Orlando City handed valuable lesson by Seattle

Orlando City fans in Seattle

Only a fool would write off Orlando City given the history the club has had but it is difficult to see how the Lions can possibly achieve their season long goal of qualifying for the play offs from here.

In a disjointed performance in front of 40,453 fans at CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon, Orlando   (7-11-7, 28 points) fell to Seattle Sounders FC (11-12-2, 35 points) 4-0.

Seattle Sounders vs Orlando City Soccer, CenturyLink Stadium, Seattle, Washington - 16 August 2015  (Photographer: Karl Noakes)

Both teams started the game in a tentative fashion but Orlando fell behind in the 17th minute when Obafemi Martins powered his way through to score his eighth goal of the season. Martins, out since June with a strained abductor, scored a well worked goal with a one – two with Lamar Neagle that left him all alone against Orlando City goalkeeper  Tally Hall and he made no mistake in rifling his shot into the net to give the Sounders a deserved lead.

Seattle Sounders vs Orlando City Soccer, CenturyLink Stadium, Seattle, Washington - 16 August 2015  (Photographer: Karl Noakes)

Seattle then threatened to double their lead in the 30th minute after Lions debutant David Mateos brought down Chad Marshall in his own penalty box.  It was the correct call from referee Kevin Stott but Hall conjured up a big save to deny Martins’ attempt from the spot to keeping Orlando trailing by just the single goal.

Seattle Sounders vs Orlando City Soccer, CenturyLink Stadium, Seattle, Washington - 16 August 2015  (Photographer: Karl Noakes)

With five minutes left in the half, Stott made a simply outrageous call that reduced the Lions to ten men when he showed Orlando defender Tyler Turner (pictured above) a second yellow card. The decision was exceptionally harsh and while there can be no dispute that Turner grabbed Neagle’s shirt it certainly didn’t merit a yellow card. It was the seventh time this season that Orlando would have to play with ten men and simply based on this decision, every foul ever made in the future would merit a yellow card.

The teams went into the half-time break with Seattle leading 1-0 but the second half would see three goals from Nelson Valdez, Obafemi Martins and second half substitute Thomas that secured three points for the home side.

“We haven’t done ourselves any favors. Certainly today wasn’t good for us, unacceptable for the players we had in,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “We have to regroup and see what we can come up to and need to instill confidence again in the players and get to a better shape. I’m a little bit concerned with our away form at this moment in time. The differences between our home and away performances are night and day at this point. Individually and collectively we have to make it better.”

For the Sounders it was an important win as their previous eleven games had only yielded four points. Even so, Seattle were much the dominant team today and it’s something the Orlando squad must learn from. The inaugural season in MLS for the Lions was never going to be easy and with all the injuries they have encountered, the season has been made even more difficult. However, the team has some resilient characters and it is now time for those players to show their true metal. The club can still qualify for the end of season play offs but there really is no room for error now. Everything must be left out on the pitch.

First Half:

7’ After a relatively slow start to the game, Obafemi Martins came close to providing the first goal, powering his way by the back four for a strong header from just outside the six. However, goalkeeper Tally Hall came out strongly to make a big-time save to keep things level.

8’ Orlando City responded directly after Martins’ threatening chance, with Kaká, nearly finding the back of the net after an efficient counter-attack.

17’ Martins would find the back of the net 10 minutes later. After combining with Lamar Neagle on the edge of the area, Martins surged into the box and tucked the ball into the bottom corner.

20’ Tally Hall was called upon once again to make a key save when Andy Rose attempted to sneak his effort past. The veteran goalkeeper was able to get low quickly though, tipping it wide for a corner.

30’ Matters almost became worse for City in the 30th minute when Seattle was awarded a penalty. Martins’ strike was low and headed for the corner, but Hall made a diving save to parry it wide. Seattle followed up with another close-range attempt, leading to another crucial save from Hall.

36’ Nearing the end of the first half, Servando Carrasco provided a strong effort from the edge of the area, blasting a shot that deflected off a Seattle defender for a corner.

40’ Tyler Turner received a second yellow in the first half, reducing the Lions to 10 men for the seventh time this season.

45 (+2) The referee signaled for halftime – with the Lions down a man and trailing 1-0.

Second Half:

52’ Seattle doubled their lead early in the second half when new signing Nelson Valdez opened his MLS account with a header.

62’ Ten minutes later, Martins scored his second goal of the game after an unfortunate deflection on the edge of the Lions’ box, allowing Martins to run free in behind for a one-on-one chance.

67’ Heath made his first change of the game, bringing on young Designated Player Bryan Róchez for Larin.

80’ In the final 10 minutes of the game, Orlando City remained compact in behind the ball as they attempted to prevent further damage while being a man down.

92’ Thomas added the final goal of the game, resulting in a 4-0 loss for the Lions.


Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Tyler Turner, Aurelien Collin, David Mateos, Luke Boden, Cristian Higuita, Servando Carrasco, Darwin Ceren (Pedro Ribeiro 84’), Adrian Winter, Kaka (Lewis Neal 70’), F Cyle Larin (Bryan Rochez 67’)

Unused Subs: GK Earl Edwards Jr., D Corey Ashe, Tommy Redding, M Carlos Rivas

Seattle Sounders – GK Stefan Frei, D Tyrone Mears, Chad Marshall, Roman Torres, Oniel Fisher, M Rose, Brad Evans (Cristian Roldan 81’) , Erik Friberg, Lamar Neagle, F Nelson Valdez (Thomas 56’), Obafemi Martins (Darwin Jones 66’)

Unused Subs: GK Troy Perkins, D Zach Scott, Dylan Remick, Gonzalo Pineda

More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com

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