Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor Makes Debut, Lions Fall To Los Angeles 4-1

By  //  July 8, 2018

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Orlando City Falls to 6-11-1

ABOVE VIDEO: Full Highlights of LAFC vs Orlando City SC.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Orlando City SC) – Orlando City SC (6-11-1, 19 points) fell 4-1 to 2018 expansion side Los Angeles FC (10-4-4, 34 points) on Saturday at Banc of California Stadium.

“I thought we played to some wonderful opportunities, when you look at the saves that their keeper made, when you look at the shots, the chance creation I thought that was really positive,” Lions head coach James O’Connor said.

“Equally we gave them too many opportunities. It was a pretty open game, we didn’t intend it to be that way. They’ve obviously got tremendous quality and are playing with a lot of confidence so I think that when you look at it it became pretty evident that you’ve got one team that is full of confidence and one team that is really lacking confidence.”

In his first game at the helm, O’Connor rolled out a 4-2-3-1, with RJ Allen, captain Jonathan Spector, Amro Tarek and Donny Toia before goalkeeper Joe Bendik on the back line. Yoshimar Yotún, who recently returned from representing Peru at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, started the match at midfield alongside Uri Rosell, Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan and Josué Colmán with Dom Dwyer up top.

Orlando City SC (6-11-1, 19 points) fell 4-1 to 2018 expansion side Los Angeles FC (10-4-4, 34 points) on Saturday at Banc of California Stadium. (Orlando City Image)

Spector was substituted off in the 25th minute after an apparent injury. He was replaced by Chris Schuler, who made his fourth appearance of the season. Attacker Justin Meram replaced Colmán at halftime. Mohamed El-Munir replaced Mueller in the 64th minute.

LAFC opened the scoring in the 28th minute when Mark-Anthony Kaye found Adama Diomande. Latif Blessing scored in the 32nd minute.

New Orlando City SC Head Coach James O’Connor Set to Join LionsRelated Story:
New Orlando City SC Head Coach James O’Connor Set to Join Lions

In the 59th minute, Toia worked the ball to Kljestan, who curled a beautiful shot inside the far post to make it 2-1 LA. It appeared as though City had equalized in the 72nd minute when Dwyer tapped in Meram’s feed, but the goal was ruled off following Video Review.

Diomande scored a second goal following a mad scramble in front of goal in the 82nd minute. Diego Rossi scored two minutes later.

The Lions return to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, July 14 to host Toronto FC.

Tickets to all City home matches are available at OrlandoCitySC.com or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.

Match Notes

– HC James O’Connor made his Orlando City and MLS head coaching debut.
– GK Joe Bendik made his 85th MLS appearance, which is the second-most in Club history. Bendik is two appearances away from tying F Cyle Larin’s all-time Club MLS appearances record (87).
– GK Joe Bendik made his 50th save of the season in the second minute of the match. It was the first of nine saves on the night for Bendik.
– M Sacha Kljestan scored his fourth goal of the season, which is second-most on the team (F Dom Dwyer, 7). D Donny Toia earned his first assist of the season on the goal in his third appearance.
– It was M Uri Rosell’s 26th birthday.
– D Donny Toia registered his first assist of the season.
– D Mohamed El-Munir lined up as a midfielder for the first time as a Lion when he entered for M Chris Mueller in the 64th minute.

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