- Theme Parks
- Walt Disney World
- Vacation Tips
Orlando City SC rose to the top of the Eastern Conference with eight points from four games after a dominant 4-1 victory over the defending MLS Cup Champions, Portland Timbers at Orlando Citrus Bowl earlier tonight. In front of an ecstatic 31,114, the Lions put on arguably their best performance since joining Major League Soccer in 2015 and are currently one of two unbeaten teams left across the league, and the only one in the East.
Last year City destroyed 2014 defending MLS Cup Champions L.A. Galaxy and repeated the dose against 2015 Champions Portland Timbers with an exciting display of fast attacking football.
“[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. The Brazilian play-maker helped open the scoring sheet in the 14th minute of play when he floated a free kick from 40-yards out into the box for Seb Hines to surge above the Timber defense and head in the first goal of the match.
Nearly 20 minutes later, Kaká produced a clinical give-and-go with Brek Shea on the left side and Shea half volleyed the ball like a bullet past Timbers’ goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey with the outside of his left foot into the upper 90 for his first Orlando City career goal.
Orlando were the dominant team going into the closing stages of the first half before referee Alan Kelly awarded the Timbers a penalty after a hand ball by Brek Shea in the 43rd minute. Lions keeper Joe Bendik came up with an important save as he pushed Fanendo Adi’s shot away for a corner kick.
Half Time: Orlando 2 Portland 0
Orlando came out in the second half determined to apply the same pressure to their opponents as they had done in the first half and Kaká was rewarded with a goal just two minutes into the second half. The captain started the move as he caught the Timbers in possession. He then sent the ball wide to Kevin Molino who in turn played the ball back in toward Adrian Winter, who cleverly laid the ball back into Kaká to apply the finish.
Orlando’s fourth and final goal came from the penalty spot with Molino netting his first MLS goal after being dragged down in the box. Normally Kaká would have taken the spot kick but he motioned to Molino to do so. From the spot, Molino then sent a low shot to Kwarasey’s right, putting City up 4-0 in the 74th minute.
Portland then ruined the script a little by pulling a consolation goal back in the 90th minute after the ball deflected off Jack McInerney for the Timbers’ lone score.
“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 for the Timbers’ lone score.
After the game Man of the Match Kaká said: “I gave the ball to [Kevin] Molino because I thought he needed the goal more than me and I said to him that we trust in him so he needs to trust in himself too.”
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.
Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Rafael Ramos, Tommy Redding (Aurélien Collin 46’), Seb Hines, Brek Shea, M Cristian Higuita, Darwin Cerén, F Kevin Molino, Kaká (Carlos Rivas 80’), Adrian Winter, Cyle Larin (Servando Carrasco 24’)
Substitutes: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., M Kevin Alston, F Hadji Barry
Portland: GK Adam Kwarasey, D Alvas Powell, Nat Borchers, Jermaine Taylor, Jack Barmby, M Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe, Diego Valeri, Dairon Asprilla (Darren Mattocks 58’), F Fanendo Adi (Jack McInerney 58’), Lucas Melano (Ned Grabavoy 81’)
Substitutes: GK Jake Gleeson, D Taylor Peay, Zarek Valentin, M Jack Jewsbury
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com