carlos Rivas seemed determined on discounting the score onto a 1-2, but misfortune was witnessed at the Citrus Bowl, as Rivas sent the ball all the way to the parking lot…
It was a tough night for Orlando City SC fans, coaches and players. Head Coach Adrian heath said: “I think it was the worst game in the entire year…”. Now they have to reactivate their spirit at face their next home game against the mighty New York Red Bulls at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
Written by: Raul Sosa
MONTREAL – Disappointing performance from Orlando City SC losing 0-2 over Montreal Impact in the crowded Stade Saputo stadium in Canada.
Tony Toia and Dominic Oduro were the goal scorers and the heroes on tonight’s tough duty against the Purple Lions of Orlando. Both players leaded the attack onto a well-deserved 2-0 victory for Montreal Impact.
The game started with a very shy Orlando City and a determined Montreal Impact on adding those 3 crucial home points. It was on a dangerous play near Orlando’s box when Montreal’s captain (Piatti) unleashed a potent shot that was shockingly deflected by Orlando’s keeper, Tally Hall. It was the save of the night.
But it was a glorious corner kick from Montreal Impact and a very bad defended one from Orlando City that opened the score at the 36th minute of the 1st half. Marco Donadel assisted Tony Toia, who connected a powerful header onto the second post of the net. This time Orlando’s keeper, Tally Hall, was only another spectator of the unstoppable shot.
Being 0-1 in the score, Orlando City clearly changed their tactics onto attacking mode. Ricardo Kaká appeared from the left wing and released a powerful shot that was reflected from a defender’s header. 5 minutes later, Cyle Larin also fired an amazing shot from the right wing but it wasn’t enough to break Evan Bush’s goalkeeping talents.
Going into an offense posture backfired Orlando City SC on multiple occasions, as Montreal Impact was even more dangerous at the kickback. Surprisingly, Montreal wasted 4 clear shots inside the box when Orlando’s defense was completely beaten.
Montreal’s strategy paid off (again) at the dying minutes (93rd) of the match. Dominic Oduro left defender Seb Hines on the way with his amazing pace and running ability. Hines deflected the ball but it wasn’t good enough, since Dominic stole the ball from his feet inside the box and shot onto a beaten Tally Hall.
It was the 2nd goal of the night that killed the Purple Lions high hopes of getting the equalizer and a positive result in Canada.
It was very disappointing to see Orlando’s midfield and part of their defense unwilling to return and help to clear Montreal’s danger. Last midweek activity in Charleston clearly affected their performance on tonight’s tough duty.
Besides losing 3 crucial points, the unfortunate defeat for Orlando City cost them losing their undefeated run of 5 consecutive games in the MLS. Last but not least, the Lions also lost Aurien Collin for an unknown period of time, due to a pretty serious hamstring injury.
Midweek action awaits Orlando City SC and Colorado Rapids back in the Citrus Bowl with kick-off being set at 7:30pm this upcoming Wednesday.
Written by: Raul Sosa
CHICAGO – El Orlando City SC consiguió su primera victoria ante un rival de la Conferencia Este en la MLS y lo hizo en condición de visitante contra el histórico Chicago Fire.
Fue una exquisita y merecida victoria para los leones purpura, que a pesar de estar dos veces abajo en el marcador, lograron empatar en cada ocasión y finalmente lograron la deseada victoria en el Toyota Park.
Ambos rivales otorgaron un bonito partido con muchos goles en el marcador (2-3). El primer gol de la noche lo hizo el Chicago Fire donde sus atacantes inventaron una sorprendente jugada después de sacar en corto desde el banderín de tiro de esquina.
La defensa del Orlando se quedó paralizada al ver la clásica jugada 1-2-1-2 de su contrincante y fue así como Kennedy logró disparar a puerta vacía ante un vencido Tally Hall que defendía su portería.
35’ minutos más tarde St. Ledger, defensor purpura, logró cabecear un excelente centro fabricado por Lewis Neal desde un tiro de esquina.
El portero del Chicago Fire logró desviar el cabezazo que iba en dirección a puerta, pero para la gran fortuna del Orlando City, la pelota rebotó y se dirigió a las redes ante el mal control del defensor del Chicago Fire. Así es, el empate fue un autogol otorgado para Adailton en una nefasta noche para el olvido.
El primer tiempo terminó con un gol en el marcador para cada equipo. Fue así como el Chicago Fire volvió a tomar el liderato al minuto 57’ donde Harry Ship brindó un hermoso pase entre líneas al goleador Kenndy, y este (con un increíble control dentro el área) definió la jugada que termino dentro de las redes.
A falta de 9’ minutos para terminar el partido, el Orlando City estaba obligado a buscar el resultado ya que el Chicago Fire optó por defender hasta escuchar el pitido final.
La substitución de Cyle Larin por Pedro Ribeiro, fue quizás, la mejor táctica por parte del entrenador Adrian Heath. Al minuto 82’, Cyle Larin se inventó un potente disparo fuera del área donde la pelota terminó pegando en el poste izquierdo y por ende, dirigiéndose hacia las redes. El empate fue un verdadero golazo.
Cuando todo parecía un justo empate para ambas escuadras, Ricardo Kaká apareció con uno de esos pases que vuelven loca a la gente en los graderíos y Carlos Rivas (dentro del área) centró con un pase raso donde Larin no logró conectar con el balón… Pero si lo hizo el defensor Adailton, que anotó su segundo autogol de la noche y le regaló, no solo el empate, pero también la victoria al Orlando City SC.
Currently majoring in Entertainment Business at Full Sail University in Orlando, FL, Raul has been with the SkyBoat since February of 2015. Raul is originally from El Salvador.
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