Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami CF: Five Takeaways

Hre’s what we learned from a 3-1 win on the road against the rivals from South Florida.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Well that is one hell of a way to end three matches in eight days! Orlando City took to the road to face off against bitter rivals from the south and walked away with three points in a resounding and gutsy 3-1 victory.

Here are my five takeaways from one of the Lions’ most complete performances on the season thus far.

Aggressive from the Jump

For the second match in a row, Orlando came out of the gate with aggression and purpose. While the first goal didn’t come right away, warning shots were sent multiple times in the first 15 minutes, as two crosses found the head of Designated Player Ercan Kara. He missed the target on the first one by inches, hitting the left post and was offside on the second, although Drake Callender made a good reaction save on it anyway. Regardless of the results of the first two attempts, the big Austrian made his presence known early and the attacking components for Orlando all seemed connected in their aggressive runs towards the Miami net.

Long Throw-in Strikes Again

Orlando City fans have not witnessed a successful long throw yet this season, but against a wall of hot pink, midfielder Cesar Araujo took his usual position on the sideline and rifled a pass towards the endline into a scrum. The slow motion replay truly shows the superb effort put in by Kara, who had defenders draped behind, in front, and literally on top of him before he redirected his third header of the match into the back of the net. Simply describing the goal does not do it justice, so have a look below.

If you happened to listen to the live broadcast, the announcers certainly felt that it was subpar defending and not a superior effort by Kara that resulted in the opening goal of the match. This writer could not disagree more.

Letting the Opponent Hang Around is Bad

Orlando failed to find a second goal before halftime, and the opposition tied the game after constant pressure. Again. Orlando was able to stave off continuous pressure that started after Miami’s tactical change 33 minutes into the match for the remainder of the first half. However, after the break, in the 57th minute, a poor giveaway from Rafael Santos ended up with DeAndre Yedlin, who sent it to Josef Martinez at the top of the 18-yard box. He sprayed the ball to the right to fellow striker Leo Campana, who took a quick touch to his left and struck a golazo that Pedro Gallese could do little to get a glove on. While luckily the goal did not matter at the end of the match, the giveaway was careless and should have been avoided, and if Orlando is able to continue to take early leads, the Lions have to do better at defending a one goal lead.

Injury Bug Bites Again

Orlando fans held their breath as winger Gaston Gonzalez went down near the sideline in the 63rd minute. While it is far too early to speculate on the severity of the injury, replay showed that the winger pulled up while running and grasped at his right hamstring. The timing could not be worse for Gonzalez, who had been playing himself into the best form thus far. Major League Soccer clubs are notoriously tight lipped when it comes to injury reports, so I don’t expect to hear much besides the dreaded “lower body injury” moving forward, but hopefully, for the sake of depth and the Orlando City attack, Gonzalez does not find himself stuck on the sidelines for an extended period of time.

Substitutes Make All the Difference

In the 64th minute, Designated Player Martin Ojeda came on for Gonzalez and four minutes of game time later was celebrating after slotting home a shot past Callender from a beautiful through ball from Kara.

It was Ojeda’s third goal of the season and gave the Lions hope that they might survive the night and bring three points back to the City Beautiful. In the 76th minute, Duncan McGuire came on for Kara and helped put the nail in the coffin 10 minutes later as he held up play inside the penalty area by shielding off a Miami defender. McGuire smartly realizes that he had no angle for a shot and laid it off for Santos, who had moments earlier sent a shot just wide to the right of the net. Making a quick correction on his second attempt from almost the exact same spot on the field, Santos sent a screaming ground level shot into the back of the net for Orlando’s third goal of the game.

These were the most important things that stood out to me from a fun game in South Florida. Orlando returns to the City Beautiful with all three points and another victory over the team from down south. The boys finally get a few days to recover from a grueling month and have to feel good about the efforts that they are starting to string together on the field.

What things stood out to you from an OCSC victory? Let us know in the comments below.


  1. Zontar

    May 21, 2023 at 4:02 pm

    I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I admit that in the past I have expressed concerns about Kara. Living far from Orlando, I don’t always get the latest news on injuries (Hell, even here in Atlanta we often don’t find out about injured players until minutes before a match starts.) so I was wondering earlier in the year if Pareja had given up on Kara. I appreciate Michael being patient and explaining that no, nobody had given up on Kara, but he had been hurt a bit. With his play in recent matches, I definitely think there is a place for him in MLS. He sure wasn’t terrible last year, but now he seems to have crossed the line from “pretty good” to “This guy is dangerous all the time”. I think maybe he just needed a little time to adjust to MLS. I really like Duncan McGuire too. He gives the attack a nice different look that opponents have to deal with.

    The goal on the throw in was awesome. To be able to do that maybe a few times in a season adds a dimension to throw ins that almost no other team in MLS can match.

    Really nice job of other guys chipping in on offense. Santos is a guy whose FBref profile suggests that maybe he is a bit better offensively than he gets credit for. Having a FB who can sometimes help with the offense also provides another nice piece for the attack.

    I assign no blame on Miami’s goal. Miracle strike from distance. Same guy tries the same thing 10 times and at least 8 of them will miss. What can you do?

  2. flying dog

    May 21, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    For the most part the Center backs were outstanding. I don’t know how you can write one of these “takeaways” and not fit in a mention of Jansson and/or Carlos every single time.

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