Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls: Photo Gallery
Orlando City welcomed the New York Red Bulls to Exploria Stadium on Wednesday night, looking to make history. By the end of the night, that history was made.
The Lions gave up the first goal in first-half stoppage time but responded immediately and then exploded for four second-half goals to rout the Red Bulls, 5-1. With the win, Orlando City reached the final match of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the first time in club history. MLS U22 Initative midfielder Cesar Araujo led the charge for the Lions, scoring the equalizer off a corner kick just before the halftime whistle and adding the first of three insurance goals on another corner.
Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres, and Benji Michel also scored for Orlando to more than offset the opening goal from Lewis Morgan. The first four OCSC goals were scored by Uruguayan players and Torres assisted on Michel’s late strike.
To say the performance by the Lions came out of nowhere would be an understatement. Orlando City had not scored more than three goals in an entire match all season long and yet the Lions bagged four after the break, starting with Pereyra’s strike on a great buildup just two minutes after the restart. Araujo’s two goals weren’t just his first two since joining Orlando City, but his first two professional goals ever.
At the other end of the pitch, Araujo and the back line did well to limit New York’s opportunities to get back into the match. Patryk Klimala, who hit the woodwork twice in the first half, was the most dangerous Red Bull on the evening but the visitors were largely held in check in the second period.
Orlando City will host the final on Sept. 7 against USL Championship side Sacramento Republic. The second-division side made a magical run through the other side of the bracket, advancing on penalties after a scoreless draw at home against Sporting Kansas City. A major trophy awaits one of the two teams in September.
We hope you enjoy these images from a historic night for Orlando City at Exploria Stadium.
Images: Dan MacDonald
Words: Michael Citro
Orlando City vs. Inter Miami CF: Photo Gallery
An album of images from Orlando City’s 3-1 win at Inter Miami.
The visiting Lions (5-4-4) feasted on the Herons (5-8-0), dominating the first 30 minutes, absorbing pressure as needed after Inter Miami made a tactical change, and then getting back on the front foot with a second-half change of their own. In the end, Orlando City left Fort Lauderdale with a 3-1 victory over its intrastate rivals, holding the hosts to just six shot attempts.
The traveling supporters chanted, cheered, and heckled away, trying desperately to overpower the artificially piped-in chant loop (which quite frankly is a shame — La Familia are more than strong enough to not have to compete with their own stadium).
Goal contributions from Ercan Kara and Martin Ojeda (a goal and an assist each) and Duncan McGuire (one assist off the bench), plus less regular offensive contributors Rafael Santos, who scored his first MLS goal, Cesar Araujo (his first assist of the season) and Rodrigo Schlegel (his first career assist) allowed Orlando to raid Miami’s Fort Lauderdale nest and return home with all three points.
We hope you enjoy the images from the away day in Fort Lauderdale!
Orlando Pride vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC: Photo Gallery
An album of images from the Pride’s 2-0 loss at Exploria Stadium.
Well, the Orlando Pride managed to dodge the lightning and most of the raindrops, but couldn’t quite dodge video review, as referee Elvis Osmanovic changed his initial ruling, awarding Gotham a penalty. That decision led to a late Pride loss to Gotham at Exploria Stadium, leaving Orlando pointless (0-3-0) on the nascent season.
The first half saw both teams able to advance the ball, but neither was able to provide the final pass or finish chances. The second half settled into more of a rhythm, with each team sustaining advantage for sections of the final 45 (plus) minutes, but the same inability in the attacking third persisted for both teams. It looked as if the game would end in a scoreless draw until a glacial video review awarded Gotham a penalty for a Caitlin Cosme handball in the box. Midge Purce smartly converted in the upper right, leaving Kaylie Collins no chance in her NWSL debut. Whether it was disappointment at conceding in stoppage time the second week in a row, or the distraction of the six-minute (!) VAR stoppage, Orlando lost focus and conceded a second goal in the 17th minute of added time (you read that correctly…17 minutes!) to seal the loss.
Despite the impending weather and the disappointing previous games, a decent crowd of 5,258 came out to support the team. That, combined with the club’s efforts to engage the spectators at halftime (T-shirt cannon anyone?), made for a refreshed atmosphere that hopefully will help energize the Pride into some better results soon. We hope that comes across in the photos from the game and we encourage you to attend one soon.
OCB vs. Inter Miami II: Photo Gallery
An album of images from the Young Lions’ 2-0 win at Osceola County Stadium.
Inter Miami sent its reserve squad north to take on Orlando City B, but the Young Herons and the cool, drizzly night couldn’t quench blazing hot OCB, which defended its home turf with a 2-0 victory, staying undefeated on the young season, at 3-0-0.
Goals in the first half by starting forwards Jack Lynn and Favian Loyola proved enough to frustrate Orlando’s southern neighbors on a night that did not see OCB goalkeeper Javier Otero challenged much. Otero came up big when it counted though, smothering a well-placed penalty early in the second half and making a vital reaction save late to ensure that the visitors could not climb back into the game. Strong defending as the game wound down ensured the clean sheet.
We hope that you enjoy the photos from the game. Vamos OCB!
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