Orlando City vs. Atlanta United: Final Score 3-1 as Lions Get First Win Over Five Stripes
Junior Urso, Chris Mueller, and Nani scored to serve as exorcists, banishing the Atlanta United demons in a deserved 3-1 road win by the Lions at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Despite being the team on fewer days of rest, Orlando City (4-2-2, 14 points) showed good energy on the press and in transition and defended well overall to finally beat Atlanta United (3-4-0, 9 points).
Mueller and Urso also added assists in the match.
The Lions won their second straight match and first true road game this season, and Orlando improved to 1-6-2 in the all-time league series against Atlanta — 1-7-2 in all competitions — and 1-2-2 at Atlanta. Now that Orlando has blooded Atlanta, maybe this series can become a rivalry.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the game that he was happy about the team’s commitment and energy on a short turnaround.
“The three points are the most important for the motivation,” he said. “This is the first time we beat Atlanta so we’re happy. We keep going.”
Pareja made four changes to his usual lineup, starting Pedro Gallese in net behind a back line of Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, and Kyle Smith. The defensive midfield consisted of Uri Rosell and Andres Perea, behind an attacking midfield of Benji Michel, Urso, and Chris Mueller, with Dike up top for the third consecutive match. Ruan, Sebas Mendez, and Nani started on the bench, with Mauricio Pereyra not in the 18 and Tesho Akindele not available for selection for the second consecutive match.
“It’s good news for all, knowing they took the responsibility against a very difficult rival and on a very difficult turf,” Pareja said of his young players starting in the attack. “And they had that character to come out and play that game that way. The young boys today showed the future is bright here. And the core of the players who have been getting results before, we had the opportunity to rest some of them and the boys came in and took that responsibility.”
Dike fired a shot across Atlanta’s bow in the first minute, skipping a shot just wide to the left. The rookie had a couple of players breaking and may have been better served to slip someone through but he didn’t miss by much. The Lions showed early on that they weren’t going to press as persistently as usual on short rest, instead hanging back and taking away options for goalkeeper Brad Guzan and his defenders when they tried to play out of the back.
“Today it was probably too much to ask the boys to go and press all the time,” Pareja said, due to the fixture congestion, traveling and quick turnaround. “So we considered that just giving them the ball sometimes will help us just to save some energy. That’s why I want to remark [about] the discipline defensively of the team. We knew that they would give us some space in the back and we took that.
Atlanta started to control the game about three minutes in and did so for about a solid five minutes, resulting in the game’s first corner. Brooks Lennon got onto the corner kick cross with a thunderous header but Gallese reached out one of his eight arms and made a spectacular goal-line save to keep it scoreless. The play was checked by VAR to see if it had crossed the line but it had not.
Another look at the save by Gallese. #ATLvORL pic.twitter.com/XmOrI65tjH
— Austin David (@AustinDavid22) August 29, 2020
Orlando finally regained the ball and earned its own first corner in the 13th minute. Mueller sent in a perfect ball for Urso, who smashed a low header that skipped off the turf in front of Guzan and squirted through his legs for the opening goal — Urso’s first in MLS.
Urso sent a shot from outside the box just a bit wide in the 18th minute as Orlando got more of a hold on the match. Dike won a corner shortly thereafter and Mueller found Carlos but the Brazilian was spinning a bit in the run-up and couldn’t make good contact, sending his header over in the 21st minute.
Atlanta’s Manuel Castro got his side’s second good look of the half just seconds later, dragging a shot wide of Gallese’s goal.
Perea fizzed a wicked cross through the top of the six in the 29th minute but none of his teammates could get onto it. Then Dike won another corner off a good buildup when he took a pass from Michel and had his shot blocked behind. Atlanta cleared Mueller’s service and as Moutinho was bringing the ball back into the area the whistle blew for a foul on Urso but it just looked like two Atlanta players collided with each other.
No matter, after a brief pause for the trainers to come out, Orlando scored its second. Moutinho won a ball off Guzan’s ensuing restart, sending his header to Mueller, who gathered and sent it forward to Dike in the middle. The rookie smartly played to his right for Michel and the second-year Homegrown wisely cut a pass back to Mueller, who had never stopped his run. Mueller finished into the empty net to make it 2-0 in the 35th. Mueller’s career-high sixth of the season — the most on Orlando — was a great way for the winger to celebrate his 24th birthday.
“I looked up and I thought that I was going to have a go at the outside back actually,” Mueller said about the play. “I looked up and I saw Daryl finding some space in between the two center backs, so I picked out a pass to him, and I saw that he turned and laid back [a pass] and I just continued my run and I was screaming to Benji for the ball back across because the space was so wide open and I was right there. And he found me so well and laid one on a platter and gave me the best birthday present I could have asked for.”
It was nearly Michel to Mueller again in the 41st as Benji got to the end line and crossed for Mueller, who was crashing the back post. Guzan stuck out a foot to knock the cross behind for a corner. The Lions should have made it 3-0 on the set piece, with Perea getting a free running header on the back side of the play but he sent his shot agonizingly wide of the net in the 42nd minute.
Atlanta failed to do much with a pair of late set pieces and the teams went to the break with the Lions ahead, 2-0. Orlando led in shots (7-4) and shots on goal (2-1), with both teams completing 84% of their passes and Atlanta holding a slim possession advantage (51.5%).
The Five Stripes dominated possession in the second half. Orlando stayed organized and looked for counter opportunities, coming close a few times before finally getting a late insurance goal.
Pity Martinez was dangerous throughout the second half, shooting from everywhere and nearly breaking in behind the defense multiple times. Jansson denied him getting in alone with a vital tackle early in the second half and good team defending prevented him getting a shot off in the box a few minutes later.
Lennon got off a glancing header in the 55th minute off a corner kick but it was well off target. Martinez then sent in either a shot or a cross. Gallese came off his line to grab it before being fouled by Adam Jahn.
Atlanta continued to look for offense and brought Cubo Torres and Ezequiel Barco on in the 60th minute. Orlando, which had been struggling to keep possession, brought on Nani and Sebas Mendez for Dike and an exhausted-looking Rosell.
Nani quickly got involved, getting whistled for a foul after taking an elbow from Torres that split his lip open. That led to a prolonged spell of possession and set pieces in the attacking third for Atlanta. Gallese made a good play to get up and tip a dangerous shot from Barco over the bar in the 66th minute.
The Lions finally got forward and won a counter shortly after that and this time the cross found Jansson at the near post but his flick skipped wide of the far post in the 69th minute on what would have been a nice goal for the beefy Swede.
Disaster struck for Orlando in the 75th minute. Mendez headed a ball back toward his own goal and Gallese had time and space to come out and pick it up. Either Moutinho didn’t hear the Octopus calling him off or he just wanted to be safe, and the Portuguese left back sent an emphatic clearance out of play but was injured in the process. He was in obvious pain and holding his groin area and had to be stretchered off the field. Kamal Miller came on to replace him.
Michel put the ball in the net on a quick counter in the 81st minute but he was correctly ruled offside and the game remained at 2-0. That only lasted two more minutes, as the Five Stripes took advantage of Moutinho’s replacement.
Second-half sub Jurgen Damm received the ball on the right for Atlanta and faked toward the end line, then faked back the other way. Miller overplayed to block the cross and Damm went back toward the end line to get his cross in cleanly. Lennon peeled back off of Smith and looped a header inside the post to make it 2-1 in the 83rd minute.
Ruan nearly pulled that goal back a minute later, getting a touch to a good cross right in front, but it skipped wide of the post. But the Lions sealed the game two minutes later. The Atlanta defense played the ball to Martinez, who had been dropping deep to get on the ball and start the attack. Urso recognized this as his moment and pounced, dispossessing Martinez and breaking in on goal. As Guzan faced him up, Nani called for the ball on the left and Urso slid it over for the captain to finish. His third of the season made it 3-1 in the 86th minute.
“I know he don’t like when we pressure behind him,” Urso said of Martinez. “So I just waited for a good moment to try to take the ball, to recover the ball for us. When the defender gave it to him I knew it was a good moment to take the ball for us. So I tried to take it. And when I was in front of the keeper, if Nani doesn’t ask me, 100% I will shoot because I have a good position to score. But when I heard his voice, I know he’s free so I have to think about the team first. So I passed to Nani and he was happy and scored one more goal for us.”
“Today’s performance from Junior — not starting the last game — was incredible and another level of commitment from the team,” Pareja said.
The Lions got a scare in the 88th minute when Carlos cleared a bouncing ball, jumping high into the air. After the clearance, Lennon collided with the Brazilian’s foot and went down. The referee went over to review the replay but ruled that it was a legal play by Orlando City’s center back and no penalty was given.
From there, Orlando survived a few Atlanta set pieces, a shot off the crossbar by Barco in the 96th minute, and 10 minutes of stoppage time. The Lions heard the whistle and finally had their first win of the series.
Atlanta finished with more shots (11-10), shots on target (4-3), possession (61.3%), and corners (9-6), and out-passed Orlando (86%-79%). But the Lions made the most of enough of their opportunities to get the victory.
“It was a tough grind,” Mueller said. “I think that we put in a really good team performance. Obviously we had some guys rotated in there and I think everybody from top to bottom played an unbelievable game and I’m just so happy for the guys as well.”
It’s another quick turnaround for Orlando as the Lions will make the trip to Tennessee to face Nashville SC away on Wednesday night.
Lion Links: 5/29/23
Pareja disappointed with draw, Julie Doyle returns from injury, OCB hosts Red Bulls II, and more.
Happy Memorial Day, Mane Landers! There is a whole lot of soccer to cover today, following a weekend full of news, including your local teams in purple having matches, although not the results we wanted with the Lions allowing a late goal to draw 1-1 and the Pride falling in Chicago. The English Premier League came to an exciting close Sunday. The Young Lions have a match of their own tonight. So, while Mondays can often bring the work week blues (for those who don’t have today off, anyway), at least you have a whole lot of soccer reading to get you up and at it this week.
But before we dive all the way in, please join me in wishing former Orlando City defender and current Orlando Pride Head Coach Seb Hines a happy birthday. Now, let’s get down to it in the links!
Oscar Pareja Disappointed for Fans
Following the Lions late draw on Saturday night, Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja showed some strong feelings towards the disappointing result. He said the team has to do better for its supporters and grind out wins after good performances.
“I have to say that we played well today and I want to congratulate that group of players that pushed that match and that energy. That’s the team that we want to see. The other part is the frustration of giving up another goal at the end and not walking away with the three points. At that part, the equation gets through things, soccer, fútbol, concentration, many things. But we want to see that team more often and we want to see that energy more often. We want to see that Orlando City. And to our fans, that support deserves much, much more.”
Check out the full post game press conference, which also featured interviews with goal scorer Kyle Smith and Orlando City defensive midfielder Wilder Cartagena.
Pride’s Loss Mars Doyle’s Return to the Pitch
The Orlando Pride dominated play but could not score on Saturday night, and that led to the end of the club’s four-game unbeaten run. With her start, Marta tied former teammates Ashlyn Harris and Toni Pressley for most regular-season appearances in Pride history with her 81st league match. Meanwhile, forward Julie Doyle also made her return to the field as a second-half substitute. Doyle had not played since the beginning of April due to an ankle injury. Head Coach Seb Hines said he was disappointed with the result but glad to see Doyle return to the lineup. Here’s what Hines had to say about Doyle:
“She’s an exciting player, she’s always active. We felt like it was the right time to bring her in, chasing the goal. She’s always on the move, making defenders defend and it’s nice to have another attacking option come off the bench, along with Ally Watt and Summer Yates. It just shows that we were being more aggressive towards the end again to try and get ourselves back in it. We felt that with the likes of Julie and Ally, Adriana, Marta, and Summer, we had an opportunity to get back in the game and ultimately win the game at the end, but we fell a little bit short. I can’t fault the players’ efforts. They put a lot into it, they’re working extremely hard and we have to just keep going and look forward to the next game away at Houston.”
Orlando City B Hosts New York Red Bulls II
The Young Lions of OCB are ready to host the Young Red Bulls tonight at Osceola Heritage Park. Leading the way for the team is forward Jack Lynn in red-hot form. Lynn has found the back of the net three times in the last two matches, with a game winner against intrastate rivals Inter Miami CF II on Thursday night. Lynn now leads the Young Lions in goals scored this campaign, with five in 2023, and has 20 goals total in his MLS NEXT Pro career. OCB will look to maintain its unbeaten record at home this season tonight, entering the match with a 3-0-2 record at Osceola County Stadium.
Premier League Relegation Battle
Heading into Matchday 38 of the English Premier League campaign, one team was already sure of its fate regarding relegation. Southampton was a good distance behind Leicester City and Leeds United, but both of those clubs had a chance to jump Everton in the standings. Southampton didn’t go quietly into the night though, as the team played to a 4-4 draw against Liverpool. Ultimately, Leicester City and Leeds United were relegated from the EPL on the final day of the season after Everton ensured its own survival with a narrow victory on Sunday. Leicester City fought to a 2-1 victory over West Ham United, while Leeds suffered a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Everton extended its unbroken 69-year tenure in the English top flight as midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure’s stunning strike earned the Toffees a 1-0 victory over Bournemouth as they avoided relegation on the final day of the season.
- Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris exited his team’s match in the first half after injuring his groin on the same play in which he scored a goal.
- The Angel City Brigade chanted “we want better” as the LA Galaxy players and Head Coach Greg Vanney went over to have a conversation with the supporters group following their match.
- D.C. United Head Coach Wayne Rooney said he wishes he had 11 subs to make amid his frustrations following the 2-1 loss to a struggling Toronto FC.
- Arsenal won 5-0 against Wolverhampton Wanderers led by a in Granit Xhaka brace in what is expected to be his final game of after seven years at the club.
- Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe was named Ligue 1 player of the season for the fourth time in a row after helping the capital club win a record 11th French title. He claims he’ll return to PSG next season.
- Club legends Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba bid tearful farewells to Barcelona on Sunday on an emotional evening as the La Liga champions ran out 3-0 winners against Mallorca.
- Bayern Munich’s firing of club great and former CEO Oliver Kahn after winning the Bundesliga title has led to a public dispute between the two parties.
- Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Sergio Rico is in intensive care following a horse riding accident.
- With the Premier League season behind us, check out all the stats behind this year’s use of VAR in the league.
I hope you have a great week, Mane Landers. Do something special for someone today. And, best of luck to the Young Lions tonight. Vamos Orlando!
Orlando City vs. Atlanta United: Player Grades and Man of the Match
How did your favorite Lions individually perform in Orlando City’s 1-1 draw against Atlanta United?
Orlando City closed out a busy May with a frustrating 1-1 draw against Atlanta United at Exploria Stadium. The Lions played well throughout the match, but couldn’t double their lead and paid the price yet again, as Atlanta scored a late equalizer to leave Orlando with a point. Here’s how each Lion individually performed in this rivalry match.
GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — Gallese didn’t have much to do until the 86th minute, when he pushed a deflected shot out for a corner. El Pulpo made a superb save on Matheus Rossetto’s low shot from the corner kick, but couldn’t get a hand on Tyler Wolff’s strike after the rebound fell to him. His distribution was good, as he was accurate on four of his seven long balls and 81.6% of his 16 passes.
D, Rafael Santos, 6 — His passing needed to be a bit better. Completing 78.3% of his 46 passes isn’t bad, but there were a few turnovers from him that mirrored his mistake last week. Only two of his seven crosses were accurate, but the misses weren’t egregious and many were still delivered into good areas that were difficult to defend. Santos was accurate on three of his seven long balls as well. Atlanta wasn’t able to get too much going when attacking his side of the field, and he finished with two tackles and a blocked shot.
D, Robin Jansson, 7.5 (MotM) — The Beefy Swede was extra beefy in this one. Jansson was tasked with keeping Giorgos Giakoumakis quiet and did well marking him to prevent him from taking a shot for just the second match this season. Jansson had two tackles, two clearances, an interception, and blocked a shot from Thiago Almada. On the attacking side of things, Jansson was accurate on seven of his 11 long balls and had 35 passes at an 82.9% success rate. The center back was a major reason why the league-leading offense didn’t manage a shot on target until late in the match.
D, Antonio Carlos, 7 — Carlos was a force to be reckoned with in the air, as he won three of his four aerial duels and led the Lions with six clearances. While an early yellow card limited how physically he played, it didn’t stop his effectiveness when dealing with Atlanta’s attack. He had an opportunity to score early on off of a free kick, with Mauricio Pereyra finding him crashing the far post. Carlos got to it with clean contact, but the header was directly at Brad Guzan. His other shot was a header from a corner kick, but it was sent off target. The Brazilian center back was successful on 88.9% of his 36 passes and was accurate on four of his eight long balls. His next yellow card will result in a suspension for accumulation.
D, Kyle Smith, 7 — The right back scored his first goal of the year and fourth in MLS by being in a great position to bury a rebound from Facundo Torres’ shot. Smith was all alone at the far post after a series of passes and a blocked shot and smashed the ball between Brad Guzan’s legs before the goalkeeper could close them. He had another shot after Torres laid the ball off to him in the box, but his strike was blocked. Derrick Etienne beat him a couple of times and he wasn’t able to get a body on Tyler Wolff on the equalizer, but he was defensively sound for most of the match. Smith came up with four clearances, an interception, and a huge tackle against Almada late in the match. He also won both of his aerial duels. The 31-year-old completed all but two of his 30 passes for a great 93.3% success rate as well. Although his only cross of the match didn’t find its target, both of his long balls did.
MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — The 22-year-old was composed in this rivalry match and did well to connect Orlando’s attack and defense. He was fairly active on offense, particularly on the right wing alongside Torres in the second half. Araujo recorded a pair of key passes and didn’t miss by much with a swerving shot from range. Defensively, he chipped in with two tackles and blocked a shot. The Uruguayan had 42 passes at an 83.3% success rate and one of his two long balls found its mark. It was another solid outing from Araujo in his 11th consecutive match playing all 90 minutes.
MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 — The Peruvian midfielder led the Lions with five tackles, taking advantage of the pressure his teammates applied to win the ball and get it to Orlando’s playmakers. Cartagena also only committed one foul while doing so. He led the Lions with 54 passes, completing them at a great 92.6% success rate, and was accurate on two of his three long balls. Both of his shots were from outside the box, with one blocked and the other sent high and wide of goal. Cartagena made a few great passes, but a few disappointing ones that could have spelled danger as well.
MF, Ivan Angulo, 6.5 — The winger did well to help create Orlando’s first goal, beating his man and making the cutback pass to kickstart the pinballing in the box that led to Smith’s goal. It was nice to see some fruit from Angulo’s efforts on the left wing, as he used his speed and skill to surge into the box and earn set pieces. He wasn’t as clinical as he should be in the attack, taking no shots, making no key passes, and sending his only cross out of bounds. Although he was successful on all four of his dribbles, he also had six unstable touches and 28 passes at an 82.1% success rate. While he didn’t have any defensive stats, he was quick to collect loose balls or put a body on Atlanta players. He did well in this match for the most part, but made some mistakes and couldn’t capitalize on some of the chances he created.
MF, Facundo Torres, 7 — He wasn’t credited with an assist, but his shot in the box was deflected and fell for Smith to put away. It was his second shot of the match, with his other effort sent just over the crossbar. Torres also had two key passes and was successful on 83% of his 53 passes. Neither of his two crosses were successful, but both of his long balls were. His preference for his left foot continues to limit him, as defenders know he will cut back towards the middle. Still, Torres did well creating space for his teammates and was at his best when he had a fellow Lion making a run to his right or behind him. He led the Lions with 79 touches, completed six of his 12 attempted dribbles, and was fouled three times. Torres helped fuel Orlando’s press and he had a tackle and an interception in this one.
MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 7 — Orlando’s captain didn’t show many signs of rust in his first start since April 22. Although he finished with 27 passes at just a 74.1% success rate and was accurate on just one of his four crosses, Pereyra was sharp and daring throughout the match. He was successful on six of his seven long balls to really stretch Atlanta’s defense. He did the dirty work in Orlando’s first goal, springing Angulo forward and then finding a good position for the return pass so he could slip the ball in for Kara. The 33-year-old also won a crucial race against Almada, snuffing out a counter attack and quickly turning the tables with a pinpoint long ball. His lone shot of the match had to be taken quickly right in front of goal and Guzan made the save. Defensively, he helped apply pressure and made a pair of tackles.
F, Ercan Kara, 6 — He wasn’t able to score, but still did well spearheading Orlando’s attack. The Austrian forward had two shots, putting one on target that required a good save from Guzan and having the other blocked. Kara contributed two key passes as well. He had 17 touches in 72 minutes of action and completed all but one of his seven passes. Atlanta had him in its sights, marking him well and fouling him three times in a physical match. On Orlando’s goal, he cycled the ball into the path of Torres for him to get a shot off.
MF, Martin Ojeda (63′), 6.5 — Ojeda came on for Pereyra in the second half and helped keep Orlando’s offense moving. He had a key pass and his only shot of the match was a venomous strike from outside the box that forced a save from Guzan for a corner. Ojeda completed seven of his 10 passes and one of his three crosses. Defensively, he helped out with two tackles. Ultimately, he wasn’t able to find that insurance goal for Orlando, but looked dangerous with the ball at his feet.
F, Duncan McGuire (72′), 6 — The rookie subbed in for Kara and had good vision to set up a nice shot for Araujo. It was his only key pass and his best chance to score came a few minutes earlier with a cross into the box he couldn’t get on the end of before Atlanta cleared it. McGuire had six touches, completed all three of his passes, and had a clearance.
F, Ramiro Enrique (87′), N/A — The forward made another brief appearance, coming on late to give the Lions another attacker to chase a winning goal. Enrique only had two touches, completed his one pass, and was successful on a dribble.
That’s how I saw each performance from the Lions in their 1-1 draw at home to Atlanta United. It was a frustrating result, but many Lions had positive performances. Who was your Man of the Match? Make sure to vote in our poll and let us know what you think in the comments!
Orlando City vs. Atlanta United: Five Takeaways
Here’s what we learned from Orlando City’s 1-1 draw vs. Atlanta United.
Orlando faced off against local rival Atlanta United in the friendly confines of Exploria Stadium on Saturday night but a late goal conceded for the second time in as many home games led to two dropped points in a 1-1 draw. What can we takeaway from sharing points at home against a bitter rival?
Playing with Purpose
For a good majority of the first half and even into the second, the Lions’ tactics and drive seemed to connect from the back line to the forwards in an aggressive attacking style. In the first 15 minutes, Orlando dominated the ball and possession, but the Lions didn’t start to generate chances until after the first 20 minutes had gone. And while they ultimately did not come away with results to show for their aggression, the effort to come out on the front foot was not in vain and eventually led to Orlando’s first goal of the match. It also continued a coaching trend over the last several matches that demonstrated the team’s ability to dictate the pace of play as opposed to being forced to be reactionary.
Defense Delivers Again
For the second week in a row, Orlando City benefited from a goal from the back line. Instead of a screamer from Rafael Santos, as was the case last week against Miami, this week, Orlando City found its first goal from defender Kyle Smith. It was Smith’s first goal of the year and came in the 30th minute at the end of a team wide effort to put pressure on the goal. Finding the back of the net for defensive players has become a welcome trend over the last two weekends and spreading out the goals and getting them from less likely sources can only help the club moving forward.
Although he played fullback according to the lineup sheet, Smith essentially played in the midfield against Atlanta. His work helped Orlando boss the middle of the pitch throughout the first half and much of the second, preventing Atlanta from building momentum in its attack. Smith’s position on the pitch was often inverted, playing where one might normally expect to see Facundo Torres. He did an excellent job of helping win the ball back and getting into spaces that Atlanta wanted to play into. It also helped create space down the right for Torres. It was an unusual game plan but it worked well and Smith did a fine job in playing his role.
Captain Back in the Fray
Orlando City captain Mauricio Pereyra rejoined the starting 11 for the first time in several weeks and he contributed one shot that was unfortunately deflected right into Brad Guzan’s hands. He passed well and even helped defensively with two successful tackles — one of which was a vital one to dispossess Thiago Almada in transition. While it may take a few matches to fully reintegrate the maestro back into the attack, it’s apparent that Pereyra’s ability to pull the strings helps drive the attack. The team needs its captain to be on the field as he unlocks more options in the attack, but more importantly, it will need to see a defensive effort throughout the remainder of the year like the captain registered on Saturday.
Failure to Launch
For the third time in three matches, Orlando City has taken an early lead. In two out of those three matches, the Lions only have two points to show for their efforts. To make matters worse, two of those three results came at home. In their last three matches, the Lions have mustered five points from a potential nine that they held in hand before coughing up late results against New York City FC and Atlanta United. Despite continuing to climb the standings with a draw, Orlando City is dangerously close to creating a habit which its season may not recover from…good teams cover at home, and great teams secure all three points. While a draw against a team who is ahead in the table isn’t the worst result in the world, being able to score a win against both main rivals one week apart would have been so…so…so much sweeter.
Those were my big takeaways from a match that felt like it slipped through the Lions’ fingers. What were your most important moments of the match? Let us know in the comments below.
Orlando Pride Take Step Forward in Chicago Loss
Lion Links: 5/29/23
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