Orlando overpowers Red Bulls to continue winning streak

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

Orlando City Soccer 3 Sporting Kansas City 1, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 13 September 2015  (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

Orlando City SC turned in their best performance of the season as they ventured to New York to take on the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena tonight. A 5-2 victory was deserved reward for a team that has recaptured their early season form and the result will send shock waves through the whole of Major League Soccer such was the manner in which they dismantled the Eastern Conference leaders.

Going into the game, the New York Red Bulls had gathered 48 points from 28 games having won 14 games and leading the league in goals scored and least goals conceded. Orlando on the other hand have had a poor spell until recent consecutive victories against Sporting Kansas and Chicago Fire which have seen them close the gap on the play off places.

Forward Cyle Larin ended a dry spell for him in recording a superb second hat-trick of the season to extend his tally to 14, breaking Damani Ralph’s single-season scoring record for a rookie of 11, as playmaker Kaká and winger Carlos Rivas also displayed impressive performances, notching two assists each.

The match featured a high-paced entertaining tempo from the opening whistle, but it was Orlando who would stun the home crowd in the 24th minute when Larin broke the record, heading Kaká’s corner to the near-post into the back of the net.

New York equalized five minutes later from a superb free kick routine that saw Central Florida product Dax McCarty’s score with a diving header. Sacha Kljestan smartly chipped a free kick from 26 yards out towards the back post where Matt Miazga leapt to head the ball back across the six yard box. McCarty, totally unmarked and in the right place dived forward to head the ball into the net off the bounce to level the score.

Orlando City Soccer 3 Sporting Kansas City 1, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 13 September 2015  (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

In the process, Orlando City defender Seb Hines suffered a shoulder injury and was stretchered off to be replaced by Carlos Rivas. It was to be an important change in the game as Luke Boden moved to center back, Brek Shea to left back and Carlos Rivas was allowed to roam free on the left side of midfield.

It didn’t take long for Rivas to influence the game and moments before half time he broke free on the left hand side before playing an immaculate ball behind the defence and into the path of Cyle Larin who applied a clinical finish to restore the Lions lead.

The Red Bulls then had two glorious chances to equalize in first-half stoppage time as McCarty’s header from a Kljestan corner unluckily hit the crossbar and then Bradley Wright-Phillips saw his strike hit the  far post after a Kemar Lawrence cross.

A 2-1 lead at half time was never likely to be enough to win the game for the men in Purple and the game always looked like it had more goals in it. So it proved as just 37 seconds into the second half, another threatening cross from Rivas forced an own goal from New York center-back Damien Perrinelle as he was attempted to prevent the ball reaching the advancing Larin.

The game then took another turn as New York coach Jesse Marsch was sent off in the 57th for arguing with match officials after Red Bulls were awarded a throw in.

Lloyd Sam then revitalized Red Bulls hopes when he pulled one back for his team in the 57th minute with an excellent turn and shot after being allowed too much space by the Lions defence. The hope was short lived though as another fast paced counter-attack from Orlando saw Larin blast Rivas’ second assist of the game into the roof of the net just four minutes later. 4-2.

The Red Bulls were then reduced to ten men in the 77th minute when Matt Miazga received his second yellow card for a tug on Bryan Róchez’s shirt.

Kaká, who was  coming back from a groin strain sustained while on international duty for Brazil two weeks ago, then played an instrumental role in Orlando’s fifth goal as he combined with a clever one-two with Róchez who finished with some aplomb past Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Orlando City Soccer 3 Sporting Kansas City 1, Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Florida - 13 September 2015  (Photographer: Nigel G. Worrall)

The goal capped off a fine performance for Adrian Heath’s men as they continue to chase the final playoff berth in the East. After the game a delighted Heath said: “It gives us an opportunity to stay in the race and that’s what we’ve wanted to do. We’ve had two difficult away games (Chicago and New York) and it’s been a magnificent effort from all of the players. I’m delighted for every single one of them and for our supporters who traveled here today. I expect us to get a fantastic crowd next Saturday against Montreal, and we hope to try to keep it alive again for another week.”

The victory is the Lions third consecutive victory and this run couldn’t have come at a better time as the team now closes the gap to just one point behind sixth placed Montreal Impact and two points behind fifth placed Toronto in the quest for a play off place in the Eastern Conference.

The Lions will return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Saturday, October 3, to host the Montreal Impact. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.


Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Rafael Ramos, Seb Hines (Carlos Rivas 33’), Aurélien Collin, Luke Boden, M Lewis Neal (Adrian Winter 65’), Cristian Higuita, Darwin Cerén, Brek Shea, Kaká, F Cyle Larin (Bryan Róchez 76’)

Unused Subs: GK Earl Edwards Jr., M Eric Avila, Servando Carrasco

New York Red Bulls – GK Luis Robles, D Connor Lade, Matt Miazga, Damien Perrinelle (Shaun Wright-Phillips 69’), Kemar Lawrence, M Dax McCarty, Felipe (Gonzalo Veron 53’), Lloyd Sam, Sacha Klejstan, Mike Grella (Anatole Bertrand Abang 79’), F Bradley Wright-Phillips

Unused Subs: GK Kyle Reynish, D Ronald Zubar, M Sal Zizzo, Sean Davis


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