Orlando City Wins Rain Delayed Home Opener 3-1

By  //  April 15, 2013

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PROFESSIONAL SOCCER

The Orlando City Soccer Club weathered both Mother Nature, and the visiting Rochester Rhinos, for a 3-1 win in the team's United Soccer League Pro division home opener Sunday.

The Orlando City Soccer Club weathered both Mother Nature, and the visiting Rochester Rhinos, for a 3-1 win in the team’s United Soccer League Pro division home opener Sunday.

Forwards Long Tan, Dom Dwyer, Jamie Watson Score In Home-Opener Victory Sunday Night

STORY & IMAGES BY MICHAEL MOORE II

CENTRAL FLORIDA, USA – When the Storm Prediction Center issued a Tornado Watch just before 2 p.m. I was worried. I wasn’t worried about getting rained on, having wet socks, or a delay in play – I was worried the stadium would be empty. As it turned out, I should have been a little more worried about the water and less concerned about attendance.

The Lions dominated the ball and maintained possession right from the start however there were a number of missed opportunities. "We had two great chances early and a couple of near-misses, but I was confident if we scored the first goal we were going to be OK," Orlando City coach Adrian Heath said.

The Lions dominated the ball and maintained possession right from the start however there were a number of missed opportunities. “We had two great chances early and a couple of near-misses, but I was confident if we scored the first goal we were going to be OK,” Orlando City coach Adrian Heath said.

The Orlando City Soccer Club weathered both Mother Nature, and the visiting Rochester Rhinos, for a 3-1 win in the team’s United Soccer League Pro division home opener Sunday.

Despite the threat of torrential rains, hail, lightning and tornadoes nearly 6,400 fans came out to brave the elements and watch the home opener. The rain started to fall shortly before game time Sunday but it seemed to only drive the excitement of the Orlando City Supporter groups.

Despite the threat of torrential rains, hail, lightning and tornadoes nearly 6,400 fans came out to brave the elements and watch the home opener. The rain started to fall shortly before game time Sunday but it seemed to only drive the excitement of the Orlando City Supporter groups.

Despite the threat of torrential rains, hail, lightning and tornadoes nearly 6,400 fans came out to brave the elements and watch the home opener. The rain started to fall shortly before game time Sunday but it seemed to only drive the excitement of the Orlando City Supporter groups.

The Lions dominated the ball and maintained possession right from the start however there were a number of missed opportunities. “We had two great chances early and a couple of near-misses, but I was confident if we scored the first goal we were going to be OK,” Orlando City coach Adrian Heath said.

The Lions (2-1) got goals from Long Tan, Dominic Dwyer and Jamie Watson at the Florida Citrus Bowl after the match was suspended twice for nearly two hours due to lightning. Lightning strikes were as close as ½ mile at one point according to Weather Service Lightning data.

Adrian Heath

Adrian Heath

Honestly I didn’t need the map to tell me how close the lightning was. Bolts were accompanied by simultaneous cracks of thunder as the field was cleared and fans fled for cover.

“It’s never easy going on and off. Some of the lads stiffened up. Some stiffen up quicker than others,” Heath said. “For us, most importantly it’s preparing and making sure we’re concentrating on the next little spell when it comes.”

OVERCOMING THE ELEMENTS

Orlando overcame the stoppage and the Rhinos and took home their second win of the young 2013 USL PRO season.

“I was confident that if we scored the first goal we’d be ok,” Heath said. “I love playing in the rain because the pace of the game picks up, so besides the wind I thought the conditions were fine.”

In the 13th minute, Orlando got their first scoring chance of the game as Sporting KC and Orlando City Forward Dom Dwyer found 2012 USL PRO MVP Kevin Molino behind the Rochester backline.

In the 13th minute, Orlando got their first scoring chance of the game as Sporting KC and Orlando City Forward Dom Dwyer found 2012 USL PRO MVP Kevin Molino behind the Rochester backline.

In the 13th minute, Orlando got their first scoring chance of the game as Sporting KC and Orlando City Forward Dom Dwyer found 2012 USL PRO MVP Kevin Molino behind the Rochester backline. Molino’s effort went off the right post after Rhino Goalkeeper Kristian Nicht was lured out of his box due to the danger, with the pressure from Orlando continuing through the beginning of the first half.

But as the rain continued and thunderclouds began to roll in, the match was postponed due to severe weather in the area in the 21st minute. The break lasted a total of 56 minutes, with the match resuming at 7:24 p.m. only to be postponed again minutes later.

But as the rain continued and thunderclouds began to roll in, the match was postponed due to severe weather in the area in the 21st minute. The break lasted a total of 56 minutes, with the match resuming at 7:24 p.m. only to be postponed again minutes later.

The game finally got underway at 8:30 p.m., totalling close to a two-hour delay. When play finally resumed, Orlando continued their strong pace of passing and possession. Midfielder Jamie Watson nearly capitalized on a chance in the 37th minute, finding an open lane just outside the 18-yard mark with his attempt just missing the far post. The attacking continued, with it paying off for the Lions in stoppage time of the first 45. After Kevin Molino followed up an attempt from Dwyer, Tan found the rebound – blasting his attempt past Nicht for the 1-0 lead.

JUMPING ON THE ROCHESTER BACKLINE

The Lions didn’t let up in the beginning of the second half, jumping on the Rochester backline to score the second goal of the game. Winger Bryan Burke placed a well-played cross to a charging Dom Dwyer in the 47th minute, who easily slotted home his second goal of the season to give Orlando the 2-0 advantage.

Orlando continues home play this Friday, April 19, against the LA Blues.

Orlando continues home play this Friday, April 19, against the LA Blues.

Watson continued the scoring for Orlando in the 62nd minute, cleaning up a loose ball in the Rhinos’ box for the 3-0 advantage. Rochester scored in the 90th minute of play as Forward Blake Brettschneider lofted his shot up and over Orlando Goalkeeper Jon Kempin. The score was too little, too late, however, with the Lions taking home the victory 3-1.

Orlando continues home play this Friday, April 19, against the LA Blues. Orlando has already played the California-based squad this season, falling 1-0 on the road in Fullerton, Calif. Blues’ Forward George Davis scored the lone goal in the 80th minute for LA, propelling them to the home win. The Lions are 2-1-1 all time against the Blues in four meetings between the two clubs.

Scoring Summary:Orlando – Long Tan (unassisted) 45th Orlando- Dom Dwyer (Bryan Burke) 47th Orlando- Jamie Watson (unassisted) 62nd. Rochester – Blake Brettschneider (unassisted) 90th

Lineups/Substitutions: Orlando City – GK- Jonathan Kempin, D Robert Valentino, Yann Songo’o, Bryan Burke, Luke Boden, M Jamie Watson (Dennis Chin 78’), Kevin Molino (Jonny Mendoza 83’), Christian Duke (Ian Fuller 87’), Freddie Braun (Anthony Pulis 78’), F Dom Dwyer, Long Tan (Adama Mbengue 68’). Rochester: GK — Kristian Nicht, D Tyler Bellamy, Kevin Bilal Duckett, Lucas Fernandez (Tyler Polak 65), Troy Roberts, M Lance Rozemboom, Tyler Rosenlund (Michael Tanke 78’), Gabe Latigue (Kendall McFayden 38’), Daniel Keith Earls, F Matt Luzunaris (Matthew Horth 46’), Thomas Mcmanus (Blake Brettschneider 64’)

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.

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.

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

TO ORDER TICKETS CALL 855-ORL-CITY


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