Orlando City SC (7-10-7, 28 points) faced fellow Eastern Conference rivals the Philadelphia Union (6-13-5, 23) at the Orlando Citrus Bowl Saturday evening before a crowd of 28,495 fans. Despite controlling overall possession throughout the match 56-44 and creating a number of threatening opportunities, the match ended in a 0-0 draw.
A few new faces made their debut for the Lions, including rookie Conor Donovan, who started the first Major League Soccer (MLS) match of his career. Unfortunately, a left knee injury in the 13th minute forced an early exit for the youngster, and he was replaced by teammate and Orlando City Homegrown product Tommy Redding. Tonight’s match marked Redding’s MLS debut and the 18-year old turned in a noteworthy performance.
Lastly, newly signed midfielder Adrian Winter made his debut in Purple and Gold, coming in for Servando Carrasco in the 72nd minute. The newest Lion made his presence known on the field immediately, combining with Darwin Cerén and Cristian Higuita on a number of attacking plays.
Goalkeeper Tally Hall registered his fourth clean sheet of the season, delivering a number of heartstopping saves including a point blank parry off the line to preserve the scoreline in the 86th minute.
“Obviously we’re disappointed that you don’t take three points at home. But the last 10 minutes I actually thought we were going to lose the game so we have actually taken something from it,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “I thought [Tommy] was very composed, very good on the ball, he read the game well. [Tally] came up big on a couple of occasions when it was really important. But we looked very very tired towards the end. It looked like the games that we’ve played of late and the game on Wednesday night in Toronto had an effect on us. The players worked really hard, I can’t fault them.”
4′ Servando Carrasco produced an early attempt for City when he tried to lob John McCarthy from distance. Unfortunately, his effort went wide of the target.
10‘ After a hard challenge with C.J. Sapong, Conor Donovan went down with a left knee injury.
14’ As a result, Adrian Heath was forced to make his first substitution of the night, introducing Tommy Redding for Donovan.
21′ Sebastien Le Toux created the best opportunity of the night for Philadelphia with an dangerous effort that rattled off the far post and out of harm’s way.
30′ Cyle Larin had a good chance on the edge of the box, off a pass from Kaká, who used a bit of magic to slide the ball between two Union players. But the Canadian rookie was unable to secure the first goal of the match with a low shot right at Union goalkeeper McCarthy.
41′ Boden played a quick 1-2 with Kaka before driving the ball across the box to a streaking Larin, who missed the cross by mere inches.
45’ (+5) At the end of the first half, both teams went into the locker rooms level 0-0.
49’ Kaká fired a well-struck effort, but it was blocked by a Union defender and deflected away. Lewis Neal hit followed up for the rebound attempt, but his effort was unsuccessful as well.
50′ Larin had a prime scoring opportunity, after a curling free kick from Boden found him inside the six, but his header went just inches over bar.
60’ The Union made its first substitution of the match, bringing in Eric Ayuk Mbu for Tranquillo Barnetta.
61’ Sapong created a nervous moment for the Lions with a near-post strike that was saved by Hall. The ball made its way over to Mbu near the penalty spot, but good defense from Aurélien Collin, Luke Boden and Higuita cleared the danger away.
65’ Speedy winger Carlos Rivas replaced Neal midway through the second half.
69′ Hall denied Cristian Maidana‘s close range effort with a class save, maintaining the scoreless match.
72’ Adrian Winter made his debut in Orlando City colors, coming on for Carrasco.
80′ Maidana hit a powerful left-footed effort from outside the box, but it went directly to Hall who pushed it over for a corner.
86′ Hall came up big with another close-range save when Richard Marquez attempted a powerful header.
90’ (+3) The referee signaled for the end of the match, resulting in a 0-0 draw.
Team 1 2 Final
Orlando City SC 0 0 0
Philadelphia Union 0 0 0
ORL: Luke Boden (Yellow Card) 66’
Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Corey Ashe, Aurelien Collin, Conor Donovan, (Tommy Redding 14’), Luke Boden, M Lewis Neal (Carlos Rivas 65’), M Darwin Cerén, Cristian Higuita, Servando Carrasco (Adrian Winter 72’), Kaká, F Cyle Larin
Unused Subs: GK Earl Edwards, Jr., D Tyler Turner, F Pedro Ribeiro, Bryan Róchez
Philadelphia Union – GK John McCarthy, D Raymon Gaddis, Richard Marquez, Steven Vitoria, Fabinho, M Sebastien Le Toux (Fernando Aristeguieta 79’), Tranquillo Barnetta (Eric Ayk Mbu 60’), Michael Lahoud (Warren Creavalle 79’), Cristian Maidana, Brian Carroll, F C.J. Sapong
Unused Subs: GK Andre Blake, D Ethan White, M Zach Pfeffer, F Conor Casey
Time of Match: 7:30 p.m. ET
Weather: Partly Cloudy
August 8, 2015
Orlando City’s next match will take place against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, August 16, at CenturyLink Field. Kick-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET. The Lions return home on August 29 to host the Chicago Fire. Kick-off is 7:30 p.m. ET.
To purchase group or individual tickets, or to purchase 2016 Season Tickets and take advantage of preferred pricing before August 14, visit www.OrlandoCitySC.com or call 855-ORL-CITY.