Orlando City Handles Portland 4-1, Kaká Makes Impressive Season Debut
By Orlando City SC // April 4, 2016
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando City SC (2-0-2, 8 points) rose to the top of the Eastern Conference with eight points after a commanding 4-0 victory over the defending MLS Cup Champions, the Portland Timbers (1-2-1, 4 points), in front of an electric 31,114 fans on Sunday night.
The Lions are currently one of two unbeaten teams across the league, and the only in the East.
The Lions imitated last year’s performance against the defending MLS Cup Champions last year, when they scored four goals in a dominant performance over the LA Galaxy at home on May 17.
“[We had] exceptional plays, great goals and big performances from a lot of players,” Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath said postgame.
“As I said to the players after the game, if we believe in what we do and play with that same intensity, then certainly, in this place with our supporters behind us, we are a formidable force to deal with.”
Team captain Kaká made his 2016 season debut, after missing City’s first three matches due to injury, with two assists and one goal, taking the Lions to their second victory of the season after setting up City’s first two goals and scoring the third.
The Brazilian helped open the scoring sheet in the 14th minute of play when he was awarded a free kick from 40-yards out. He sent a perfectly weighted ball in, allowing Seb Hines to surge above the Timber defense and head in the first goal of the match.
Nearly 20 minutes later, the Brazilian playmaker produced a clinical give-and-go with Brek Shea on the left side. After a quick one-two, Shea blasted the ball past Timbers’ goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey on the half volley–a laser into the upper 90 for his first Orlando City career goal.
Kaká was rewarded with a goal minutes into the second half, earning the score after winning the ball back for his team near midfield.
The captain pick-pocketed the Timbers then sent the ball wide to Kevin Molino. Molino played the ball back in toward Adrian Winter on the right side, who used a deft touch back to Kaká and he was able to easily put the ball into the net.
The Club’s fourth and final goal came from the penalty spot with Molino netting his first professional goal after being dragged down in the box. From the spot, Molino sent a low shot to Kwarasey’s right, putting City up 4-0 in the 74th minute.
“For us to be where we are, top of the East, I’m delighted with that and hopefully that will give the guys some confidence to move on,” Heath added.
“Hopefully [our fans] enjoyed the evening; They sounded like they did.”
Portland pulled a goal back in the 90th minute after the ball deflected off Jack McInerney’s back for the Timbers’ lone score.
Lions netminder Joe Bendik finished the match with three saves, including a couple from close-range and a 43rd-minute penalty kick stop on Fanendo Adi.
Orlando City will face Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on Friday, April 8 at 7 p.m. The Lions return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on April 17 to face the New England Revolution.
Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.