Orlando City crash to another home defeat as Seattle clinch play off place with 2-1 win

It took just over two minutes for Seattle Sounders to take the lead at Orlando City Stadium on Wednesday night and in doing so, a new unwanted record for most goals conceded by a team in a season was set. The previous record was set by Minnesota United in 2017 when they shipped 70 goals but now Orlando sits at 72 with two games left in the season after the 2-1 home defeat.

With the win the Sounders have made the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the 10th consecutive season, which ties the league record. They’ve made the postseason in each one of their seasons in MLS unlike Orlando who haven’t been able to hit that benchmark in any one of their four seasons in the league.

After just 136 seconds of play, Victor Rodriguez put the Sounders in front. Kelvin Leerdam was given too much time on the ball and he lobbed a through ball to an unmarked Rodriguez, who delicately chipped a first-time volley over the onrushing Lion’s goalkeeper Adam Grinwis from the the right hand side of the penalty box.

Ten minutes later, 18-year-old Handwalla Bwana cut in from the right wing, glided past Scott Sutter and saw his deflected strike off Shane O’Neill trickle into the net for his second career goal.

What followed then was an abject lethargic display from Orlando as Seattle totally dominated the game. The only surprise was that the visitors didn’t add to their lead as the game went into the half time break.

The men in purple stepped up their performance in the second half and managed to get on the board in the 57th minute when Sutter curled it in a cross from the right for Dom Dwyer to tap home. It was small consolation for the home supporters who yet again gave their team terrific support.

After the game it was a tale of differing contrasts for the Head Coaches of the teams.

“Obviously first half started really poorly. Give away two really poor goals. Second half I felt we came at them a little bit, had a little bit more energy. I thought we started to cause them a few more problems, have more pressure in their half,” Lions head coach James O’Connor (pictured above left) said. “When we get the goal we’re hopeful that we’re going to go on and get something from the game. We needed to get more numbers in the box as the ball has gone wide. It’s indicative of how the season has gone for us with the type of goals that we’ve given away so early on and made it really difficult for ourselves to get back into the game.”

“Congratulations to the Sounders organization for 10 years,” said Sounders Head Coach Brian Schmetzer (pictured above.) “That’s a hefty achievement, something we’re all obviously very proud of. I think Ozzie [Alonso], [Club Director of Goalkeeping] Tom [Dutra], myself might be the final holdouts, you never know, well [Owner] Adrian [Hanauer], I guess you could say that. It was good. The guys are in good spirits, we talked about that before the game. About not backing in, about not waiting for the other games tonight so, a big achievement for the club.”

Full Time: Orlando City 1 Seattle Sounders 2

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Adam Grinwis, D Will Johnson, Lamine Sané, Shane O’Neill, Scott Sutter, M Carlos Ascues, Uri Rosell, Chris Mueller (Richie Laryea 74’), ⓒ Sacha Kljestan, Cristian Higuita (Josué Colmán 58’), F Dom Dwyer

Substitutes Not Used: GK Joe Bendik, D Donny Toia, Chris Schuler, M Cam Lindley, Tony Rocha

Seattle Sounders FC – GK Stefan Frei, D Kelvin Leerdam (Waylon Francis 76’), Kim Kee-hee, Chad Marshall, Nouhou Tolo, M ⓒ Osvaldo Alonso, Jordy Delem, Cristian Roldan, Victor Rodriguez, F Handwalla Bwana (Alex Roldan 61’), Will Bruin (Jordan McCrary 90’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Bryan Meredith, D Tony Alfaro, F Raul Ruidiaz, Henry Wingo

Attendance: 22,344

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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