BRONX, N.Y. (July 25, 2021) - Orlando City SC (7-4-4, 25 points) dropped a 5-0 decision on Sunday night, falling on the road to host New York City FC (7-5-2, 23 points) at Yankee Stadium. The defeat marked the first time in nine matches that the Lions fell to their 2015 expansion rival, after Orlando had won the previous eight games across all competitions. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja rolled out a highly-rotated squad on the weekend after the team played just three days prior, a 2-1 win over Philadelphia Union at Exploria Stadium. Pareja’s starting XI saw five changes from Thursday, with three players making their first starts of 2021, including an MLS debut from newly-signed defender Emmanuel Mas. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“A very difficult game. I think New York, from the first minutes, were just getting into our spaces and obviously they played much better from the first minute. We couldn’t find a way to match the game and we’re going to observe it. What I can tell you is that our team is intact and we will bounce back. We go with no excuses tonight. Nothing went our way, we didn’t play well, we couldn’t put our passes together, we have tired legs there, too, and we didn’t look very sharp. So the only thing that I can say is, to our fans, that have been very supportive with us all the time, obviously they don’t deserve such a performance. But we have a commitment with ourselves and we will look in the mirror to see what needs to be better. I’m proud of my players, like always. I’m proud of them. That one hurts but, to the fans, just wait for us to bounce back next Friday.”

Scoring Recap:

40’ Jesus Medina (Valentin Castellanos) - NYC 1, ORL 0

After mounting pressure late in the first half, the home side got on the board first with Jesus Medina running onto a ball in stride before rifling a shot into the upper corner for the first goal of the game. 

53’ Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (Malte Amundsen) - NYC 2, ORL 0

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi doubled the NYCFC lead eight minutes into the second half, collecting a cross field pass from Malte Amundsen before scoring a long-range shot with the left foot. 

65 - Maxi Morales - NYC 3, ORL 0

Maxi Morales added to the Pigeons lead just after the hour mark, running a deflected ball into the net from the doorstep. 

79’ - Malte Amundsen (Maxi Morales) - NYC 4, ORL 0

After scoring a goal of his own, Maxi Morales setup Malte Amundsen with a ball chipped over the backline that Amundsen was able to finish from close range. 

82’ - Valentin Castellanos - NYC 5, ORL 0

Castellanos added another one, jumping on the end of a Pedro Gallese save for the fifth of the game. 

Match Notes:

  • Three players made their first starts of 2021 in the match, with Alexander Alvarado getting the nod on the attack, Joey DeZart in the midfield and Emmanuel Mas on the backline. The game also marked the MLS debut from Mas, who was signed by the Lions on July 14.
  • Entering as a halftime substitute, Ruan made his first appearance since May 8, a match that was also against New York City FC. 
  • The Lions were also without the attacking options of Tesho Akindele and Daryl Dike, who are with national teams, as well as midfielder Mauricio Pereyra who was suspended due to yellow card accumulation
  • The Sunday game was the 20th all-time meeting between the 2015 MLS Expansion rivals, the Lions’ most matches against any opponent
  • The defeat marked the first time in nine matches that the Lions fell to their 2015 expansion rival, after Orlando had won the previous eight games across all competitions

Next Match: The Lions return to the confines of Exploria Stadium on Friday night, set to host Atlanta United in an 8 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN.