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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls: Final Score 1-1 as a Late Own Goal Salvages a Point for the Lions

It was a mostly forgettable match but the Lions found a late goal to at least earn a point.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Orlando City continues to struggle in the final third, but an own goal created by a Jack Lynn flick allowed the Lions (1-3-2, 5 points) to come from behind late to grab a point in a 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls (3-1-2, 11 points). The Lions conceded first from the penalty spot with Lewis Morgan giving the visitors the lead, but ultimately found a way to get a result in front of an announced crowd of 23,859 at Inter&Co Stadium.

“A great effort with what a poor result,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the game. ” And the poor result means, we’ve got to take the point, but with that performance, that effort, that energy, you may think things should end different, but it did not. We conceded a PK from nothing and other than that dangerous play that New York had in the second half, I don’t remember any other action (created by the Red Bulls).”

Pareja’s lineup included Pedro Gallese back in goal after missing last weekend while on international duty. El Pulpo lined up behind a back line of Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. The four-man midfield was made up of Ivan Angulo, Nico Lodeiro, Kyle Smith, and Facundo Torres. Luis Muriel and Duncan McGuire led the attack up top.

The Lions started on the front foot but struggled to break through New York’s tight defense in the last decisive movement. Angulo fired a shot that was blocked behind for a corner in the second minute. Orlando took its first several corners short in the first half and none of those plays came close to producing anything.

Thorhallsson tried to fizz a cross through the six to Angulo in the fifth minute but it was too close to Carlos Coronel, who came off his line to grab it.

In the 16th minute, Muriel lined up a shot but took too long in getting it off and Wikelman Carmona got to it first. As a result, Muriel’s swing hit the New York midfielder instead of the ball and the resulting foul on the Orlando forward stopped another promising attack.

New York broke through moments later. Santos was beaten badly by fullback Dylan Nealis, who got into the penalty area and held off Angulo before dropping a pass for Morgan. Smith arrived at the same time as the ball but clipped Morgan and referee Victor Rivas pointed to the spot.

Morgan sent a perfect penalty inside the right post to open the scoring in the 22nd minute.

“They get the penalty, which is too easy that we let that one happen,” Jansson said. “But other than that, I don’t remember anything crazy. They created a little bit, but I do think that we had the most time on the ball and we were really trying to go for it today.”

The Smith foul was a microcosm of the first half for Orlando, which was always second quickest to 50/50 balls and every untidy touch was taken away by the visitors.

Orlando won a series of corners but did nothing with them, although one dangerous cross in was flicked on by McGuire. However, none of his teammates could get onto the end of it and New York cleared.

The Lions were lucky not to go down two goals moments later. A terrible giveaway by Santos sent the Red Bulls in transition. Dennis Gjengaar took the ball down the right and Gallese came off his line to cut down the angle. The New York winger sent his shot well wide of the near post, wasting the opportunity.

The match got a bit chippy after that, with players on both teams pushing and shoving but everyone managed to avoid a booking for it. New York did have Peter Stroud cautioned for a hard foul on Lodeiro and Andres Reyes later picked up a yellow card for a tactical foul to stop McGuire in transition.

Muriel did well to beat Coronel to a ball in the box in the 43rd minute but he had no angle to shoot. He laid the ball back to Torres, who crossed it to the far post for Thorhallsson, however, the Icelandic fullback was beaten in the air and New York cleared.

Angulo sent a bouncing ball high over the net deep in stoppage time and that was it for the first half. Orlando did some things well but the passing and touch was a bit off, playing right into New York’s pressure, and several Lions dribbled into traps the Red Bulls set and were dispossessed in a half mostly played between the penalty areas.

Orlando City finished the half with more possession (55.4%-44.6%), shot attempts (6-2), and corners (5-0), while New York passed more accurately (86.2%-83.8%) and each team put just one shot on frame.

Orlando had a couple of opportunities to start the half, but could not make them pay off. His first was a shot he pulled wide of the left post in the 52nd minute. Coronel had his near post covered anyway. Moments later, McGuire had a shot deflected into Coronel’s hands. Muriel then missed badly on a good attacking movement started with Smith sending a great ball down the left for Torres.

Jansson kept the scoreline from getting worse in the 57th minute. Santos got skinned down the flank again and the ball found its way to Gjengaar in front but Jansson slid in to deflect the shot wide.

New York again could have doubled the lead in the 64th minute when substitute Elias Manoel had a free header in the box but sent it right at Gallese. The play quickly went the other way and McGuire did well to get free of the last defender, but when he entered the box, he sent his shot straight at Coronel.

Orlando nearly got a gift of an own goal in the 73rd minute off a free kick entry that the defense smashed just wide of Coronel’s goal.

The Red Bulls should have put the game away moments later. Schlegel coughed up the ball in his own half and Morgan quickly sent the ball to the middle for a streaking Manoel, but the New York attacker sent his shot just inches wide of the left post.

Smith won Orlando a dangerous free kick two minutes later just outside the area and right in the middle, however, the Lions were called for being offside on the ensuing set piece shot by substitute Martin Ojeda. Coronel had made the save on the shot, but gave up a juicy rebound. The infraction on Orlando stopped the attack.

Pareja sent Lynn and Cesar Araujo on as late subs and it paid dividends. In the 89th minute, Angulo did well to race past the defense to get to a through ball from Araujo, and he cut toward goal, sending a dangerous ball in front. Lynn tried to backheel flick it toward goal but couldn’t make good contact, and it hit defender Noah Eile and went in to tie the score.

“Before I (sent in the centering pass), I took a look up and I saw Jack Lynn at the front post,” Angulo said through a club interpeter. “So, I crossed it and centered it his way. But the good news is that thankfully it went off the defender and resulted in that own goal that we were able to equalize with.”

The Lions looked for a late winner, but couldn’t find one. The only decent look during the five minutes of stoppage time fell for Araujo outside the area. The midfielder had a long run-up to the loose ball and smashed it toward the net, but it was always rising and fizzed over the crossbar.

Moments later, the game was over. Orlando is just 1-1-2 at home in 2024 in MLS play.

The Lions dominated possession (62.2%-37.8%) with New York content most of the second half to stay compact and look for counterattack opportunities. Orlando also finished with more shots (13-7), shots on target (4-2), and corners (8-1). With the Red Bulls playing the anywhere-will-do game in the second half, the Lions also finished as the more accurate passing team (87.6%-78.4%).

“I think we played well. We had the ball, (but it) was not really too dangerous in the opposite attacking area, unfortunately,” Jansson said. “But we’re creating a lot, bringing the ball up there, and then we need to get to the more dangerous chances to put the ball in the net.”

“We had volume, we had sequences, we had energy, we had many things that make you win games, but if you don’t have punch, then it’s not going to happen,” Pareja said. “So, we need to score goals if we want to win games. It’s not happening and I have to come up with something and help them. They are bringing a lot of energy and they have the quality.”

The Lions have next weekend off and will next be in action on April 13, when they visit Audi Field to play D.C. United.

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew: Three Keys to Victory

What does Orlando City need to do to earn all three points at home against the Crew?



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City earned seven points during a three-match stretch over eight days. Now the Lions will look to keep things rolling against the Columbus Crew this Saturday night at Inter&Co Stadium. The Crew are currently sitting in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 21 points compared to Orlando City in 10th with 16 points.

What do the Lions need to do to get a victory at home against the Crew?

Switch Focus

Orlando City has lucked out because Columbus striker Cucho Hernández will not play, as he is nursing a back injury. Hernández has often been a thorn in Orlando’s side when the clubs play, so his absence is definitely good news. However, that doesn’t mean that the defense can relax. The Crew still have a potent attack with players like Diego Rossi, Jacen Russell-Rowe, Aidan Morris, and others. Columbus has scored 19 goals so far this season, which is four more than Orlando’s 15. I think it is likely that Oscar Pareja will stick with the 3-5-2 formation, meaning the pressure will be on the back three of David Brekalo, Wilder Cartagena, and Rodrigo Schlegel.

Goals Needed

Orlando City left it late against San Jose before Jack Lynn scored in the 89th minute to give the Lions a victory. That’s not to say there weren’t wasted chances — because there were — but it was enough that night. It likely won’t be enough against Columbus. We don’t know the status of Duncan McGuire’s injury as of this writing, but I would be surprised to see him in the lineup, let alone getting the start. That means we will likely see Jack Lynn alongside Luis Muriel up top. Lynn is no McGuire, but he is able to get into good spaces in the box and has a nose for goal. Another goal from him or Muriel could make a big difference.

Scheduling Factors

I’m not saying that Wilfried Nancy will be looking ahead to the Concacaf Champions Cup final against Pachuca the following week, but a trophy is a trophy, and it could impact who he plays and for how long. He might be keeping Hernández out for precautionary reasons to allow him time to be ready for the final. It’s possible that he risks points against Orlando City in pursuit of hardware. Pareja doesn’t have it any easier with Orlando City playing a midweek match at the Chicago Fire next Wednesday before heading to New Jersey for a match against the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, June 1. May has been brutal for the Lions, and though the team has made the most of it so far, it doesn’t get any easier. How much will rotation affect Orlando’s ability to get all three points?

That is what I will be looking for Saturday night. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Vamos Orlando!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/23/24

Orlando Pride prepare for the Portland Thorns, Pride Brazilian trio called up, Atalanta wins Europa League, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride

How’s it going, Mane Landers? I hope this Thursday finds you well as we all get ready for a busy next few days of Orlando soccer to enjoy. It’s been a fairly busy couple of days for me, and I plan on knocking out a few errands before enjoying the upcoming matches. Until then, let’s enjoy today’s links!

Pride Prepare to Host the Portland Thorns

The Orlando Pride have a huge home game against the Portland Thorns tomorrow night. It will be a clash of win streaks, as the Pride have won their past seven games and the Thorns have won their last six. Pride Head Coach Seb Hines is well aware that Portland is a formidable foe with talented players such as Sophia Smith, Becky Sauerbrunn, and Sam Coffey. He spoke on how tomorrow will be a challenge, as well as how playing at home will give the Pride a boost during the game.

Pride Trio Called Up by Brazil

The Pride’s Marta, Rafaelle, and Adriana were all called up for Brazil’s pair of friendlies against Jamaica in Brazil on June 1 and June 4.

These matches will help Brazil prepare for a tough group in the Olympics against Spain, Japan, and Nigeria. Angelina, who featured for Brazil during the SheBelieves Cup, was not called up due to an injury sustained while with the Pride. Although these games will take place during an international break, the Pride do have a road game against the San Diego Wave on June 7, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Hines gives them some rest for that match.

Assessing Emma Hayes’ Time With Chelsea

It felt like forever ago that it was announced Chelsea’s Emma Hayes would leave the club to replace Vlatko Andonovski and coach the USWNT. A great article by ESPN broke down what USWNT fans can learn from her time with Chelsea, including how she’s dealt with the adversity she’s faced both on and off the field. Her impending exit put a spotlight on Chelsea’s season, and she still managed to secure the league title despite the pressure. Chelsea also announced that five members of the coaching staff will leave the club to join Hayes at the USWNT. It’s a new era for the USWNT, and Hayes brings plenty of experience and leadership to the position.

Atalanta Crushes Leverkusen to Win Europa League

Italian club Atalanta lifted the Europa League trophy after a 3-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen in Dublin. The day belonged to Nigerian winger Ademola Lookman, who scored a hat trick that included this stunner that doubled Atalanta’s lead in the first half.

It’s Atalanta’s second trophy in club history, and first in 61 years. It’s also the first trophy for manager Gian Piero Gasperini after coaching in Italy for 30 years. This result snapped Leverkusen’s remarkable unbeaten streak at 51 games, and ended the club’s bid at a treble. Bayer Leverkusen will aim to bounce back Saturday when it plays FC Kaiserslautern in the German Cup final.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City President of Business Operations Jarrod Dillon has issued a challenge to Orlando City fans for the upcoming trio of Orlando soccer home games, so it may be worth your while to get tickets for the Lions, Pride, and OCB this weekend.
  • Pride forward Amanda Allen placed 16th in ESPN‘s rankings of the 17 teenagers currently playing in the National Women’s Soccer League (the author deemed it unfair to assess Milly Clegg without seeing her on the field more). Allen mostly just hasn’t had much playing time, but that could change over the summer.
  • Former Pride player Camille Ashton (known as Cami Levin when she played in the Pride midfield in 2016 and 2017) has resigned as the general manager of the Kansas City Current.

That’s all I have for you today. I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday and rest of your week.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 5/22/24

Lions and Pride reflect on victories, Christian Pulisic’s Serie A recognition, the USWNT roster drops, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. I know that a lot of you are Orlando Pride supporters as well as Orlando City supporters, but for those of you who aren’t, you are really missing out. Superstar players, undefeated, top of the table, and this team hasn’t even played up to its potential yet. Seriously, you need to get out to a match if you can. For now, let’s get to the links.

Talking About Orlando City

You can tell Oscar Pareja loves his players. He is the type of coach that nearly always has only good things to say regardless of the result. Of course, when the club gets a win on the road in the third match in eight days, thanks to the fourth striker on the depth chart. Jack Lynn takes a professional approach to being the backup and prepares to play in every match. It’s also nice when he scores a match-winning goal.

So how did the power rankings treat the Lions for the road victory? Orlando City moved up three spots to 19, thanks to earning seven points in the last three matches. That’s better than the ESPN rankings we shared yesterday. ESPN also had the Lions at 19 but dropped them a spot in doing so.

Seb and Sams Speak

The Orlando Pride have a chance this Friday to set an NWSL win streak record in the match against the Portland Thorns, but first Seb Hines, Rafaelle, and Emily Sams reflected on the win against the Seattle Reign. Hines was rightly happy with the result but said he still feels his team has room to improve. I agree with him, despite the Pride being on top of the table and undefeated.

Rafaelle felt the victory showed the team how much mental fortitude the Pride have to be able to secure the road win. She also thinks that being at home with a chance to break the win streak record will make the team work that much harder. Sams reflected on her first NWSL goal but said she just wants to focus on getting three points each match.

Pulisic and Wright Shine

Christian Pulisic’s year keeps getting better. He had such a a good season for AC Milan that he has been named a finalist for Serie A Midfielder of the Year. The other finalists are Inter Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu and Atalanta’s Teun Koopmeiners. Pulisic has 19 goal contributions in 35 appearances for AC Milan.

The USMNT’s pre-Copa America roster dropped Monday, and it looks like Haji Wright will potentially see some action at winger for Gregg Berhalter. The move provides some needed depth at the position and may give Wright more playing time. Of course, Wright and Pulisic aren’t the only players of interest. You can check out a breakdown of the players called up here.

Hayes’ First USWNT Roster Announced

The Olympics are rapidly approaching and new USWNT Head Coach Emma Hayes has announced the 23-player roster for the final two matches against South Korea before the final Olympic roster is named. There are a mix of veteran and younger players in the group. Notably, there are 19 players who won the SheBelieves Cup back in April. It also sees the return of Rose Lavelle, who missed the SheBelieves Cup due to injury. While not altogether surprising, it is still disappointing on one level for Pride fans that Emily Sams didn’t get a call-up.

Free Kicks

  • Congratulations to Orlando Pride midfielder Ally Lemos on her call-up to the USWNT U-20s for the matches against the Korea Republic.
  • Philadelphia Union keeper Andre Blake has reportedly signed a new longterm contract with the club.
  • The USMNT U-15 squad defeated Japan to take first place in the Vlatko Markovic Tournament. Congratulations to the young Yanks.
  • Bayer Leverkusen will play in two cup finals in four days, starting with today’s Europa League championship against Atalanta. The second final is for the German Cup this Saturday against Kaiserslautern.
  • Mauricio Pochettino and Chelsea have parted ways after only one season. Potchettino’s departure was mutually agreed upon. The coaching carousel continues.
  • Emanuel Reynoso from Minnesota United is reportedly headed to Liga MX side Club Tijuana.

That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the matches this weekend. Vamos Orlando!

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