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Orlando City’s 17 game unbeaten home record fell Sunday evening as Seattle Sounders recorded a comfortable 3-1 win under new interim head coach Bruce Schmetzer at Camping World Stadium.
Following the sacking of the popular Sigi Schmid during the week, Seattle Sounders started the evening brightly as they twice found space down the right hand side to create early opportunities on goal. Orlando opened the scoring from a seventh minute corner as Kaká found Seb Hines and the defender made no mistake with his header for his third goal of the 2016 MLS campaign.
The Sounders equalized in the 14th minute as some poor Orlando defending allowed US International Clint Dempsey (pictured above) free reign in the six yard box and the striker made no mistake from Tyrone Mears low cross on the right hand side.
The visitors then took control of the game for large segments of time and it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 37th minute after some controlled play. After a 17 pass move, a ball over the top from Cristian Rolden found an unmarked Jordan Morris who took the ball forward before passing to the unmarked Dempsey to side foot the ball home.
Things got worse for Orlando in the 48th minute when Dempsey completed his first hat-trick since April 2014. In a carbon copy of Dempsey’s second goal, Morris again latched onto a Nicolas Lodeiro through ball and he again rolled it into the path of the US International for a simple finish.
The Lions then made some changes as debutant Matias Pérez García (pictured above) entered the match in the 55th minute in place of Hadji Barry, who made his fourth consecutive start. Pérez García, who was acquired from San Jose on Wednesday, immediately sparked the Lions’ attack. The Argentinian displayed his skill and technical ability, combining with Kaká, Baptista and Larin on several occasions.
City’s best opportunity came in the 71st minute when Júlio Baptista, on for Brek Shea in 67th minute, headed Kaká’s free kick off the bar. The ball ricocheted to Hines, who got a strong head to it, but somehow Stefan Frei in the Seattle goal managed to keep it out with a little help from the right hand post. Seconds later, from a follow up cross, David Mateos’ header whizzed past the near post.
The Lions continued to push forward and in doing so left themselves vulnerable to the counter attack. Seattle should have scored a fourth goal in the 80th minute as Andreas Ivanschitz found himself free in the area to cross to second half substitute Nelson Haedo Valdez who somehow managed to hit the far post with the open goal at his mercy.
Overall it was a very disappointing result for Orlando City as the defensive frailties again reared their ugly head. The team now finds itself facing an uphill battle to make the play offs and failure to secure the right defensive replacements during the transfer window may come home to haunt them.
“Very disappointed with the result but I think some of it’s natural. From what I saw tonight, we saw a group that the energy looked a little bit low, but we’ve been asking a lot of them for two weeks,” Head Coach Jason Kreis (pictured above) said. “The adjustment is going to take some time from a physical standpoint. But it doesn’t mean we’re going to work less. Their bodies are going to adapt. From a tactical standpoint, we’re still working. It’s going to take some time.”
The Lions will look to rebound with a road trip on Sunday, Aug. 14, when they visit the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. ET. City then visits the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, Aug. 20, before returning to Camping World Stadium on Wednesday, Aug. 24, when it hosts Toronto FC for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff.
Orlando City SC – GK Joe Bendik, D Luke Boden, David Mateos, Seb Hines, Kevin Alston, M Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino (Carlos Rivas 78’), Brek Shea (Júlio Baptista 67’), Kaká, Hadji Barry (Matías Pérez García 55’), F Cyle Larin
Substitutes Not Used: GK Earl Edwards Jr., D Mikey Ambrose, José Aja, M Tony Rocha
Seattle Sounders FC – GK Stefan Frei, D Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans, Chad Marshall, Joevin Jones (Zach Scott 57’), M Osvaldo Alonso, Cristian Roldan, Andreas Ivanschitz (Álvaro Fernández 83’), Clint Dempsey (Nelson Valdez 59’), F Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris
Substitutes Not Used: GK Tyler Miller, M Erik Friberg, F Herculez Gomez, Oalex Anderson
More photos at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com