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Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union: Final Score 2-0 as Lions Win Final 2016 Road Match

Carlos Rivas and Julio Baptista scored second-half goals to lift Orlando to its first MLS win over the Union.



Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Orlando City got goals from Carlos Rivas and Julio Baptista and played a solid defensive game to beat the Philadelphia Union, 2-0, at Talen Energy Stadium in the last road game of 2016. The win snapped a five-game winless skid (0-4-1) and the Lions (8-11-14, 38 points) earned their first MLS win against the Union (11-13-9, 42 points) with an outstanding defensive effort and finally burying a couple of chances.

Don’t look now, but Jason Kreis’ club has allowed only one goal in its last three matches as we head toward next weekend’s season finale.

Kreis started a 4-4-2 with a back line left to right of Mikey Ambrose, Seb Hines, Jose Aja, and Rafael Ramos. The midfield selections were Kaká, Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Higuita, and Matias Perez Garcia. Rivas and Cyle Larin operated up top as the strike force.

There were few chances in the first half but most of them were in Orlando City’s favor. But the Lions over-hit several crosses and free kicks as their lack of clinical precision in and around the penalty area continued. Rivas got in behind the defense in the 11th minute and fired a ball across goal from left to right that was either a wide shot or an over-weighted cross for Larin.

Philadelphia tried to play into the box in the 17th and 18th minutes but Aja and Hines were there, respectively, to prevent any danger. C.J. Sapong got a head on a Keegan Rosenberry cross in the 21st minute but he didn’t get much on it and it was well wide of target.

A minute later, Ramos crossed into the box and the ball deflected off Fabinho and nearly found the back post for an own-goal but went just wide for a corner.

In the 30th minute, the Union got the best clear-cut chance of the first half when Fabian Herbers took a pass in the box on the right, but he fired well over Joe Bendik’s goal. Orlando then got a series of long free kicks but didn’t do anything with them, hitting them long and either to goalkeeper Andre Blake or out for a goal kick.

But in the 43rd the Lions were a post away from taking the lead. Kaká sent a cross into the six-yard box that Ken Tribbett deflected off the back post and the ball ricocheted straight to Blake. In first-half stoppage time the Lions got two quick back-to-back chances. Rivas sent Kaká down the left and the captain crossed for Perez Garcia’s one-timer. Unfortunately, Richie Marquez blocked the shot on what would have been a sure goal. Rivas followed off the deflection with a shot on the half volley but his effort was just over Blake’s crossbar.

That was it for the opening period as Ricardo Salazar blew his whistle for halftime seconds later.

The scoreless deadlock lasted through the first half and into the second period before the Lions grabbed a goal in the 59th minute on a play that started with a Philadelphia set piece. Hines hit a thunderous header off a Union corner kick cross that sailed out to Philly defender Fabinho, who showed a charging Rivas too much of the ball.

The Colombian nicked it and sped toward Blake’s goal. A heavy touch allowed Blake to come out and challenge Rivas and the two players collided just as Rivas took a shot. The ball deflected off Blake and back off Rivas before trickling toward the net. Just before it crossed the line, Rosenberry tried to clear it but only succeeded in helping it into the back of the net.

The goal was called an own-goal on the television broadcast but I’m giving it to Rivas because did the same and also because Rivas earned it with his play.

Philadelphia threw numbers forward to look for an equalizer but the Lions continued to get chances. Larin got a head to a corner in the 64th minute but sent it right at Blake.  Two minutes later, Sapong put a header on target from a Fabinho cross but Bendik made the save. A minute after that, it was Chris Pontius with a header on frame but Bendik made a diving stop to again hold off the Union.

Perez Garcia was robbed of a goal in the 79th when Rivas sent him in alone down the right. MPG took a touch to allow a defender to fly past and tried to curl it in at the back post but Blake made a spectacular diving save to keep the score at 1-0.

The Union had an opportunity with a free kick from the top of the box in the 84th minute but Tranquillo Barnetta curled in a bouncer right to Bendik. The Lions countered and MPG got to the byline but had his cross back for Kaká cut out by Fabinho.

Barnetta nearly broke Orlando hearts in the fourth minute of stoppage time but his free header skipped just wide of Bendik’s goal. A minute later, Baptista got a breakaway after a ball deflected in behind the Union defense. The Beast took a few touches toward Blake and then hit a power shot that the Philadelphia keeper got a piece of but couldn’t keep out.

Roland Alberg put the final Philadelphia effort just wide in the 97th minute and the Lions held on for the win.

Orlando City out-shot the Union 12-10, with each team getting four attempts on target. Philadelphia held the possession advantage, 56.6%-43.4%, but that got skewed after the Rivas goal, as the Union pushed numbers forward and the Lions often conceded possession to just clear their lines.

The Union remain above the red line because New England lost to Chicago, and Philadelphia more or less has clinched, since the Union are 12 goals better in goal differential than the Revolution. Orlando City jumped Columbus into eighth in the Eastern Conference standings with the Crew losing 3-2 to New York Red Bulls today.

The Lions will finish the season next Sunday when D.C. United visits Camping World Stadium for the finale at 4 p.m.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/29/23

Orlando City prepares for CF Montreal, learning more about Duncan McGuire, Jack Lynn named to MLS NEXT Pro Best XI, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

It’s Friday, which means we’re just one day away from a pretty busy weekend of Orlando soccer. It should be a pretty fun next few days, with Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and Orlando City B all in action. I don’t have many weekend plans beyond working and getting some writing and reading done. Let’s get to the links!

Orlando City Prepares for CF Montreal

Orlando City hosts CF Montreal tomorrow night in a showdown between two Eastern Conference teams with just four games remaining this season. It’s the second match between the two teams this year, with Montreal beating the Lions 2-0 in Canada on May 6. In the time since that game, the Lions have only lost three games this season and have not been defeated at home since April 22. Orlando’s next win will be Head Coach Oscar Pareja’s 60th with the Lions, and tomorrow’s match could also break club records for most wins and points in a season. A win for the Lions would be massive to put some breathing room between them and the other top teams in the Eastern Conference.

Get to Know Duncan McGuire

Orlando forward Duncan McGuire was the latest to go under the microscope as part of the club’s video series to learn more about the players. The rookie spoke on his upbringing as a middle child, as well as how he turned to soccer after struggling in other sports. McGuire also talked about his acrobatic goal celebrations and a clip is included of a time he didn’t quite stick the landing after scoring for Creighton. It’s a pretty fun interview, as he gave some details on how Mason Stajduhar is a quick learner when it comes to golf and how he wants to go out to dinner with Ana de Armas.

Jack Lynn Makes MLS NEXT Pro Best XI

Orlando City B forward Jack Lynn was named to the MLS NEXT Pro’s Best XI for the second straight year. Lynn fueled OCB’s offense this season, scoring 19 goals to help the Young Lions claim a spot in the playoffs. No MLS NEXT Pro player has scored more goals since the league’s inaugural season last year than Lynn, who has 34 goals under his belt. The 23-year-old is joined on the front line of this year’s Best XI with the two players he tied with for the Golden Boot, New York City FC II’s Matt Myers and Colorado Rapids 2 forward Remi Cabral.

Orlando City B Takes On Columbus Crew 2 This Sunday

The Young Lions will play their first MLS NEXT Pro playoff game this Sunday when they face Columbus Crew 2 on the road at 5:30 p.m. It will be the third and final match between the two sides this year, with each claiming a big win over the other earlier in the season. No team that qualified for the playoffs has lost more road games than OCB this season, which may be why Columbus elected to face Orlando. However, Orlando’s offense has been electric at times this year thanks to Lynn, Shak Mohammed, Wilfredo Rivera, and others. Sunday may be another wild game with the Young Lions involved and you can check it out on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.

Tahir Reid-Brown Called Up for Training Camp

United States U-17 Men’s National Team Head Coach Gonzalo Segares called up 20 players for a training camp in Brazil to prepare for the U-17 World Cup in November. OCB defender Tahir Reid-Brown was the lone Orlando representative called up for this camp. The 17-year-old was called up to the U-17 team earlier this April for a training camp in Florida. He’s had an impressive year, earning a spot in the MLS NEXT All-Star Game and making 10 appearances for OCB. The U.S. will take on Brazil on Oct. 4 and Oct. 6 in a pair of friendlies during this camp.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City center back Rodrigo Schlegel unveiled the meaning behind his tattoos, including the ones for his parents and his biggest moments as a Lion.

That’s all I have for you today. Hopefully the weather plays nice this weekend and you’re able to do everything you have planned. Have a great Friday!

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Three Keys to Victory

What does Orlando City need to do to earn all three points against CF Montreal this Saturday in Exploria Stadium?



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City hosts CF Montreal in the second-to-last home match of the 2023 MLS regular season at Exploria Stadium this Saturday night. The Lions have already secured a spot in the playoffs but are now fighting for home field advantage. Montreal is currently sitting in eighth place in the Eastern Conference and is fighting for a playoff spot.

What does Orlando City need to do to secure three important points against the Canadian Club Foots?

Time to Make the Donuts

It had been a minute since Duncan McGuire scored a goal for Orlando City — and by a minute I mean since July 29. McGuire had a few opportunities against Inter Miami and managed to get one to equalize for the Lions and ensure a point at home. I do think he might have scored on another of those chances if he was fully back in form after his injury time, but I’ll take the goal. 

My hope is that getting that goal will remind him that he can score goals when given the opportunity, and he will be better about finishing the chances he gets against Montreal. Sometimes it just takes getting that first goal to open up the muscle memory and to unlock the confidence needed in a striker. It’s time for Duncan to score more goals, and the match against Montreal is the first and best opportunity to do so since Montreal starting center back Joel Waterman will be serving a red card suspension.

Switch up the Lineup

I propose a change to the starting lineup — something Oscar Pareja does not do very often. Due to injuries and other factors such a move wasn’t possible earlier in the season, but I think it could work now. I have a ton of respect for Mauricio Pereyra, but he could probably use a rest to be fresh for the playoffs as the regular season winds down. 

I suggest letting Martin Ojeda get the start in the 10 spot, moving Dagur Dan Thorhallsson up the wing, and having Michael Halliday take over at right back. Ojeda’s play as of late has been much improved, and with Halliday healthy again, why not take advantage of Dagur Dan’s versatility along the wing. I think this move provides energy, a surprise for opposing defenses, and allows Facundo Torres more freedom. 

Same Old Effective Defense

Orlando City’s defense has only allowed 37 goals this season — which is good enough to tie for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. On the flip side, Montreal has only scored 30 goals so far — which is only better than Toronto at 24 goals. Montreal has a goal differential of -15.If the Lions play their normally solid defense in front of the outstanding goalkeeping of Pedro Gallese, Montreal should not get too many opportunities to score. There’s no doubt that we will see Robin Jansson and Rodrigo Schlegel paired together with Rafael Santos on the left and either Dagur Dan — or Michael Halliday as I suggested — on the right. Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena can stop most attacks before they get to the back line. If Orlando City plays defense as well as the club did against Miami, things should be fine.

That is what I will be looking for this Saturday as the Lions take on the boys from North of the border. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/28/23

Ajax is reportedly scouting Facundo Torres, Orlando Pride focus on upcoming matches, Houston Dynamo win U.S. Open Cup, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this work week has gone smoothly for you as we get ready to bid farewell to September. It’s been a hectic week for me, but I started and then promptly devoured all of Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros. It was a nice read, albeit a bit intense at times. I’m not sure what I’ll read next as most of my reading list is packed up for a move, but if you have any recommendations then let me know in the comments below. Let’s dive into today’s links!

Ajax Reportedly Interested in Facundo Torres

Orlando City forward Facundo Torres has reportedly garnered the interest of Dutch club Ajax according to Fabrizio Romano.

It’s not too surprising that Ajax, which currently sits in 14th in the Eredivisie with just seven goals from five games, has scouts keeping tabs on Torres. The 23-year-old has scored 12 goals this season, powering Orlando to second in the Eastern Conference. It wouldn’t be the first time Torres has received attention from European clubs and likely won’t be the last as he continues to impress with the Lions

Orlando Pride Focus During Playoff Push

The Orlando Pride are back in action on Monday for a crucial road match with Angel City FC. Both teams have 25 points this season, one point from the sixth and final playoff spot currently held by the Washington Spirit. It will be the first of three remaining games for the Pride this season, with matches against fellow playoff hopefuls Racing Louisville and the Houston Dash set for later in October. As a result, there’s not much margin for error if the Pride wish to make the playoffs and Kylie Strom talked about how the team is focused for these games.

MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs Begin This Weekend

The first round of the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs kicks off this weekend with six matches that can all be watched on MLS Season Pass. Unlike last year, Orlando City B will be taking part and is set to face off with Columbus Crew 2 on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Although the Young Lions have struggled on the road against Columbus, Jack Lynn and Shak Mohammed can make things difficult for the hosts. Hopefully we’ll see OCB make Columbus regret its choice of opponent in the postseason. I like the wrinkle and mind games to the playoffs the new rule gave and am interested to see which of the lower seeds plays with a chip on their shoulder. The playoffs begin on Friday when Sporting Kansas City II hosts Austin FC II in a battle between the third and fourth seeds of the Western Conference.

Houston Dynamo Win U.S. Open Cup

The Houston Dynamo have lifted the U.S. Open Cup trophy after winning 2-1 on the road against Inter Miami. A pair of goals in the first half were enough for Houston to win its second U.S. Open Cup title after also winning in 2018. A goal in stoppage time from Josef Martinez made things interesting, but the Dynamo defense did well to secure the win and deny Miami its second tournament title this year. It was a strong end to a solid tournament campaign from the Dynamo, as they beat four MLS sides before taking down Miami in the final.

Albertin Montoya Hired as Bay FC Head Coach

Ahead of its inaugural NWSL season next year, Bay FC named Albertin Montoya as the club’s first head coach. Montoya, who has lived in California for most of his life, served as the interim coach for the Washington Spirit in 2022 and also coached the U.S. U-17 women’s national team in 2011. Bay FC General Manager Lucy Rushton spoke on how Montoya’s name came up often while the club searched for a head coach, as well as how his skill at developing players will help build the club’s foundation.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja called for the supporters to continue filling Exploria Stadium and pushing the Lions forward for the team’s remaining home games this season.
  • St. Louis City midfielder Njabulo Blom won MLS Goal of the Week for his winner against Minnesota United. It was also the 23-year-old’s first professional goal.

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

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