It was a moment Rodrigo Schlegel will never forget.
The Argentine, already an Orlando City legend for his miraculous penalty-kick save in the Lions’ first-ever playoff match against NYCFC in 2020, scored his first professional goal to lift Orlando to a 2-0 win over the Columbus Crew on Saturday night. Schlegel was voted Heineken Man of the Match by the fans for his performance.
Orlando City was awarded a set play in the 37th minute. After the initial service into the area was knocked aside, Ercan Kara played a ball back to Facundo Torres, who feigned a shot before whipping a poisonous cross through the six-yard box. Júnior Urso attempted to direct it towards goal, and while he was unsuccessful, his touch fell straight to Schlegel, who was in perfect position to tap it home.
The moment was even more special than your usual first goal. Schlegel dedicated the goal to his late father Adrian, who passed away last June.
Schlegel’s first goal of his career came in his 43rd appearance in all competitions since arriving on loan from Racing Club in 2020. The Argentine has helped the Lions keep back-to-back clean sheets in their first two games since losing Antonio Carlos to a hamstring injury. In this one, Schlegel tallied four interceptions, four ball recoveries and a team-high five clearances.