Connect with us

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New England Revolution: Final Score 3-0 as Lions Crushed at Home by Previously Struggling Revolution



If your team is floundering, just play Orlando City. The New England Revolution hadn’t scored in two games and hadn’t won in six, but had no trouble dispatching the Lions 3-0 at Exploria Stadium. Orlando (8-10-6, 30 points) fell below the playoff line with the team’s continued lack of any kind of quality in league play — especially at home — in falling embarrassingly to the Revs (7-7-9, 30 points) on their own pitch.

Matt Polster, Wilfrid Kaptoum, and Henry Kessler scored for the visitors. For Polster, it was just his second goal of the season, and the other two Revs each scored their first.

The Lions fell to 5-7-0 at home and there will be no help forthcoming after the front office squandered the recent midseason secondary transfer window while everyone else in the conference got better.

“Difficult night for us,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “We couldn’t (finish), but I think it’s much more than that, because through the game, we were losing energy. And then second half, it was painful for us and we couldn’t find the rhythm and and we stopped just being dangerous as well.”

Pareja’s starting lineup included Pedro Gallese in goal behind a back line of Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, and Ruan. Cesar Araujo played central midfield next to the deep-lying Mauricio Pereyra behind an attacking line of Junior Urso, Alexandre Pato, and Facundo Torres, with Benji Michel up top for the third straight match. Ercan Kara picked up a knock late in the week and wasn’t in the game day roster, but the two newest Lions — Ivan Angulo and Wilder Cartagena — were on the substitutes’ bench.

The Revs came in with the idea of staying deep, gumming up the middle, and trying to hit on the counter and it worked. The Lions couldn’t work through the defense with passes that were precise or quick enough to create the defense any issues. New England used Orlando’s poor passes or deflections to jumpstart transition opportunities.

Kaptoum and DeJuan Jones sent some dangerous balls into the area in the early going but Gallese dealt with them. Jones came within inches of picking out Justin Rennicks in the 17th minute with a dangerous cross. The breakthrough came three minutes later.

A routine ball up the middle was won by New England and quickly sent up field. Polster made a run from a deep-lying position and neither Pereyra nor Ruan picked him up. Polster’s first touch off a Tommy McNamara pass was good and his second sent the ball past Gallese to open the scoring in the 20th minute.

“I think the first goal when they scored, we tried to do our best. We tried to push them. We took a surprise goal and that changed the game,” Pato said. “

Things could have gotten worse moments later when Urso conceded an unnecessary free kick just outside the area but Carles Gil’s shot hit the wall.

The Lions woke up a bit after that in terms of getting shots away but didn’t do much with them. Torres sent in a dangerous cross from the left to the far post that Djordje Petrovic misplayed but no Lions were in position to take advantage. Pereyra sent in a good ball over the top to Ruan down the right and the fullback won a corner. The service fell to Urso on the far side but he took a touch to settle it and by then the defense was in position to block it. That was Orlando’s first shot and it happened in the 27th minute.

Michel headed a corner kick cross on frame in the 31st minute but it was cleared away in front.

Orlando’s most dangerous chance came in the 33rd minute when Urso laid off for Pato at the top of the area. Pato smashed his shot on target but it was just a bit too close to Petrovic, who still had to make a great save to keep it out.

Pato missed the net with an effort in the 35th minute and Pereyra and Urso also sent errant shots from around the perimeter as the Revolution continued to prevent the Lions from breaking through the defense. As a result, the low-percentage shots were often rushed or hit out of frustration and offered little threat.

Jansson and Araujo did just enough late in the half to prevent a clear-cut chance in their own box, with the Uruguayan midfielder taking the ball from Gil, who flopped to try to get a penalty call but referee Ramy Touchan wasn’t buying it.

The Revs took their 1-0 lead into the break. Orlando led in possession (53.4%-46.6%), shots (8-6), shots on goal (2-1), and corners (3-1), but the Revs passed more accurately (87.8%-87.6%) and had the only goal of the half.

The Lions continued looking for a way through in the second half but New England stood its ground. Torres sent the first shot toward goal in the second period but his effort from the distance on theleft skipped wide of the right post.

Pereyra sent a layoff from Michel into the upper deck in the 51st minute with plenty of room to shoot and moments later, the Revs put the game away.

A simple ball in from the right to an unmarked Kaptoum allowed the Revs’ other defensive midfielder to match Polster with a goal.

Torres should have pulled one back in the 60th minute when a ball in from the left intended for Pato fell perfectly for him but the Uruguayan hit the right post squarely with a lot of net at which to shoot.

Michel sent a free header wide three minutes later, as the opposition’s net continued to be the safest place in the stadium.

Jones showed his solidarity with Orlando’s players by sending a shot well off target in transition in the 69th minute.

New England finished its business in Orlando with a goal off a set piece in the 75th minute. After an attacking move that appeared offside, Carlos knocked the ball behind to concede the corner. Gil sent in a good ball and Kessler was easily able to head it past Gallese to make it 3-0.

After Kessler’s goal the team basically had a kick-about to finish off the remaining time, passing around the outside and then eventually passing to a New England center back just to have something different to do.

Gallese made a good save in stoppage time on Brandon Bye to prevent things from getting worse.

And that was that. A New England team that was winless in six games, didn’t have Dylan Borrero or Gustavo Bou, and didn’t play Giacomo Vrioni had no trouble blasting Orlando City.

The Lions finished with more possession (53.2%-46.8%), shots (18-11), and corners (4-3), and passing accuracy (88.4%-84.8%), but the Revs got more shots on target (5-3).

“We are in the storm right now,” Pato said of the team’s form.

“The numbers are not a secret for us that we have been disappointed at home, especially where we used to be very strong,” Pareja said. “The question comes from what’s next then? And I don’t know any other answer to that than just keep working and keep moving forward and keep trying to fix the things. What we think we’ll do is to refresh this group,” Pareja said. “That’s what we’re going to do in the next two days — try to rest and try to get some energy back.”

Next up for Orlando City is a trip to Red Bull Arena to take on the New York Red Bulls next Saturday night. Much has to change or this once-promising season is going to end very badly for the Lions.

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Photo Gallery

An album of images from Orlando City’s hard-fought draw at home against the Herons.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

The Lions brought much more roar on Sunday night to face their southern rivals but had trouble finding the net, allowing the Herons to nick a point even while short staffed. None of Miami’s high-priced talent traveled for the match after facing Toronto midweek, and physicality ensued, firing up the sold-out crowd at Exploria Stadium.

Talking with some of the other photographers on the sideline who had flown in for this match, they rated the Orlando atmosphere top-notch; in their experience, other cities don’t compare to the in-stadium fan enthusiasm.

The Lions were in “the net is lava” mode, with Duncan McGuire and Iván Angulo each missing prime one-on-one chances with Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender in each half, McGuire leaving it straight at Callendar, and Angulo badly missing the net after a missed first touch. So of course Miami struck first, with David Ruíz scoring early in the second half.

This fired the Lions up even more and Martín Ojeda pinballed McGuire in behind the Miami back line, allowing Duncan to do what Duncan does to draw the score level. The Lions generally looked the more dangerous team for most (but not all) of the night. However, it is scorin ggoals that actually counts, leaving both teams unchanged in their respective Eastern Conference standings. Orlando remains second at 14-7-9, while Miami stays in 14th at 9-15-5.

The Lions continue to control their own destiny in terms of getting a top-four finish as they look to lock up home field advantage for a best-of-three matchup in the MLS Cup playoffs.

With home dates left against Montreal and a sputtering-but-dangerous New England remaining, there’s still plenty of time to be part of that world-class gameday atmosphere by going out to support the team as they push for a strong finish.

We hope that you enjoy these images from a hard-fought, come-from-behind draw against Inter Miami at Exploria Stadium.

Continue Reading

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Five Takeaways

Here’s what we learned from Orlando City’s 1-1 draw at home against Inter Miami.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City returned to Exploria Stadium after a midweek loss to New York City FC and had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Inter Miami. The Lions did well to equalize after conceding first, but will likely feel that they left opportunity knocking as the Eastern Conference remains tight near the top. Here are my five takeaways from the third Tropic Thunder clash this year.

Lack of Execution Plagues the Lions

Orlando’s offense struggled to put the ball in the back of the net in this match. That’s not to say they didn’t create quality chances, as the Lions served up good crosses and dangerous long balls throughout the match. Only three of Orlando’s 16 crosses found their mark in the end. The execution just wasn’t there when it came to finishing attacks, whether it be poor decision-making when the time came to play the final ball or just missing the target completely. Of Orlando’s 13 shots, six were on target and only a couple of those gave Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender much difficulty. Ivan Angulo missing the goal entirely after Dagur Dan Thorhallsson picked out a perfect pass for him stands out. Expecting every promising attack to end with a goal is unfair, but weak finishing cost the Lions from claiming a big win at home.

Corner Kicks Gave the Lions Headaches

While the Lions didn’t have any corner kicks in the match, Inter Miami had seven and created some of its best chances with them. In the 61st minute, a corner kick taken by Robert Taylor found Leonardo Campana all alone in the center of the box. The Ecuadorian forward’s header mercifully went wide, but it was indicative of how Orlando had its hands full on set pieces. Pedro Gallese had to come up with a remarkable save in the first half as well after Campana barreled through Cartagena to head the ball at goal. Even though the Lions didn’t concede from a set piece, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s something focused on this week just to ensure the team is organized enough to overcome uncalled fouls without needing its star goalkeeper or some luck.

Plenty of Physicality in Rivalry Match

It was easy to tell these two teams didn’t care much for each other, as they both fought hard on and off the ball. There were 27 fouls and seven yellow cards handed out by referee Armando Villarreal. Miami committed 16 of those fouls and received five of the yellow cards as they did whatever it took to slow down Orlando’s progress. Facundo Torres suffered the brunt of it and was fouled four times so that he couldn’t work his magic against Miami’s defense. It was the kind of physical match that can be expected of two rivals and made for an intense match that will likely have players from both sides seeking an ice bath. The Lions did well to stay composed for a majority of a very chippy match.

Duncan McGuire Shakes Off the Rust

Forward Duncan McGuire got back to his scoring ways with a crucial equalizer for his ninth goal of the MLS season. It was an important goal for reasons beyond the scoreline as well, as McGuire had squandered a golden opportunity to score earlier in the match by not being able to get his shot past Callender. He was also kicking himself for not getting on the end of a few other chances as well. His 84 minutes on the field were the most from him in one game this season, and the Lions will need him more often now that Ercan Kara is in Turkey. It was the rookie’s first goal since July and, although not perfect, the kind of performance to build upon moving forward.

Orlando Showcased Its Depth and Versatility

Head Coach Oscar Pareja switched things up at halftime, replacing Cesar Araujo with Martin Ojeda and having Mauricio Pereyra sit a bit deeper in the midfield to potentially create chances on the break a bit quicker using his service. Although Ojeda didn’t get a goal or an assist, his presence was notable on both sides of the ball and he played a key role in Orlando’s goal. Having a player of his caliber able to come off the bench has been a boon for Orlando this season, letting Pareja really kickstart the changes he wants to make to the team. Similar things could be said about Orlando’s other substitutes: Junior Urso, Ramiro Enrique, Gaston Gonzalez, and Michael Halliday. Their energy and skill kept Orlando pushing for more and gave the sense that a winner would have come had the game lasted a bit longer.

That’s what I took away from Orlando’s 1-1 draw with Inter Miami. Let me know what you gathered from the match in the comments below

Continue Reading

Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/25/23

Orlando City draws with Inter Miami, Viviana Villacorta out for the season, OCB wins last game of the regular season, and more.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Last night’s Orlando City match wasn’t the best, but it wasn’t the worst either. It’s a pretty fitting feeling on a Monday, as we all get back into the swing of the work week after a nice weekend of soccer. There are plenty of ups and downs from a rollercoaster Sunday, so let’s dive right into today’s links!

Orlando City Draws With Inter Miami

In the latest edition of the Tropic Thunder rivalry, Orlando City and Inter Miami split the points at Exploria Stadium in a 1-1 result. Miami struck first, but the Lions did well to find an equalizer, even though they couldn’t find a winner in the end. It wasn’t Orlando’s best game by any means, but it was a decent response to a 2-0 loss on the road to New York City FC. Orlando now has 51 points, tying its club record for the most points in a season, set in 2021. The Lions will have a chance to break that record on Saturday when they host CF Montreal.

Viviana Villacorta Out for the Season

Orlando Pride midfielder Viviana Villacorta will miss the remainder of the NWSL season after suffering an ACL tear in her left knee during training. The 24-year-old was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NWSL Draft, but was not able to make her debut until 2022 due to sustained an ACL tear in her right knee that kept her out for all of the 2021 season. This year, she has 21 appearances across all competitions for the Pride and notched the first assist of her career in a big road win against the San Diego Wave on April 29. This is a tough blow to the Pride’s midfield with just three games remaining as she has ended her season early due to injury for the third straight year. The Pride are only a point out of a playoff spot and are back in action on Oct. 2 against Angel City FC.

Orlando City B Wins On Decision Day

On the final day of the MLS NEXT Pro regular season, Orlando City B won 2-1 at home over FC Cincinnati 2. The Young Lions had already clinched a spot in the postseason heading into this match, but the win secured their spot as the fifth seed. Jack Lynn briefly held the Golden Boot lead after scoring, but ended up tied at 19 goals with New York City FC II’s Matt Myers and Colorado Rapids 2’s Remi Cabral. The trio ended in a three-way tie for the league’s Golden Boot honors. OCB will hit the road for its first MLS NEXT Pro playoff game, although the opponent is not yet known thanks to the new rule where higher seeds choose which team they want to face.

USWNT Wins in Megan Rapinoe’s Final Match

The United States Women’s National Team beat South Africa in a 2-0 win at Soldier Field. Trinity Rodman and Emily Sonnett scored and the defense did well to secure its second shutout against South Africa after a 3-0 win this past Thursday. This game also marked forward Megan Rapinoe’s final game with the USWNT, with the 38-year-old subbed off for the last time in the 54th minute. These were solid wins from the USWNT following the World Cup and it will aim to keep the momentum rolling next month in a pair of friendlies against Colombia.

Free Kicks

  • Three Orlando City academy sides came up with shutout victories this weekend.
  • Before the USWNT’s friendly with South Africa, U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Matt Crocker stated that plans remain in place for a new head coach to be at the helm in time for the training camp in December
  • American midfielder Yunus Musah did well in his AC Milan debut, playing all 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Verona.
  • A match in the Netherlands between Ajax and Feyenoord had to be abandoned due to fans throwing fireworks onto the field while Feyenoord led 3-0. According to police, tear gas had to be used to stop unrest outside the stadium after the match, and Ajax later fired Sven Mislintat, its director of soccer.
  • Newcastle became the first English Premier League team to have eight different players score in a match after crushing Sheffield United, 8-0.
  • Atletico Madrid ended Real Madrid’s perfect start to the season by beating its rival 3-1, with Alvaro Morata bagging a brace.

That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have an easy Monday and rest of your week!

Continue Reading