Orlando City lose 2-1 to Minnesota in return of former coach Adrian Heath

Orlando City Soccer 1 Minnesota United 2, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, Florida - 10th March 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Jason Kreis 0 Adrian Heath 2.

That was the headline that came out of tonight’s game between Orlando City and Minnesota United as former Lion’s coach Adrian Heath masterminded his second successive victory over his former club and replacement coach Jason Kreis.

Orlando started their second successive home game without star striker Dom Dwyer and suspended midfield dynamo Sacha Kljestan and struggled to make any decent impact on the game in the early stages.

The home side fell behind to an opening goal in the 12th minute, that looked suspiciously offside, as former Orlando fan favorite Kevin Molino found Ethan Finlay wide open behind the defence and he chipped oncoming Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik to give the visitors the lead.

Orlando City Soccer 1 Minnesota United 2, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, Florida - 10th March 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Orlando then equalized in the 42nd minute after benefiting from a Video Review decision from what was originally deemed a free kick for a foul on Richie Laryea just outside the penalty box. After the review it was ruled that contact began inside the penalty area and Peruvian international Yoshimar Yotún scored his first goal of the season as he placed his spot kick high to the left hand side.

Finlay made it 2-1 for Minnesota in the 79th minute as he tapped in after being set up by Mason Toye‘s clever flick that allowed Miguel Ibarra to pin point his cross.

A last minute goal-line clearance kept Orlando from another dramatic equalizer as Amro Tarek saw his effort blocked by Brazilian midifelder Ibson.

After the game Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said “Obviously we’re very disappointed to lose a game at home, only our second game at home. But we have to continue to draw positives out of the performance, we have to continue to learn about ourselves. It’s going to take some time and I think, all-in-all, there were lots of positive performances out there but in the end we just didn’t quite have the quality to score the goals.”

Orlando City Soccer 1 Minnesota United 2, Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, Florida - 10th March 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

On his return to Orlando, Minnesota Head Coach Adrian Heath remarked “Well the stadium is everything I thought it was going to be. Thought the noise was fantastic in the stadium, the crowd really tried to drive their players on. But you know that’s what I expected, I know what the crowd are like. The stadium is fantastic, the people inside are fantastic as well. I’m pleased we got the result, but I do hope that we can win more games and get up the table because it’s still one of the results I look for every week. You don’t spend the time I did here and not have some sort of emotional attachment. And as I said in the week, when I was here it becomes more than wins and losses. I’ve seen people grow in this stadium. So it was nice to see The Wall full, seeing some old friends in there. But the most important thing for us is that we won the game.”

Of the two coaches, it will be Jason Kreis who will be most worried as his team visit Yankee Stadium for their first road match of the season next Saturday against New York City FC. While there is no disguising his team are raw and still getting used to playing with each other, there really can be no complaints about losing this game as the Loons always looked the most likely to score when they went forward.

An unfortunate injury to Stefano Pinho in the 28th minute, after suffering a right ankle injury, was a big blow for an Orlando team already depleted in the forward department. Orlando had 58.6% possession to Minnesota’s 41.4% but the fact is the team really didn’t look much of a threat when they advanced and when you add this to a defence that once again looks disjointed and not able to track runners, you have a recipe for a similar disappointing performance to last season.

Make no mistake about it, the eventual reappearance of Dwyer and Kljestan will make some difference but the team has huge problems mounting in other positions of the field. Add into the mix the verbal spat between Yotún and Justin Meram just before half time last night, where club captain Jonathan Spector had to step in to speak to the pair, and you have a club showing the strains of going through a huge amount of turmoil on and off the pitch once again.

Kreis and his coaching team made the brave decision to replace the majority of last seasons squad but already the writing is on the wall that this could prove to be a very long season indeed and one that the Head Coach may not make it all the way through.


Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Scott Sutter (RJ Allen 83’), Amro Tarek, ⓒ Jonathan Spector, Mohamed El-Munir, M Cam Lindley, Will Johnson, Richie Laryea (Tony Rocha 67’), Yoshimar Yotún, F Justin Meram, Stéfano Pinho (Chris Mueller 28’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Lamine Sané, Donny Toia, M Cristian Higuita

Minnesota United FC – GK Matt Lampson, D Jerome Thielsson, Tyrone Mears, Francisco Calvo, Michael Boxall, M Ibson, Sam Nicholson (Miguel Ibarra 67’), Ethan Finley, Rasmus Schuller, F Kevin Molino (Collen Warner 50’), Christian Ramirez (Mason Toye 72’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Bobby Shuttleworth, D Carter Manley, Brent Kallman, M Collin Martin

Attendance: 24,038

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