Orlando City Struggles Continue, Fall To New York Red Bulls 2-0
By Orlando City // July 14, 2016
Orlando City SC (4-5-9)
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – In the first match of a three-game road trip, Orlando City SC (4-5-9, 21 points) fell 2-0 to the New York Red Bulls (8-9-3, 27 points) Wednesday evening at Red Bull Arena.
“We knew what to expect. We had a plan coming into it and I think the plan, in a lot of ways, worked. When we go back and look at it, it’s the fine margins that are costing us,” Interim Head Coach Bobby Murphy said. “I think [the players] competed hard enough and had some good moments. [We] were in the game.”
In the teams’ third meeting of the season, Orlando City started out strong, creating several opportunities in the attacking third. Captain Brek Shea, who started at left wing, and midfielder Kevin Molino combined for several threatening opportunities on the Red Bulls’ back line during the first half.
Despite the team’s overall defensive effort – including a fearless play from Seb Hines, who blocked slid into Mike Grella’s open shot and blocked it with his face in the 31st minute – New York was able to open the scoring. Alex Muyl delivered a corner service into the box in the 37th minute that bounced around before Connor Lade drove a left-footed ball inside the far post.
Commanded by goalkeeper Joe Bendik, City’s back line continued to hustle. The Marietta, Ga., native, who entered the match fourth in MLS with 60 saves, made several big saves to keep the Lions in the game. His best stop came in the 55th minute when he dove to deflect a powerful free kick strike from Bradley Wright-Phillips.
The Red Bulls made it 2-0 in the 59th minute when Felipe drove a free kick around the Lions’ wall and into the back of the net.
The Lions aimed to find another late equalizer, as Murphy introduced attackers Cyle Larin and Júlio Baptista in the second half. Larin was close to reducing the deficit in the team’s best chance of the night, as he received a clever through ball from Molino behind the Red Bulls’ backline but his shot was stopped by goalkeeper Luis Robles in the 76th minute.
The game featured Antonio Nocerino’s first start since May 15, as well as Carlos Rivas’ first start since May 25. Harrison Heath, who made his second consecutive start, had to leave the game during halftime after suffering a knock to the knee. The Englishman will be further evaluated by team doctors in Orlando today.
The Lions continue the road trip when they head to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps on Saturday, July 16, for a 10 p.m. ET kickoff. City finishes the road trip when it visits Columbus on Saturday, July 23. They return to Camping World Stadium on Sunday, July 31, when they host the New England Revolution.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
Tickets to all City home matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.