Orlando City draws a blank in 2020 MLS season opener

Orlando City SC grabbed their first point of the new MLS season as they played to a scoreless draw with Western Conference side Real Salt Lake to begin the Oscar Pareja era.  In its sixth MLS campaign, the Lions remain unbeaten in season-opening fixtures.

Three new faces appeared in the starting lineup in the match, including goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, who earned a clean sheet in his MLS and club debut. Fellow newcomer Júnior Urso captained the Lions while Antonio Carlos rounded out the new faces in the XI at center back. Andrés Perea made his City debut in the match as well, entering the game in the second minute of stoppage time.

The game itself saw Orlando taking the game to Salt Lake but they struggled to find the final ball that would have led to a goal. It was the pattern of the night as the visitors offered next to nothing going forward and both teams seemed happy to share the spoils.

Orlando’s Chris Mueller was the closest to breaking the deadlock as the energetic forward twice had opportunities to score in the second half. His first effort was saved by Zac MacMath in the Salt Lake goal and his second was fired just over the bar from just outside the penalty area.

After the game Orlando Head Coach Oscar Pareja said: “First I would like to thank the fans tonight, incredible atmosphere. I knew it, but I had not felt that and tonight I felt it and our boys did as well. We are living with a sensation of ‘it could have been much more’ and give them the three points because our fans deserved it tonight, the way they came and filled the stadium and gave us that energy. That was transmitted to our players. They were very high and very happy about the support that we felt today. Hopefully we can give them more often the three points that we deserved tonight. But in this game it’s not something that you deserve, you have to actually execute it and make it happen and we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net, unfortunately. But the performance was very right and our players had a great effort and the intensity and that passion that I want to see from this team on the pitch and I’m very proud.”

Lineups/Substitutions:

Orlando City SC – GK Pedro Gallese; D João Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Ruan (Andrés Perea 90+2’); M Chris Mueller, Júnior Urso ©, Sebastián Méndez, Mauricio Pereyra; F Tesho Akindele (Santiago Patiño 84’), Benji Michel (Robinho 65’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Brian Rowe; D Rodrigo Schlegel, Kamal Miller; M Joey DeZart

Real Salt Lake – GK Zac MacMath; D Donny Toia, Nedum Onuoha, Justen Glad (Corey Baird 63’), Aaron Herrera; M Marcelo Silva, Damir Kreilach ©, Justin Portillo (Giuseppe Rossi 79’), Albert Rusnák, Tate Schmit (Justin Meram 70’); F Nick Besler

Substitutes Not Used: GK Andrew Putna; M Pablo Ruíz, Maikel Chang; Douglas Martinez

Attendance: 25,527

More photos at FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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