Orlando City Battle to Scoreless Draw in 2021 Opener

Recap ATL 2021 1

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 17, 2021) - Orlando City SC (0-0-1, 1 point) remained unbeaten in opening fixtures on Saturday afternoon, battling to a scoreless draw with Atlanta United FC (0-0-1, 1 point) to open its 2021 Major League Soccer regular season.

Forwards Alexandre Pato and Silvester van der Water each earned their Orlando City debuts in the match, the former serving as the lone newcomer in Head Coach Oscar Pareja’s starting lineup while the latter entered for the Brazilian forward in the 80th minute of play.

Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese registered the clean sheet on the day, the second-consecutive year he has done so to open a campaign after the Lions battled to a scoreless result against Real Salt Lake to kick off the season in 2020.  

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

“At the outset, the two teams wanted to have the domination of the game, getting the ball, creating the sequences. I could see Atlanta [United] from the beginning, they had the initiative as well and then we were fighting for those sequences. It was back and forth. In the second half I think we had more balance, in the middle creating more numerical superiority. We created options to finish the game and get the three points. We feel like it was much more with those two, three options created that we had, but the game was intense. We found a good team in front of us and we’re going to take that point and start our season this way.”

Match Notes:

  • City remained unbeaten in opening fixtures on the day, battling to a scoreless draw for the second-consecutive year to start its MLS campaign, now 1-0-6 in such contests.
  • Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese registered three saves to register his first shutout of the year and fourth in regular-season play as a Lion. 
  • Silvester van der Water made his debut for the Lions, entering the match for Pato in the 80th minute of play. 
  • Alexandre Pato earned his City debut on the afternoon, the only newcomer in Head Coach Oscar Pareja’s starting lineup.
  • The Lions played in front of a limited-capacity sellout crowd, with 11,503 fans occupying Exploria Stadium on Saturday. 

Next Match: The Lions embark on their first road trip of the year, traveling to face Western Conference side Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park on Friday, April 23. The match will mark City’s second-consecutive national broadcast, this time on FS1 and Fox Deportes.

Scoring Summary:


Misconduct Summary:



Orlando City SC - GK Pedro Gallese ©; D Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Ruan; M Nani © (Benji Michel 71’), Júnior Urso, Sebastián Méndez, Chris Mueller (Matheus Aiás 90+1’); F Alexandre Pato (Silvester van der Water 80’), Tesho Akindele (Andrés Perea 46’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Brandon Austin; D Michael Halliday, Rio Hope-Gund; M David Loera, Joey DeZart

Atlanta United FC - GK Brad Guzan ©; D George Bello, Anton Walkes, Miles Robinson, Brooks Lennon; M Santiago Sosa, Emerson Hyndman (Jürgen Damm 83’), Marcelino Moreno (Franco Ibarra 75’), Ezequiel Barco, Jake Mulraney (Machop Chol 66’); F Lisandro López (Josef Martínez 75’)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Rocco Ríos Novo; D Mikey Ambrose, Ronald Hernández, Alan Franco; F Tyler Wolff

Details of the Game:

Time: 3 p.m. ET

Weather: Clear

Date: April 17, 2021

Attendance: 11,503



ORL - 40.5%

ATL - 59.5%


ORL - 11

ATL - 11


ORL - 3

ATL - 3


ORL - 9

ATL - 12


ORL - 3

ATL - 4

Heineken Man of the Match: Alexandre Pato