Orlando City Closes Historic Inaugural MLS Season With 12 Wins, Falls Short of Playoff Berth
By Orlando City SC // October 26, 2015
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando City SC (12-14-8, 44 points) closed out its historic inaugural Major League Soccer (MLS) season in the City of Brotherly Love earlier today. The Lions fell just shy of becoming the third ever expansion team to qualify for the playoffs in its first campaign, losing 1-0 to the Philadelphia Union (10-17-7, 37 points) before 17,309 fans at PPL Park.
Orlando controlled nearly 60 percent of the possession and created 10 shots, but Philadelphia midfielder Sebastien Le Toux’s penalty five minutes before halftime separated both sides through 90 minutes, despite another late surge to secure three points from the Lions.
Despite missing the postseason, the team accomplished several significant milestones in its inaugural season in MLS.
City’s five game winning streak leading up to Sunday’s contest propelled the squad to having the best campaign for an expansion team since 2009, finishing ahead of five other clubs and tying the highest win mark for an expansion team since 1998 with 12.
In addition, Orlando City’s average of 32,847 fans per home game, the highest for an expansion team in league history, drew over a half million fans to the Orlando Citrus Bowl throughout the year – making Orlando City the fastest team in MLS history to reach that mark.
Lastly, forward Cyle Larin’s 17 goals set a new rookie single-season scoring record, capping off a noteworthy first season for the Lions.
“I thought we started the game slow and after having a word at halftime, I thought we showed a bit more in the second half. We played a bit more like we have been of late, showed a lot more determination, enthusiasm and desire. But, I’m disappointed we’ve finished the way that we have. We’re better than the performance we put out this evening,” said head coach Adrian Heath.
“But, we’ve had a great last month to the season. There’s been some really pleasing stuff and also some things we have to get better at. That’s what the offseason is for – to try and improve and make sure we’re above the red line next year.”
“I can’t applaude and thank our fans enough. They’ve been incredible. There were about 80 plus waiting for us at our hotel last night. And, as I told the players, that’s who you play for – the people who spend hard-earned money to watch you play football,” said Heath.