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Orlando City vs. New England Revolution: Final Score 2-2 as Lions Roar Back to Tie

The Lions fell behind 2-0 and looked unlikely to score again at home but Cyle Larin and Aurelien Collin headers turned the game around in the final 17 minutes in a thriller at the Citrus Bowl.

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Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Sometimes a draw feels like a win, and when you’re down 2-0 to the Eastern Conference champions, haven’t scored at home in more than three and a half games, and come back to earn a point, it’s one of those times.

So it was tonight, with Orlando City storming back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the New England Revolution, 2-2 in front of 27,243 fans at the Citrus Bowl.

The Lions (2-4-3, 9 points) got headed goals from Cyle Larin and Aurelien Collin in the game’s final 17 minutes to earn the point.

Orlando City controlled the play through much of the second half, allowing only one good scoring chance, which Kelyn Rowe deposited into Donovan Ricketts’ net after a howler of a mistake by Rafael Ramos. The Portuguese youth international tried to chest an aerial ball back to his keeper, but Rowe was waiting to pounce and he easily got onto the soft back pass, rounded Ricketts, and scored to make it 2-0 in the 71st minute.

Ramos, who was left off Portugal’s U-20 World Cup team earlier in the day, didn’t hang his head. Instead, just four minutes later, he started Orlando’s comeback by keeping a ball in play up the right wing and firing a cross in that Larin nodded home. It was City’s first goal at home in MLS play in 345 minutes.

City always looked like the more likely team to score after halftime and when the club needed a goal, Collin started floating forward periodically to look for aerial balls, which he won all night. He had a chance cleared off the line and missed another over the bar, but at the 90-minute mark, Luke Boden found him and he buried it.

New England (5-2-3, 18 points) had the last decent chance to produce a winner with a free kick to the right of the box, but wasted the opportunity by overhitting the cross.

Orlando started the game on the back foot and the Revs got an early goal off a horrible Amobi Okugo turnover, which left Charlie Davies 1-on-1 with Seb Hines. The Orlando City defender did his best to cut off the middle, but Davies blasted it near-side past Ricketts just 19 minutes in.

“We allowed a very good, confident team to dictate the pace of the game,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath of his team’s opening 20 minutes. “I thought we played on the back foot and gave them too much respect.”

The Lions got some rhythm going but could not find a final ball, in a repeat of basically every home game this season. It was New England that came closest to scoring before the break.

The Revs nearly made it 2-0 at 41 minutes off a corner. London Woodberry got onto Chris Tierney’s cross and put it off the post, leaving Ricketts scrambling. Davies got a head on the rebound and hit the crossbar before the Lions finally cleared the danger.

Orlando City’s best chance of the first half also came off corner kicks, with Collin and Hines each heading over the bar on well-struck crosses.

The Lions still have yet to win a home match in MLS, but this is a game they can certainly build on. It’s a good result against a team that came in on a roll, and one of the best squads in MLS.

“I actually thought the response of the players was absolutely magnificent,” Heath said. “They kept going til the very, very end. Take Rafa’s mistake out for the second goal, and I don’t think they had another opportunity during the second 45 minutes. We turned the game around in our own favor, but they did it with their willingness to want to work hard and try to do something about it. That’s a really pleasing thing.”

Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/30/24

Orlando City draws on the road, Duncan McGuire called up, Grace Chanda will reportedly sign with the Orlando Pride, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

For those of you who watched Orlando City’s game Wednesday night, I hope the universe repays you with good fortune in some way today. The week rolls on though, as we get ready for more Orlando soccer this weekend, along with international friendlies around the world to enjoy. For now though, let’s get to the links!

Orlando City Draws Against the Chicago Fire

The Lions went on the road and had to settle for a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire. Neither goal was anything to write home about in a match that was highlighted by sloppy play and yet another controversial refereeing decision the Lions had to deal with. A draw on the road while on short rest generally isn’t the worst result in the world, but it was a poor performance from the Lions. They’ll aim to get back in the winning column this Saturday when they travel to play the New York Red Bulls.

Duncan McGuire Called Up For Training Camp

Orlando City forward Duncan McGuire was one of 25 players called up for the United States Men’s Olympic Soccer Team’s training camp ahead of a friendly with Japan on June 11. McGuire has earned his spot on the team during a solid second season with the Lions that has included five goals. Columbus Crew goalkeeper Patrick Schulte, Koln forward Damion Downs, and LA Galaxy defender Jalen Neal are a few of the other notable players called up. Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman is the only player over 23 that was called up for this camp.

Grace Chanda Will Reportedly Join the Pride

An agreement was reportedly reached between the Orlando Pride and Zambian attacker Grace Chanda for her to join the club on a deal through 2025, with an option for 2026 as well. It would be a free transfer, but she would not join the Pride until after the Olympics. Chanda was named to the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations Best XI and was also on the shortlist for the 2022 Best CAF Women’s Player of the Year Award. The 26-year-old did not play in last year’s World Cup due to an illness, but has come off the bench in Madrid CFF’s past two games. The Pride are having a historic year and Chanda should help them push for a title if she does end up joining her international teammate, Barbra Banda.

Getting to Know Emily Sams

Pride defender Emily Sams is the latest player to field questions as part of the club’s video series for fans to learn more about the players. Sams spoke about the disappointment in how the team’s season ended last year after missing out on the playoffs on a goal differential tiebreaker. She also talked about the team’s aspiration to not only make the playoffs but contend for a title this year. It’s her second season with the Pride and she’s been a key reason why Orlando has done so well so far. Sams discussed what the team’s atmosphere is like, as well as how she likes to spend time outdoors exploring Orlando’s many lakes when not on the field.

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That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week.

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Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire: Final Score 1-1 as Lions Struggle on the Road

In an ugly road game, the Lions endured another controversy that went against them but ultimately accomplished little against the Fire.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

In perhaps the most frustrating match of the season, Orlando City threw away a one-goal lead on the road and drew an abysmal Chicago Fire team 1-1 at Soldier Field. The Lions (4-6-5, 17 points) got an early goal by Facundo Torres but were cut open repeatedly throughout the night and ultimately gave up a soft goal to Hugo Cuypers of the Fire (2-8-6, 12 points) in the second half to split the points.

Orlando City will feel hard done by the officiating crew again after what appeared to be a clear foul on an Ivan Angulo breakaway in the penalty area late in the first half, but the Lions simply didn’t play well enough outside of that to deserve three points.

“A game that we should have won,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “I thought we had our opportunities. I thought we had our actions to define the game. We felt that we should have won it.”

Pareja rolled with his 3-5-2 with Pedro Gallese in goal behind a back line of Robin Jansson, Wilder Cartagena, and David Brekalo. Torres and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson played the wingback positions outside a midfield of Nico Lodeiro, Cesar Araujo, and Angulo, with Luis Muriel and Martin Ojeda up top.

Orlando City struggled all night to connect passes, seemingly baffled by the Chicago defense. Passes were often straight at Fire opponents, whether a no-look, one-touch effort or with plenty of time and space and a good view of the field. The striker partnership of Muriel and Ojeda was disjointed, and Ojeda struggled mightily in about every phase of the game on this night.

Still, the Lions took the lead just four minutes in. A good ball into the area by Angulo found Torres in front. The winger didn’t shoot with his first touch and he had a couple of attempts blocked by the defense just above the top of the six. Angulo had a go and his shot was blocked and it shook loose for Torres to take a swipe at. The Uruguayan made contact with the ball and it somehow squirted through the bodies in front and just inside the left post to make it 1-0.

“It was a ball that kind of fell to my right foot, and I was trying to control and finish with my right foot, but it escaped me a little bit,” Torres said. “And then there were about a thousand different situations in which we were trying to get it in, and it didn’t end up falling that way. But then it fell to my left foot in a situation where I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish, but thankfully it went in. At the end of the day, it doesn’t help us too much, because we were only able to get the draw, but (I’m) happy to be able to put the ball in the back of the net.”

The hosts were dealt a blow when fullback Andrew Gutman picked up a knock and was replaced in the 12th minute by Arnaud Souquet.

Each team blew a scoring chance over the next few minutes, only to see the flag come up anyway as this match was anything but the beautiful game.

Chicago couldn’t take advantage of Araujo and Cartagena both failing to clear their lines in the 21st minute when Cuypers sent a shot just inches wide of the left post. After Orlando did little more than get a blocked Angulo shot on a pair of consecutive corner kicks, Chicago got forward again and Brian Gutierrez shot from outside the area. Lodeiro got a foot on the attempt and it made for an easy scoop for Gallese.

Angulo blazed by the entire Fire defense in the 31st minute and with two teammates to his left, only he’ll know for sure if his final ball was a terrible shot or a bad pass. It ended up serving as neither.

Orlando’s defense had shaky moments throughout the match. Tom Barlow had a free header at the near post on a corner kick in the 32nd minute but missed the target badly. Five minutes later, Souquet got in on goal but fired his shot over the net.

The defense was cut open in the 42nd minute, allowing Federico Navarro to get into the box, but Gallese was there to make a vital save.

For the second straight game, an inexplicable call denied Orlando City a penalty, and this time there wasn’t even a potential foul on the other end to offer up any way to justify it. In fact, nothing could explain it away. Angulo was played in behind the defense by Lodeiro in stoppage time and was alone on goalkeeper Chris Brady. As he rounded Brady and prepared to slot the ball into an empty net, Angulo was clipped from behind in his trailing leg by Navarro and couldn’t maintain his balance after that contact and one additional bundle from behind. It seemed like a clear and obvious denial of a goal-scoring opportunity.

However, after a lengthy delay, video assistant referee Edvin Jurisevic determined that referee Malik Badawi did not make a clear and obvious error. Badawi did not go look at the play himself.

“We should have scored that one,” Pareja said. “I can’t understand why it’s not a PK. Surely if I go with all that I should say today I will be fined or something, but it’s inexcusable for the referee not to give us that PK. The guy came from behind him and pushed him. It was a clear PK.

“First and foremost, I think it was a penalty, and I said that (on the field), but at the end of the day you have to live with the decisions of the referee. Some referees would think that that was an error and go back and fix it. This referee didn’t think that there was an error, so we just continued to play, and that’s how it goes.”

The Lions instead had a corner and were called for a foul on the play.

Chicago finished the first half with the advantage in possession (51.4%-48.6%), shots (11-6), and passing accuracy (84.7%-84.6%), while the Lions had more shots on target (2-1), and corners (3-2).

The Lions looked a bit more lively in the opening minutes of the second half, but after about 15 minutes, Chicago looked in control of the match. Orlando won some set pieces early in the half but did nothing with them.

Brekalo bailed Angulo out in the 68th minute after the latter turned the ball over in his own half, leading to a transition chance. The Slovenian defender made a good play to take it away from Cuypers and end the threat.

Muriel got down the left a minute later but instead of shooting with his left foot, he tried to cut back to his right and was dispossessed. It was a costly blown chance because the Fire tied the game on its ensuing possession.

Chicago’s equalizer started at midfield and quickly cycled to the left. Brekalo came out to challenge the ball with plenty of help behind him, but both Cartagena and Thorhallsson reacted too slowly and Souquet got in behind. The substitute centered the ball to Cuypers who got across the front of Jansson and hit a weak shot toward goal that was back toward the direction from which Gallese came. The Peruvian wasn’t able to stop his motion cleanly and the ball dribbled under his outstretched arm and into the net.

The Lions were fortunate not to go behind off their own set piece in the 75th minute. Ojeda left the free kick cross too close to Brady, who punched it well out of his box. It fell kindly to a Fire teammate and the break was on. Orlando was completely disorganized, leaving two opponents wide open on the right. Chicago reacted too slowly, but eventually worked the ball to Jonathan Dean at the top of the area but the right back shot just wide.

Two minutes after that miss, Orlando should have taken the lead. Torres got down the left and put in an inch-perfect cross to Muriel at the back post. The Colombian had a free header but drove it straight at Brady for a comfortable save in the 77th minute.

In the late going, Orlando appeared content with one point on the road against one of the league’s worst teams. Chicago nearly made the Lions pay for that, creating several chances down the stretch. Gutierrez sent a curling shot from the left just wide of Gallese’s far post in the 79th minute. Fabian Herbers shanked a shot from a dangerous spot in the 85th minute and Carlos Teran’s free header was wide on the recycled ball.

Orlando’s last look at goal came in the 91st minute, when substitute Ramiro Enrique made a great play to poke the ball past his opponent and into space for him to run onto. Enrique blazed into the attacking third, cut to his right to clear himself a path to goal, and then fizzed a shot just over the bar.

That was the last decent sight of goal for either side and the game ended in a stalemate.

Chicago finished with the advantage in possession (52.2%-47.8%), shots (18-8), and corners (6-4). The Lions passed slightly more accurately (83.6%-83%), and both teams put two shots on target.

“There’s no excuses,” Torres said. “It was the responsibility of ourselves, especially given the way that we started to maintain control the ball and to play within our game, and when we weren’t doing that, that’s when Chicago was able to really grow into the game and believe in themselves. And this team takes nothing but responsibility for the result tonight.”

“Like always, we’re trying to recover, trying to get feedback from the game, and trying to prepare for the next rival,” Pareja said. “For us it’s important that we can keep our mind calm and see the things we need to get better. Obviously today we wanted the three points, but we’ll take this one. It’s what we should do and then prepare for New York.”


Orlando City has another quick turnaround with a match looming Saturday night at the New York Red Bulls.

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Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Lions look to bounce back on the road with a midweek visit to Chicago.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to your match thread and preview for a midweek matchup between Orlando City (4-6-4, 16 points) and the Chicago Fire (2-8-5, 11 points) at Soldier Field (8:30 p.m., MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+). This is the first of the two scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2024 and the only matchup in Chicago. The teams are scheduled to meet in Orlando in a few weeks on June 22.

Here’s what you need to know about the match.

History

The Lions are 7-5-6 in 18 MLS meetings with the Fire and 7-6-6 in all competitions. Orlando City is 3-3-3 against the Fire on the road in MLS play and 3-4-2 away in all competitions.

The Lions swept the two-game season series in 2023 by identical 3-1 scorelines. In the most recent meeting between the sides, the Lions got goals from Wilder Cartagena, Ivan Angulo, and Facundo Torres (from the penalty spot) to overcome a 1-0 deficit supplied by Mauricio Pineda, winning 3-1 on the road.

When the teams met in Orlando, the Lions rode a Torres brace to a 3-1 win on July 1. Xherdan Shaqiri pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after a Kyle Smith foul in the box against Brian Gutierrez, but Ramiro Enrique added an insurance goal.

Orlando City claimed a 1-0 victory at Exploria Stadium on April 9, 2022 on Ercan Kara’s first MLS goal. The two sides met at Soldier Field just over a month prior to that match and played, officially, to a 0-0 draw on March 5. The game is another Orlando City match that will live in infamy due to the Professional Referee Organization’s statement after the game that Junior Urso’s goal should not have been overturned upon video review by Ismir Pekmic due to Kara not having clearly and obviously handled the ball in the buildup in any of the available replay angles. Alas…

The teams met in Orlando on Aug. 21, 2021, with a second-half Benji Michel strike lifting the Lions to a 1-0 victory. Tesho Akindele set up the play by forcing a turnover. In that year’s meeting at Soldier Field, the Fire got the better of the Lions to the tune of 3-1 on July 7. Andres Perea scored his first career MLS goal to open the scoring, but a defensive lapse in first-half stoppage allowed Boris Sekulic to equalize just before the break. Chicago rode that momentum, adding goals by Robert Beric and Chinonso Offor.

The Lions were 0-4-4 in the eight meetings before smashing the Fire 4-1 in Orlando on Sept. 19, 2020. Orlando City withstood two Chicago penalties and saw two Fire goals overturned by video review in that rain-soaked match. (Weird things usually happen when Chicago visits Orlando.) The Lions got goals from Chris Mueller, Nani, Urso, and Michel, while Chicago had only a Beric penalty to show for an otherwise good offensive performance.

The last meeting of 2019 was the last time the Fire won on the road in the series. It was a debacle for the Lions, who lost defender Robin Jansson to a back/neck injury early and shipped a handful of goals in a 5-2 home loss in the regular-season finale. Orlando got goals from Akindele and Michel but largely played like a team that couldn’t wait to end its season. Chicago got an own goal from Orlando’s Smith and strikes from CJ Sapong, Aleksandar Katai, and Przemyslaw Frankowski (twice) in the rout.

Orlando City was seconds away from a road win on March 9, 2019 before Sapong’s free header in the 95th minute leveled things in a 1-1 draw in Chicago. Dom Dwyer scored Orlando’s goal.

In 2018, the Fire swept the season series. Orlando fell 2-1 at home on May 26, 2018, with Alan Gordon’s wondergoal breaking a 1-1 deadlock. The return leg in Chicago that September was an abysmal performance by Orlando in a 4-0 Fire victory.

Chicago went 1-0-1 in 2017, with the teams playing to a 0-0 draw on June 4, 2017, with the Lions reduced to nine men. The previous 2017 meeting was the Fire’s 4-0 beatdown of Orlando on June 24 of that year. David Accam figured in all four goals, with a hat trick and an assist on Nemanja Nikolić’s goal.

The teams split the points in 2016, drawing both meetings. Cyle Larin and Accam traded goals in a 1-1 draw in Orlando on March 11. The Fire again came from behind to draw, 2-2 in the return leg that August.

The teams met once in Orlando in 2015, with the Lions and Fire battling to a 1-1 draw. You may recall that five-hour, weather-delayed affair with Eric Gehrig’s own-goal canceling out an Accam strike. The other three meetings came in Chicago, with City winning 3-2 and 1-0 in MLS matches and falling 3-1 in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal action.

Overview

The Lions are coming off a controversial 2-0 home loss to the Columbus Crew on Saturday that saw an Orlando City penalty reviewed and a penalty awarded instead to the Crew for a soft call on Cesar Araujo at the other end more than a minute earlier. The play also cleared Diego Rossi of any wrongdoing on what appeared to be a clear foul in the attacking phase of play that preceded the Araujo foul. Rossi added a second goal in transition and sealed the fate of a wasteful Lions team that struggled to split the difference (again) between hitting the goalkeeper squarely and missing the net entirely.

That loss snapped Orlando’s three-game unbeaten run and dropped the Lions to a dismal 1-4-3 at home. The good news is that City is 3-2-1 away from home this season and 3-0-1 in its last four road matches.

Chicago has struggled in 2024, but both of the team’s wins have come at home, where the Fire are just 2-5-1 in eight games. The Fire are coming off a 1-1 road draw against D.C. United over the weekend, which extended Chicago’s current winless streak to eight matches (0-5-3). Leading the Chicago offense are Hugo Cuypers and Brian Gutierrez, who each have three goals and an assist on the season. Attacking midfielders Xherdan Shaqiri and Fabian Herbers have each chipped in two goals and two assists on the season, while USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta has two goals and an assist.

“I see a team as well that is changing things. Their structure in the last game has been modified,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said ahead of the match. “We are adapting to those things. Pretty much thinking, if we have that optimism and think about our team, we can get our result. They are probably more direct than Columbus and they have good players. We have to be very crafty to penetrate and not let up. That’s what we asked of our players.”

The Lions list Mikey Halliday (knee), Duncan McGuire (shoulder), and Tahir Reid-Brown (thigh) as out on the availability report, but the club did show a photo of McGuire getting on the plane Tuesday.

Match Content


Official Lineups

Orlando City (3-5-2)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Robin Jansson, Wilder Cartagena, David Brekalo.

Wingbacks/Midfielders: Facundo Torres, Nico Lodeiro, Cesar Araujo, Ivan Angulo, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson.

Forwards: Luis Muriel, Martin Ojeda.

Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Rafael Santos, Kyle Smith, Alex Freeman, Rodrigo Schlegel, Jeorgio Kocevski, Felipe, Ramiro Enrique, Jack Lynn.

Chicago Fire (5-3-2)

Goalkeeper: Chris Brady

Defenders: Andrew Gutman, Rafa Czichos, Carlos Teran, Mauricio Pineda, Jonathan Dean.

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta., Federico Navarro, Brian Guitierrez.

Forwards: Tom Barlow, Hugo Cuypers.

Bench: Spencer Richey, Wyatt Omsberg, Gaston Gimenez, Javier Casas, Chris Mueller, Fabian Herbers, Maren Haile-Selassie, Arnaud Souquet, Georgios Koutsias.

Referees

REF: Malik Badawi.
AR1: Justin Howard.
AR2: Kali Smith.
4TH: Calin Radosav.
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic.
AVAR: Jonathan Johnson.


How to Watch

Match Time: 8:30 p.m.

Venue: Soldier Field — Chicago.

TV/Streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.

Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Mega 97.1 FM (Spanish).

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).


Enjoy the game. Go City!

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