Orlando City’s 10 Best MLS Goals (So Far)



Every once in a while, the things we discuss on The Mane Land PawedCast end up giving me inspiration for an article. This week, Will Johnson’s excellent header inspired us to talk about the best goals in Orlando City’s MLS tenure.

This is my list, and, as such, my criteria. Obviously, amazingly skilled shots, or galazos from distance can make the cut, but I also included history-making moments. The list includes more recent goals, as well as blasts from the past. I felt it best to present them in chronological order, so let’s get to it.

March 8, 2015 — Orlando City vs. New York City FC

Down 1-0 in stoppage time in Orlando City’s inaugural match against New York City FC, it looked like it might end in heartbreak. Then Kaká stepped up to take a free kick from just outside the area. He went for the right side of the goal, and the keeper was moving that way, when the ball deflected off the wall and went into the left side of the goal. It was Orlando City’s first MLS goal, in stoppage time, against fellow expansion side NYCFC. The crowd went wild, and for good reason.

May 30, 2015 — Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew (Part 1)

The Columbus Crew visited The Citrus Bowl and almost immediately went up a goal in the sixth minute, thanks to a Tony Tchani goal. Things turned around for the Lions when Michael Parkhurst was sent off in the 15th minute. One minute later, Kaká buried a shot from the spot to bring Orlando City even. The best part of this goal however, was the celebration. Kaká led a few teammates up into the stands to the joy of the supporters (57 second mark).

May 30, 2015 — Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew (Part 2)

Orlando City had been up a man versus Columbus since the 15th minute of play. Unfortunately, the Lions were also down a goal thanks to what could have been a game winner from Kei Kamara in the 61st minute. With time running down in regulation, Pedro Ribeiro launched a wicked strike from outside the box and into the bottom right corner to save the day for the Lions.

March 6, 2016 — Orlando City vs. Real Salt Lake

This one is a bit of a two-fer. I attended the 2016 opener against Real Salt Lake. In the 26th minute, Joao Plata put RSL up, 1-0. Then in the 66th minute, Plata scored another to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. For the next 28 minutes Orlando City didn’t seem capable of climbing back into the match. Then the unimaginable happened. Cyle Larin scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time (2:58 mark below). Before I or anyone had a chance to finish celebrating the goal, the Lions quickly got the ball down the field, where it split both the RSL defenders, Larin, and Adrian Winter only to fall perfectly for Winter to even the match at the very death of stoppage time (3:20 mark). I don’t know that I’ve ever heard Camping World Stadium any louder than at that moment. It was glorious.

April 15, 2017 — Orlando City vs. LA Galaxy

The LA Galaxy had seemingly cleared the ball out of their area, but Scott Sutter had a different idea. He one-timed it back towards the left side of the box, where Will Johnson beat all the Galaxy defenders to the ball in the box. He took the bouncing ball on his chest and then deftly chipped the keeper to give Orlando City the lead in the ninth minute. The Galaxy would level, but Larin gave the Lions the victory in the 91st minute.

May 13, 2017 — Orlando City vs. Sporting Kansas City

Sporting KC spoiled the Lions’ perfect record in the newly minted Orlando City Stadium with a 2-2 draw. However, it was Orlando City’s second goal that makes this list. Not long after Larin had equalized for the Lions in the 16th minute, Kaká took the cross from Scott Sutter on his chest then down to his foot, stepped past two defenders, and drilled the balled into the lower right corner of the goal (4:35 mark). It was one of those flashes of brilliance Kaká would show every once in a while.

July 29, 2017 — Orlando City at Atlanta United

One of the quickest goal kicks-to-goals ever scored in MLS history came in Orlando City’s match against Atlanta. A few minutes before halftime, Joe Bendik launched a long goal kick down the center of the pitch to Larin. The Canadian deftly settled the ball and made a quick pass to his left, where a streaking Kaká one-timed it into the upper right corner past the hands of Brad Guzan. Hector Villalba would draw Atlanta even in second-half stoppage time, but that doesn’t take away from the beautiful goal.

April 8, 2018 — Orlando City vs. Portland Timbers

Orlando City scored three goals in less than 10 minutes to complete a comeback win against Portland. Dom Dwyer scored the winning goal in the 87th minute. Dwyer took a long pass down the right side of the pitch into the box. With two Portland defenders on him, he fell down, got back up, shifted to his right, and put a beauty past an advancing Jake Gleeson for the goal (10:00 mark).

April 21, 2018 — Orlando City vs. San Jose Earthquakes

It took Chris Mueller all of 93 seconds to score the fastest goal in Orlando City’s MLS history. Cash took a long ball on the right side of the field, made one San Jose defender miss, and hit a very tight angle goal to give Orlando City the early lead. It was his rookie year, so I can only assume the two defenders and the keeper didn’t think the youngster would take such a shot, but it put him into the history books.

June 1, 2019 — Orlando City at Montreal Impact

This was the goal that started the whole reason for this article. I’m certain the 22 passes that led up to the beautiful header from Johnson is still fresh in your memory. It was the third goal of the day for the Lions, but it really demonstrated the manner in which Orlando City dominated this game. Incidentally, Johnson’s goal wasn’t the only thing he did all day. In fact he received Man of the Match honors from The Bearded Guy in his grades article, and both Michael and I on the PawedCast.

Let me know which was your favorite, if I left out any from your list, or if you don’t think one of these should have qualified. Go City!


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