Orlando crashes 5-0 in Toronto

Filed under: Major League Soccer,Orlando City Soccer,Orlando Sport,Sport |


The scoreline suggests that Orlando City were on the end of a hiding in Toronto but Lions Head Coach Adrian Heath will be wondering whether he has broken a mirror given the recent refereeing decisions that have majorly impacted the teams recent results.

With just one victory in their last eight games, Orlando headed into the Toronto game on the back on a poor 4-0 loss in Seattle which saw right back Tyler Turner questionably sent off. Today, it was the turn of Rafael Ramos, who had just returned from three weeks out through injury, to see red. It was a decision that changed the course of the match as for the opening 36 minutes Orlando had looked reasonably solid all over the park.

The incident that changed the game was worthy of nothing more than a yellow card for a slightly late challenge by the young Portuguese right back on Justin Morrow. Instead, Referee Jose Carlos Rivero, who was arrested in 2014 for fraud after allegedly collecting unemployment benefits while employed, gave a straight red card.

The sides, separated by just three points in the MLS’s Eastern Conference, played out the rest of the half without major incident except for a ridiculous booking for Lions captain Kaká for nothing more than a shoulder charge on Morrow in the 38th minute.

Any illusions of an Orlando clean sheet vanished less than a minute after the start of the second half when Michael Bradley pounced on a loose pass from Adrian Winter just inside the Toronto half. Bradley then ran the whole length of the Orlando half before pulling the ball back for a grateful Mark Delgado, who was allowed an unrestricted run on the edge of the six yard box, to apply a neat left foot finish past Tally Hall.

Worse was to come for the Lions ten minutes later as Winter and Aurélien Collin were judged to have sandwiched Sebastian Giovinco on the edge of the box. It was another ridiculous decision from the referee and one that showed absolutely no awareness of how the game is actually played. He then compounded his decision by producing a yellow card for Winter that would have repercussions later in the game.

Giovinco, after recovering from his theatrical fall, then stepped up to rifle home an excellent right footed shot that went in off the post. Orlando then had a decent spell as Kaká created Orlando City’s best chance of the game in the 61st minute, bursting down the left side before finding Lewis Neal for a close-range attempt. The Englishman’s effort was blocked and cleared away by the Toronto defense. Orlando continued to press and two minutes later Winter produced a good cross that Cyle Larin should really have scored from but his poor chest down skipped away from him and grateful Toronto keeper Chris Konopka was able to punch the ball clear of danger. It proved to be Larin’s last touch of the day as Carlos Rivas then substituted him to add some pace to the attack.

Toronto then extended their lead in the 71st minute when Bradley and Giovinco exchanged passes that let in the U.S. International unmarked down the left-side of the box and he in turn squared for Morrow to side-foot in with his left-boot. It was a well worked goal that simply carved Orlando’s inadequate defence apart and one that effectively closed out the match as Orlando looked a well beaten side by that stage.

The fourth goal came in the 83rd minute as Josy Altidore ended his goal drought with a goal from the penalty spot after some crazy defending by Orlando City. Michael Bradley played a long splitting pass into the path of Robbie Findlay who still had plenty of work to do from around 30 yards out. For some reason known only to himself, Orlando keeper Tally Hall recklessly charged out of his goal and somehow managed to get on the blind side of the midfielder who then raced into the left edge of the area only to be upended by a desperate Winter.

Naturally, this gave referee Rivero great delight as he was then able to dramatically produce a second yellow leading to a red card for the departure from the game of Winter. Another unnecessary decision but it seems today that anytime there is a foul in the penalty area, the referee has to produce some kind of card for the offense.  Yes, it was a penalty but was it a yellow and therefore a red? Questionable. What isn’t questionable though is the overall poor quality standard of refereeing that has seen Orlando play almost a third of their games with a man down. The men from Central Florida have now received nine red cards in 26 games so far and it has surely affected the form of the team at a critical time.

Two minutes later, it was five. Altidore again getting the required touch, nodding in at the right-post after Findley squared the ball across the box from a Bradley free kick. It was the first time Toronto has scored five goals in a game and the third win of the season for Toronto over the Lions.

Orlando City Soccer 3 West Bromwich Albion 1, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 15th July 2015 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

After the game Head Coach Adrian Heath said “I just didn’t think it was a red card, the first one, and it changes the game. There is no other way round it. Until then, we were quite comfortable. We had a couple of half-chances and we had weathered the early storm they gave us. The game plan was to keep it tight, which I thought we had done, and I thought we had a real foothold in the game.

“Then we gave away an early goal in the second half, when the last thing we said [at halftime] was don’t give anything away, make sure they earn anything they get. Then it’s a bad back-pass and it’s 1-0. The second one is a great free kick, but after that they pulled us all over the place and it was very difficult.”

Lions will now return home to lick their wounds and to hope for a better result next weekend against the Chicago Fire with a 7.30pm kick off on 29th August.


Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Luke Boden, David Mateos, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos, M Servando Carrasco, Cristian Higuita, Adrian Winter, Lewis Neal (Bryan Rochez 72’, Kaka (Corey Ashe 84’), F Cyle Larin (Carlos Rivas 63’)

Unused Subs: GK Earl Edwards Jr., D Tommy Redding, M Eric Avila, F Pedro Ribeiro

Toronto FC – GK Chris Konopka, D Justin Morrow, Ahmed Kantari, Josh Williams, Jackson (Daniel Lovitz 46’), M Michael Bradley, Benoit Cheyrou, Collen Warner, Marco Delgado, F Jonathan Osorio (Jozy Altidore 72’), Sebastian Giovinco (Robbie Findley 76’)

Unused Subs: GK Joe Bendik, D Ashtone Morgan, Eriq Zavaleta, F Herculez Gomez





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