Connect with us

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls: Final Score 4-3 as Sutter and Colmán Save the Lions

The Lions blew a late 3-2 lead but Sutter’s blast from outside the box off of Josué Colmán restored Orlando’s advantage.



Carlos Romero, The Mane Land

Orlando City is on the board. The Lions got a brace from Dom Dwyer in his season debut in a chippy 4-3 win over the New York Red Bulls (2-2-0, 6 points). The disappointing Easter weekend crowd of 23,257 was treated to an edgy game with plenty of offense, as Orlando (1-2-1, 4 points) fought back from two deficits and overcame a late equalizer.

Will Johnson and Josué Colmán also scored for the Lions, although the latter was originally credited to Scott Sutter. It was the Paraguayan’s first MLS goal even though he knew little about it, as Sutter’s blast hit Colmán on the way toward the net. The Lions improved to 3-4-1 in the all-time series, and 2-1-1 at home (2-0-0 at Orlando City Stadium).

“Really pleased from an effort and commitment point of view, no doubt,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said after the game.

“They came out hot and they came to play,” said Sacha Kljestan, who faced his old team for the first time. “I think we started a little bit slow and it took us some time to grow into the game but I’m really happy we got the win.”

Here’s the lineup Kreis started:

The visitors used a lineup filled with familiar faces, including center backs Tommy Redding and Aurelien Collin, and striker Carlos Rivas — all former Lions.

The game started poorly for the hosts, with Florian Valot scoring his first MLS goal in just the seventh minute, nodding home a perfectly placed cross from Kaku that just cleared Mohamed El-Munir’s head. The Lions were on the back foot already.

Orlando settled down and got back into the game, equalizing eight minutes later. Kljestan unlocked the defense with a ball that sent Justin Meram to the end line. The Iraqi international slipped his pass by Collin to a waiting Johnson, who tapped it in to make it 1-1.

Kljestan nearly helped the Lions take a lead in the 23rd minute with a set piece delivery that cleared Lamine Sané’s head by just inches. Just a touch would have made it 2-1. Instead, it was New York regaining the lead a minute later.

A turnover by rookie Cam Lindley in the midfield gave the ball to Valot, who slotted a through ball for Derrick Etienne. Sané didn’t quite have the pace to get there first, and Etienne fired a shot that nutmegged Joe Bendik and deflected in off his leg — a shot he’ll want back.

Orlando came right back at New York, quickly earning a corner in the 26th minute. A minute later, after Meram won a second corner in quick succession, the Lions leveled the score again. Yoshimar Yotun sent in a dangerous near-post ball that Dwyer got the side of his head onto and it was suddenly 2-2. Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles wanted a foul, as Dwyer had a hold of his shirt and muscled his way to his first goal of the year. Orlando City Stadium was treated to its first Dom flip of the year as well.

“I managed to get myself in front of Robles, and I don’t really know what part of my body it went off — the back of my head — but a goal’s a goal,” Dwyer said.

The game was already physical, but it got even more chippy from that point, with the biggest battle being waged between Dwyer and Collin. The two former teammates at Sporting Kansas City were in in each other’s face all day, with Collin getting booked once and perhaps lucky not to have received a second yellow moments later after sending Dom sprawling.

As much as the game was physical, it didn’t keep the match from being a wide-open affair. Sané made a vital 1-v-1 challenge to win the ball in his own penalty area, and when the Lions countered, Robles had to be quick off his line to keep Yotun from reaching it first and having a clear chance at goal. Yotun, for his part, seemed a bit off his game, misplaying a cross right onto his feet in the box in the 42nd minute. El-Munir then sent the ball over the net upon regaining possession.

Just before the half, the Red Bulls got a set piece, which Collin weakly nodded wide of goal. Lindley also was shaken up after an altercation with Red Bulls midfielder Kaku, who took exception to some jawing and light pushing with the rookie and swept his legs out from beneath him. None of the officials saw the play.

The teams went to the locker room tied at 2-2, with nearly exactly 50/50 possession and seven shots apiece (3-3 on target).

Just three minutes after the restart, the Lions took their first lead of the season. Dwyer made a heads-up run on a throw-in and El-Munir delivered a great throw to spring him into the box. Dwyer smashed it with his left and beat Robles to make it 3-2.

“Super to have [Dwyer] back,” Kreis said. “Tactically he gives us a little bit more of a true number nine and we’ve been kind of playing without one for the first three matches. So to have a true target there — a player there who is going to finish things — is real nice for us. Big, big credit to him for taking his goals.”

Rivas nearly pulled that goal back in the 51st when he rocketed one just wide of the far post.

Once the second half settled in a bit more, Orlando switched up to a 4-2-3-1 formation. With Lindley out at halftime for Colmán, Johnson and Yotun played in the defensive midfield behind Meram, Kljestan, and the Paraguayan teenager, with Dwyer up top alone.

Orlando got a set piece and Johnson’s shot was saved in the 59th minute. Kljestan poked the ball to Yotun, who stopped it and teed it up for Johnson, whose shot took a deflection. The ricochet took enough steam off the ball for Robles to correct his positioning and collect it. Yotun got down the left in the 61st and fired a shot but it was right at the Red Bulls keeper.

Chris Mueller came on for a cramping Dwyer in the 65th minute. Moments later, Amro Tarek pulled up with an injury and was eventually subbed out for RJ Allen, so the Lions were suddenly down to their emergency center back as Bradley Wright-Phillips checked in for New York.

Mueller nearly gave the Lions some insurance in the 73rd minute. Robles made a diving fingertip save to prevent the rookie’s first MLS goal after he nodded down a perfect Kljestan cross. A minute later, Meram headed the ball into the net but the flag was up. Orlando continued to press for insurance. Kemar Lawrence broke up a 3-v-2 Orlando break in the 77th minute.

An ill-advised foul on Johnson provided the Red Bulls with a chance to equalize and the visitors did. The free kick to the back post was nodded home by Aaron Long, who beat Sané with a tug and a shove and left the defender on the ground, asking why no foul was given.

But the Lions didn’t hang their heads after Long’s 82nd-minute goal. Orlando came right back on the attack and Mueller found himself in the box, trying to split two defenders. As he cut between the two, Valot swept at the ball and got Mueller’s right leg but no penalty was given. Still, Orlando kept fighting.

Off a throw-in, Kljestan found a wide-open Sutter on the far side of the field. Sutter took a touch and blasted a shot from outside the box that deflected off Colmán and beat Robles to make it 4-3 in the 86th minute.

From that point on, Orlando did well to hold possession, with Mueller, Yotun, and Colmán working well to keep the ball in the right corner to use up much of the remaining clock.

Finally, the whistle blew on City’s first win of the season. It was a deserved three points, with the Lions holding 54.4% of the possession, out-shooting the Red Bulls, 14-10 (8-4 on target), and passing at 71% compared to New York’s 66%.

“I wasn’t expecting a 4-3 game. Those don’t come around very often,” said Kljestan. “I’m glad we came out on the winning side.”

“Hard-fought win,” Kreis said. “Really, really difficult to get that result today for a lot of reasons. Big, big credit to all the players that participated in that match and put their absolute best foot forward, because I think without 100 percent commitment, we don’t walk out of there with all three points.”

Orlando City will host the Portland Timbers next Sunday.

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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading

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!

Continue Reading