Orlando City Beat Blues in Front of Record Crowd
By Michael Moore II // April 21, 2013
IMAGES BY MICHAEL MOORE II
CENTRAL FLORIDA, USA – Orlando City scored three goals in the second half in front of a franchise regular-season record crowd of 9,140 last Friday night, topping the LA Blues 3-2 at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
With the victory and three points, Orlando now sits tied atop the league table with the Blues, who have a game in-hand on the Lions.
“Overall I’m pleased with the win,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “If you look at the full 90 minutes, we dominated most of the possession and it would’ve been a travesty if we didn’t come out with the win.”
Orlando began the first half on the offensive, with early chances by Forward Dom Dwyer and Midfielder Jamie Watson keeping the visiting LA squad on their heels. Crosses from Watson to Dwyer and pressure from Forward Long Tan in the beginning minutes created openings in the Blues’ backline, with Orlando pushing throughout the first 45 minutes for a goal.
LA DEFENSE TENACIOUS
Scoring opportunities were plenty for the Lions in the first half, with combination plays from Bryan Burke and Kevin Molino finding multiple Lions on corners and through-passes.
The LA defense kept up with the consistent Orlando attack however, keeping the scoreline 0-0 heading into halftime.
The Lions finally broke through in the 56th minute, with Tan connecting with Watson in the 57th minute to give Orlando the 1-0 lead. Tan found Watson after maneuvering behind the Blues defense, with the charging midfielder finding the back of the net for the score.
WATSON COMES THROUGH FOR LIONS WITH GOAL, ASSIST
Orlando didn’t let up after the first goal, with Sporting Kansas City loanee and Orlando Defender Yann Songo’o scoring the team’s second of the night in the 62nd minute.
From a corner kick, Watson found a leaping Songo’o, who scored his first goal with the team since being loaned to the Lions in March.
LA responded in the 70th minute, with a corner from Rodrigo Lopez connecting with Connor Hearn to cut the deficit to one. But it was again Watson who came through for Orlando, converting a penalty in the 72nd minute after being tripped up in the penalty area, cushioning the lead to 3-1.
A late gasp came from LA in the 89th minute, with Orlando Goalkeeper Jon Kempin tripping a surging Rodrigo Lopez, resulting in a penalty. Lopez, a former Lion, converted on the attempt, but it was too little too late as the Lions hung on to grab the three points and victory.
BACK ON THE ROAD
Orlando now heads back on the road, traveling to Charlotte to face the Eagles on Tuesday, April 23, at Queens University Stadium in Charlotte, North Carlolina. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. EST. The Lions are 3-0-1 all time against the Eagles. Orlando then heads back home for a matchup against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Saturday, April 27, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
SCORING SUMMARY: ORL- Jamie Watson (Long Tan) 56th; ORL-Yann Songo’o (Jamie Watson) 62nd; LA- Connor Hearn (Rodrigo Lopez) 70th; ORL- Jamie Watson (penalty) 72nd; LA-Rodrigo Lopez (penalty) 89th.
Lineups/Substitutions: Orlando City – GK- Jon Kempin (Sean Kelley 90’), D Yann Songo’o, Bryan Burke, Luke Boden, Rob Valention, M Christian Duke (Anthony Pulis 13’) Freddie Braun, Kevin Molino (Jonathan Mendoza 87’), Jamie Watson F, Dom Dwyer (Jean Alexandre 83’), Long Tan (Dennis Chin 74’).
LA Blues – GK- GK: Carl Woszcyski, D Matt Hall (Sergio Ortiz 75’), Conor Hearn, Adrian Dubois, Corey Miller, M Shay Spitz, Rodrigo Lopez, Alan Russell (Jimmy Turner 87′) F George Davis (Gabriel Gonzalez 78th), Chris Cortes (Juan Perez 66’), Mershad Momeni (Nelson Pizarro 36’)
Penalty Summary: LA- Mershad Momeni (Yellow) 9th; LA- Rodrigo Lopez (Yellow) 72nd; LA- Connor Hearn (Yellow) 90th+
Season Tickets On Sale Now
City’s first two seasons have been an amazing success. After sweeping the board in 2011 with both Regular Season and the USL PRO Championships, Orlando went the entire 2012 season without losing a single regular season home game, capturing the regular season championship by a record margin and making the Citrus Bowl into fortress.
Heart break ensued in the semi finals, but this year the Lions are out to reclaim their crown as kings of the USL PRO.
Don’t miss the chance to watch every second of action with a 2013 season ticket. That includes all 14 regular season home games at the Florida Citrus Bowl, as well as discounted pricing for exhibition games and a whole host of benefits.
Exclusive Season Ticket Holder Benefits
• Specific seat location for every home game
• First rights to playoff tickets
• $10 voucher on any international friendly game
• Season ticketholder discount card
• 10% discount on Orlando City merchandise
• Discounted U23 tickets