Honors even as Orlando City and FC Dallas play out scoreless draw.

Orlando City Soccer 0 FC Dallas 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 30th September 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The points were split on Saturday afternoon at Orlando City Stadium as Orlando City SC and FC Dallas played out a dull scoreless draw. Both sides were looking for points to keep play off hopes alive but neither team possessed the quality or guile to break the deadlock in front of an announced crowd of 24,007.

Orlando City Soccer 0 FC Dallas 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 30th September 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The match was Orlando City’s 100th MLS match and it was the Lions who almost grabbed a winner right at the end of the game only to be denied by FC Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalex who made two excellent saves to prevent Yoshimar Yotun efforts from going in from close range.

“The truth of the matter is that I’m pleased with the performance. Really pleased with the efforts the group put out. I knew it was going to be a difficult day. It’s hot out there today, it’s our third game in a week, we’ve had to travel all the way to Portland and back in the last week,” Lions head coach Jason Kreis said. “A lot of considerations for why the performance wasn’t quite as energetic as I would’ve liked it to have been. But at the end of the day the guys gave everything they had and I think can feel very proud of what they put into that game.”

Kreis came out with an XI with only one change from Wednesday’s 6-1 win over New England, inserting Jonathan Spector, who returned from suspension, at center back alongside Seb Hines, who made his third consecutive appearance, and Scott Sutter and Donny Toia on the flanks. Servando Carrasco made his second consecutive start and Yoshimar Yotún, Antonio Nocerino and Giles Barnes were in the midfield. Dom Dwyer and captain Kaká were the forwards.

Orlando City Soccer 0 FC Dallas 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 30th September 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

The match saw Dallas control large spells of possession but struggle to create truly threatening chances. Joe Bendik’s (pictured above) five saves set a new single-season career-high (115) following his 114 in 2016, which were second-most in MLS.

“I think that performance tonight was indicative of his entire year,” Kreis added. “He’s been Johnny-on-the-spot for us when we’ve needed him for the big occasions and has made very, very few mistakes the entire season. He’s had another strong year.”

Orlando City Soccer 0 FC Dallas 0, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, 30th September 2017 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

City moved to a very offensive lineup in the second half, with Richie Laryea (pictured above) replacing Carrasco in the 55th minute and leading scorer Cyle Larin entering in place of Nocerino at the 67th minute mark. Striker Carlos Rivas then entered for Sutter in the 84th minute. The moves sparked City, who were desperate to keep their play off hopes alive, but as much as they pushed forward they simply couldn’t find a way through the Dallas defence.

With the point, Orlando City moves into eighth place in the Eastern Conference, four points behind sixth-place New York with two fewer games remaining. FC Dallas, meanwhile, also sit in eighth place in the Western Conference, level on points with Real Salt Lake and San Jose who sit just above them on goal difference.

The game was the Lions’ seventh clean sheet of the season tying their team single-season clean sheet record of seven set in 2015.

The Lions will now have a two-week hiatus due to the FIFA international break before returning to Orlando City Stadium for the final time in 2017 when they host Columbus Crew SC on Sunday, Oct. 15, at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Seb Hines, Scott Sutter (Carlos Rivas 84’), M Servando Carrasco (Richie Laryea 55’), Yoshimar Yotún, Antonio Nocerino (Cyle Larin 67’), Giles Barnes, F Dom Dwyer, ⓒ Kaká

Substitutes Not Used: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Rafael Ramos, Tommy Redding, M Dillon Powers

FC Dallas – GK Jesse Gonzalez, D Hernán Grana (Kellyn Acosta 61’), Atiba Harris, Matt Hedges, Maynor Figueroa, M Javier Morales, Carlos Gruezo, Tesho Akindele, ⓒ Mauro Díaz, Roland Lamah (Walker Zimmerman 71’), F Maximiliano Urruti (Michael Barrios 84’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Chris Seitz, M Victor Ulloa, Ryan Hollingshead, F Cristian Colmán

Attendance: 24,007

More photos at www. FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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