Connect with us

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New England Revolution: Final Score 3-1 as Shorthanded Lions Bow Out of Playoffs

An early penalty awarded to New England set the tone, and when Orlando seemed to get back into the game, things got worse with another red card.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

The New England Revolution had never won a game at Orlando City before. At some point you knew that would change, but unfortunately it happened in the postseason as the Revs beat the Lions 3-1 in the Eastern Conference semifinals at Exploria Stadium. Orlando fell behind 2-0 and battled back into it, only to see Designated Player Mauricio Pereyra sent off for an awful challenge from behind, and the Revs tacked on a late insurance goal against the shorthanded Lions.

Carles Gil’s penalty put New England up early on a fairly soft call on Uri Rosell against Tajon Buchanan in the box and Gustavo Bou added another at the end of a transition that started with what looked like Nani getting fouled in the offensive end, but no call was made. Junior Urso pulled a goal back for Orlando, but Pereyra’s red card changed the game, although the biggest talking point will be a Nani penalty that Matt Turner saved. Another talking point might be that Adam Buksa didn’t get a second yellow for taking out Brian Rowe when Daryl Dike was booked for a similar offense earlier in the match.

Whatever your favorite talking point is, it’s all academic now.

“Obviously at this moment there is a lot of pain, and there is a lot of frustration that we have been carrying in the last 10 days, probably, with things that happened and we could not apparently flush them off,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “I know how hard they worked for this objecitve and now we need to grow. Certainly this will help us, for sure.”

Without the suspended Pedro Gallese or Ruan, Pareja started Rowe in goal behind a back line of Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, and Kyle Smith. Central midfielders Rosell and Urso played in the middle of the park, alongside attackers Pereyra and Chris Mueller, with Nani and Dike leading the attack.

The first half started out looking like extra time, with the teams playing cautiously and perhaps a bit nervously. Nani provided good service into the area three minutes in, but the cross was just a bit high for Dike to reach.

The Revolution earned a corner in the 11th minute with their first foray into the attacking third. New England played the set piece short and the Revs were called for a foul in their attacking box, turning it over.

Buchanan came down the right a few minutes later and changed the game. Rosell, backing up Miller, attempted a tackle and Buchanan anticipated contact, leaving his feet and going down easy. Referee Alex Chilowicz saw enough to award a penalty and Video Assistant Referee Chris Penso didn’t see a clear and obvious error. Gil stepped up and hit his penalty right down the middle, past Rowe, who guessed left, and New England led 1-0 in the 17th minute.

Orlando tried to pull it right back, winning a corner after the restart. Nani played the corner short to Pereyra, who crossed in. Jansson collected at the far side but hit his shot into the outside netting in the 19th minute. Mueller tried a long-range shot three minutes later but didn’t get much on it and hit it right at Turner for the easy save.

New England doubled its lead in the 26th minute. Nani got double teamed in the attacking third and went down under contact. Chilowicz allowed the play to continue and the Revs broke in transition. Adam Buksa hit a sliding shot off the right post, but Bou reacted to it first, scoring into the empty net to make it 2-0.

“We conceded a goal early, but I think we were OK in the game,” Nani said. “We were pressing up. We were creating our chances. But there was a decision when the ref didn’t give a foul on me and then they scored the second goal. I think there was the key of the game.”

“Obviously the two goals that New England scored early put us in a difficult situation,” Pareja said. “

The Lions found some life in the 33rd minute, pulling a goal back. Nani sent a gorgeous cross to Mueller at the back post. Mueller picked up the loose ball in traffic between Turner and defender Henry Kessler, sending it back to Urso, who fired home for his first MLS playoff goal, making it 2-1.

Dike nearly freed himself up in traffic in a similar way to Mueller two minutes later but couldn’t bring it in. Rosell picked it up at the top of the area and fired over the bar.

The last chance of the half came in the 38th, when Rowe got a hand on a Buksa shot to parry it over the bar. New England took its 2-1 lead into the locker room.

Orlando had more first-half shots (6-5), while the Revs got more on target (3-2) and won more corners (3-1). The Lions held more possession (57.9%-42.1%) and were the more accurate passing team (86%-78%).

The Lions generated a chance out of the break in the 46th minute when the ball found its way to Nani on the left side. He tried to curl a shot to the back post but didn’t hit it right and it sailed well off target. Moments later, Rosell stole the ball in midfield and started the break, but Mueller’s cross into the area was between teammates and easily cut out. Nani then won a corner but the cross was a bit behind the attacking line and Carlos couldn’t do much with it.

Orlando kept coming. Mueller won a corner in the 57th minute and Nani sent a low pass that Pereyra fired on target, but it was deflected wide by the defense.

But just when it appeared Orlando was on the front foot, disaster struck in the 60th minute. Matt Polster brought the ball forward and Pereyra trailed, looking for a chance to nick it back as he often does. However, when the chance came and Polster showed him too much of the ball, the Uruguayan launched himself late and his studs caught Polster’s ankle instead of the ball. It was an obvious straight red and the Lions were suddenly down to 10 men with a half an hour to play.

“I know Mauro, and I know how much he will be hurt at this moment,” Pareja said after the match, not having yet spoken with his DP midfielder. “I know how he feels, but I back him up 100% all the time, knowing that [he] made a mistake.”

“Mauricio today got a red card. He has our support. I love this guy,” Urso said.

“We’re professionals and I think we have to learn and find a way and find our character and deal with all these things that are part of the game,” Pareja said of the red cards the last two games. “And certainly today was another moment where we we lost our head. I want to be responsible for all that. It’s something that cannot happen.”

The Lions continued to try to find the equalizer. Mueller tried to split two defenders in the box in the 64th minute. He was walled off and Chilowicz ignored his plea for a penalty.

The Revs didn’t attack much but looked for opportunities to kille the game, and Bou fired a long-range shot that Rowe could only fight off for a corner. New England took the corner short, passed it back to Bou and the whole sequence repeated, as the Orlando keeper couldn’t do much but parry the shots away.

After the second corner, Buksa tried to dispossess Rowe on a passing sequence at the back and clobbered the keeper. Despite showing Dike a yellow card earlier for a play with less contact, Chilowicz kept his card in his pocket. Buksa was already on a yellow and the referee opted not to even up the two teams’ manpower on the pitch with a curious decision.

Orlando finally got its chance to level it in the 73rd when Dike was run over from behind inside the area. Chilowicz didn’t hesitate to point to the spot and Nani stepped up to take it. After going right twice last week against Sean Johnson — scoring once and seeing the other stopped on a great save — the captain opted to go left, but with the same, slow, stutter-step run-up. Turner guessed correctly and Nani didn’t get his shot far enough into the corner. Turner made the save and that seemed like the final nail in the coffin, although that was yet to come.

“Sometimes you should do better and then you must accept it was not your best. And today I couldn’t take the penalty,” Nani said. “We didn’t know what’s gonna happen at the end but I feel sorry for my teammates because the dream finishes right there.”

“Nani made a mistake. He don’t score the penalty, [but] he’s our leader. We believe in him,” said Urso.

Nani is five for 10 in penalties, including making an important one last week and against LAFC in the MLS is Back Tournament.

“Nani has had the personality. He has had the responsibility,” Pareja said. “There are always two, three people who are in charge of taking the PK. In that moment, he did it and we gave [him] the responsibility. It’s something that now obviously we may think that it should have been different…but Nani had the confidence from everybody.”

The Lions went to a three-man back line, sending Benji Michel and Tesho Akindele on to try to chase the game and, like any high-risk strategy might, it ended up costing them. After Akindele got under a free header on a free kick that might have tied the match, the Revs put it away.

With more space at the back, Gil took the ball down the left side, waited for a run, and sprung Bou through the defense. The New England DP slotted a shot right through Rowe’s legs to make it 3-1 in the 86th minute.

Orlando fashioned a couple of set pieces but couldn’t do much with them and the clock ran out on the Lions’ 2020 season.

The Lions out-shot New England (11-9) but the Revs got more on goal (6-3). Orlando had more corners (6-5), held more possession (61.2%-38.8%) and, passed more accurately (86%-77%).

“I’m very proud of this group. I’m very proud of the players,” Pareja said of his 2020 team. “Today people have seen us, the people recognize this group, the people know that they are good competitors and we’re proud of that.”

“I’m very proud of the team, of my teammates,” Nani said. “We talked a couple minutes ago. We had a team who’ve been working so hard, who’ve been improving so much, and everyone could see it on the field. In one season you can see so much difference on each player. And I’m so, so happy for what this team gave me. They made me believe we could win this league. They made me believe I could win a league again. Even at my age.”

Orlando City’s season is over. It doesn’t feel good right now, but it was a great season and any of us would have taken this if offered at the start of the year.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/23/24

Ivan Angulo makes Team of the Matchday bench, Americans in action, Sergino Dest to miss Copa America, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It was an excellent weekend for Orlando’s soccer teams, as the three sides took seven of the nine points on offer. There’s no rest for the wicked this week as the Orlando Pride travel to play the Washington Spirit on Friday, Orlando City hosts Toronto FC on Saturday, and Orlando City B finishes things up at home against Toronto FC II on Sunday. Let’s take a look at today’s links.

Ivan Angulo Earns Recognition

Ivan Angulo has been named to the bench of the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Matchday. The Colombian got the start on Saturday up in Montreal, and had a good game, going the distance and completing 82% of his passes and putting one of his two shots on target. That shot was an important one, as it gave the Lions a late equalizer and helped them salvage a valuable point on the road. Sean Rollins gave him a grade of 6 in his player grades from the match, a rating that likely would have been higher had Martin Ojeda’s pass been accurate enough to allow Angulo to grab a possible winner just a few minutes after he equalized. Here’s hoping he keeps up the good work!

Americans in Midweek Action

There are a number of Americans taking part in big games this week, and the good people over at Stars and Stripes FC have you covered with the whole rundown. First up, Weston McKennie, Tim Weah, and Juventus will try to advance to the Coppa Italia final this afternoon, as they enter the second leg of the semifinal against Lazio with a 2-0 lead on aggregate. Tomorrow sees Monaco and Folarin Balogun meet Lille in Ligue 1 action, while Chris Richards and Crystal Palace host Newcastle United in the Premier League. Things wrap up on Friday in Serie B when Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessman, and third-place Venezia face Cremonese as they try to overtake Como and finish in one of Serie B’s two guaranteed promotion places.

Sergino Dest Sidelined Long Term

Following up on a story from yesterday’s Lion Links, The Athletic is reporting that the knee injury suffered by Sergino Dest will keep him out of Copa America, and sideline him for the rest of the year. That would be a big blow for the United States Men’s National Team, as Dest has been the nailed-on starter at right back since winning a place in the team during the qualifying cycle for the 2022 World Cup. The Yanks aren’t without options at the position, as Joe Scally could step in for Dest, or Gregg Berhalter could try deploying Weah there, but neither of the two possesses Dest’s level of offensive threat.

Inter Milan Wins Serie A

Inter Milan dispatched rival AC Milan 2-1 guaranteed that Inter will win its 20th Serie A title in club history. Fikayo Tomori’s goal in the 80th minute was the closest Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah’s club could get to leveling the score, and Inter is now a whopping 17 points clear of AC Milan with five games left to play. Inter has been imperious on its way to a 20th Scudetto, scoring the most goals in the league while also conceding the fewest and losing only once this season.

Free Kicks

  • The Orlando Pride and Orlando City hosted a clean-up effort in honor of Earth Day on Monday.

That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

Continue Reading

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions perform in Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal?



Image courtesy of Orlando City / Mark Thor

Orlando City scored in second-half injury time for the second consecutive weekend to claim points. However, this time it was an equalizer as the Lions drew CF Montreal 2-2 north of the border. The Lions ended their two-game road trip with four points and extended their points streak to four games after dropping three straight. It’s an improvement as they look to climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

Here’s how I saw the individual performances in the draw.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — Gallese conceded a pair of goals in this game, though neither were necessarily his fault. The first was a breakaway after Robin Jansson kept Mason Toye onside and the second was blocked wide, but Kyle Smith was caught flat-footed. However, he did concede twice while saving three of Montreal’s five shots on target. Additionally, the Lions’ goalkeeper completed 55.6% of his 27 passes, including eight of his 20 long balls.

D, Kyle Smith, 5.5 — Smith had a solid game other than one specific play. The left back had a team-high 86 touches and completed 78.3% of his 60 passes, including five of his 12 long balls. Defensively, he recorded two tackles, two clearances, an interception, and a blocked shot. Unfortunately, his most impactful play was getting caught watching on a Gallese block while Ariel Lassiter beat him to the rebound to give the hosts a late lead. That play lowers his grade for this otherwise quality performance.

D, Robin Jansson, 5.5 — Similar to Smith, Jansson had a solid game apart from one play. He had 72 touches and completed 79.7% of his 59 passes, including a key pass and three of his 14 long balls. He added a tackle, an interception, a blocked shot, and a team-high seven clearances to his stat sheet. But his failure to step up in the 16th minute enabled Toye to get behind the back line and score the opening goal, lowering his grade.

D, David Brekalo, 6 — Brekalo has proven himself to be the first-choice partner for Jansson and he was arguably the better center back in Montreal. The Slovenian international had 53 touches and completed 85.1% of his 47 passes, including two of his five long balls. The defender recorded two tackles, an interception, and three clearances defensively in a strong performance.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — Thorhallsson was in his usual right back position for this game, playing 90 minutes and recording 44 touches. He completed 82.8% of his 29 passes, but only one of his four long balls and neither of his two crosses. He cleared the ball twice and didn’t really get into the attack, but was solid in his defensive duties.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 (MotM) — This was possibly Cartagena’s best performance of the season. His 85 touches were second-most on the team and he completed 76.5% of his team-high 68 passes, including a key pass and two of his six long balls. It was his shielding of Nathan Saliba and strong pass forward for Duncan McGuire that started the last goal, though he didn’t get an assist. The defensive midfielder was also active defensively with five tackles and three interceptions, and he won a pair of aerial duels. His overall performance earns him my Man of the Match.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Araujo had a similar performance to Cartagena, but fewer touches and more accurate passing. He recorded 55 touches and completed 93.9% of his 49 passes, including a key pass. He was less active than his partner defensively, recording three tackles, and was booked in the 63rd minute.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 6 — Angulo had one of his better performances in this one, recording 48 touches and completing 82.1% of his 39 passes. His biggest impact on the game came two minutes into second-half stoppage time, when he connected with an excellent Martin Ojeda cross to even the game at 2-2. He nearly scored a winner five minutes later, but the pass from Ojeda was just a bit too far for him. His goal was one of his two shots and the only one on target.

MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6 — Lodeiro’s 45 touches were the fewest of the Orlando City midfield, but he did the most with them. The playmaker completed 91.4% of his 35 passes, including a key pass, but couldn’t connect on his long ball or either of his two crosses. He was also caught offside and dispossessed twice before being replaced by Ojeda in the 77th minute.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — Torres’ 65 touches were the most in the Lions’ midfield and the fourth most on the team. He completed 83.7% of his 49 passes, but didn’t connect on his two crosses or four long balls. The attacker took three shots and put one on target. In the 22nd minute, the midfielder stepped up and buried his second penalty of the season and ninth as a Lion, continuing her perfect record from the spot.

F, Luis Muriel, 6 — While Oscar Pareja had previously been starting Muriel behind McGuire, the forward got the start alone up top for the second consecutive game. He had 34 touches and completed 68.4% of his 19 passes, including his lone long ball but neither of his two crosses. His biggest impact on the game came in the 20th minute, when he tipped the ball past Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois, drawing the penalty that resulted in the first equalizer. He also had a shot of his own, but it was off target.


F, Duncan McGuire (63’), 6 — McGuire came on in the 63rd minute for Muriel. He had 16 touches in 27 minutes, completing eight of his 10 passes (80%) with a key pass. His lone shot came in the 90th minute, when Jansson headed the ball over to him and he probably should’ve equalized, but his volley was just wide. The striker also won three aerial duels.

MF, Martin Ojeda (77’), 6.5 — Ojeda came on in the 77th minute for Lodeiro and, similar to Lodeiro last week, made a big difference. He had 15 touches and completed four of his six passes (66.7%), including a key pass. Two minutes into second-half injury time, his excellent cross found Angulo, who touched it in for the equalizer. Five minutes later, he had another great cross that nearly found Angulo for the winner, but was just out of his reach.

D, Rafael Santos (85’), 6 — Santos came on in the 85th minute for Torres as the Lions looked to see out a point. He had nine touches and completed two of his three passes (66.7%), but didn’t connect on his cross or long ball. Coming on to assure the defense, Santos did his job as he recorded a tackle, an interception, and two clearances.

This is how I saw Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal. Let us know how you saw the game and don’t forget to vote for your Man of the Match.

Continue Reading

Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/22/24

Orlando City draws CF Montreal, Pride and OCB win, FA Cup drama, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. Orlando City drew, while the Pride and OCB both won over the weekend. I had friends in town, so I went to Wrigley Field to check out a Cubs game and show them around Chicago. Let’s wish former Orlando City midfielder Kaka and Pride defender Brianna Martinez a happy birthday! There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Lions Draw at CF Montreal

Orlando City again had to overcome a 2-1 deficit on the road when it faced CF Montreal Saturday night. The Lions needed a late stoppage-time goal from Ivan Angulo to walk out of Stade Saputo with a 2-2 draw. Orlando has now picked up points in each of the last four matches. Orlando City will face CF Montreal again on July 26 in the MLS Leagues Cup during the competition’s group stage. The Lions’ next match will be Saturday at Inter&Co Stadium as it takes on Toronto FC.

Orlando Pride Defeat San Diego Wave

The Orlando Pride shut out the San Diego Wave 1-0 on Friday at Inter&Co Stadium and got their second consecutive win with that same scoreline. Summer Yates scored the lone goal in the first half to seal the win for Orlando. Zambian international striker Barbra Banda made her debut for the Pride, coming off the bench in the second half. The Pride remain undefeated through five league matches and are fifth in the NWSL table with nine points. The team will be on the road to face the Washington Spirit Friday.

OCB Wins on the Road at Crown Legacy FC

Orlando City B got a 2-0 win against Crown Legacy FC at the Sportsplex at Matthews on Friday. Alex Freeman and Shak Mohammed scored for the Young Lions, and Javier Otero made six saves. OCB completed its two-match road trip, securing four out of a possible six points, and has kept its unbeaten streak on the road alive at four matches. OCB is in fifth in the MLS NEXT Pro Eastern Conference with nine points, while Crown Legacy is winless in five matches. OCB will be back in action this Sunday as it hosts Toronto FC II at Osceola County Stadium.

Manchester United and Manchester City Advance to FA Cup Final

Manchester United won 4-2 on penalties after a 3-3 draw against Coventry City in the FA Cup semifinals to advance to the final. It was a thrilling match at Wembley as United had a 3-0 lead before Coventry City rallied to get back into the match. USMNT forward Haji Wright scored the equalizer to tie the match 3-3 late into stoppage time. Coventry City thought it scored the game-winning goal late into extra time from Victor Torp, but it was ruled offside after video review. Casemiro missed his penalty for United, while Wright and Torp gave Coventry City a 2-1 advantage. United converted four straight penalties while Coventry City missed two to seal the win for the Red Devils. Manchester City edged past Chelsea 1-0 in their semifinal matchup, with Bernardo Silva scoring the lone goal in the second half. The FA Cup final will be played at the end of May and will feature a Manchester Derby for the second consecutive time.

Free Kicks

  • In case you missed it, check out this video on Orlando City’s social media page on Ivan Angulo’s equalizer to tie the match in stoppage time against CF Montreal on Saturday.

According to OptaJack, the Pride have secured the most points at home during the regular season since last May, with 26.

  • USMNT defender Sergino Dest suffered a knee injury during training with PSV Eindhoven over the weekend. Dest will miss the remainder of the Eredivisie season and could miss the 2024 Copa America this summer.
  • Real Madrid came back from being 2-1 down to defeat Barcelona 3-2 and stay ahead of its rivals by 11 points with six league matches left.
  • Bayer Leverkusen extended its unbeaten run to 45 matches after scoring a late goal from Josip Stanisic in stoppage time to get a 1-1 draw against Borussia Dortmund.
  • Serie A side Udinese is reportedly set to hire former Juventus and Real Madrid player Fabio Cannavaro as its next head coach.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Monday and I’ll see you next time.

Continue Reading