ORLANDO, Fla. (February 18, 2017) – The Orlando City SC Pro Academy U-15/16 fought hard but lost 4-2 to New York Red Bulls Pro Academy U-15/16 Saturday at UCF Soccer Complex.
“Thought first half was quite even and we played quite well. Obviously to get the first goal was good and settled us down,” U-15/16 head coach Max Rogers said. “The players followed what we asked them to do but second half they get their equalizer and got a lift from that. Disappointing result.”
The first half was closely contested as both teams displayed strong defensive form, but Orlando City opened the scoring when Jordan Bender, who recently was called up to the United States U-15 national team’s series in Argentina, curled a gorgeous shot from 22 yards inside the near post.
Defender Alejandro Rivera cleared away a dangerous cross from the box and Mason Lamb got his foot in front of a shot headed towards the far corner as the Red Bulls pushed for the equalizer.
The Lions took the lead into halftime but New York scored early in the second half to tie the match. Soon after, City goalkeeper Carlos Melendez made a great kick save on a breakaway to keep the score level and followed it up with a good catch on a high cross into the box.
City nearly took the lead in the 51st minute when Mario Licor lofted a free kick to the edge of the area and Ryan Schultz directed a strong left-footed shot off the volley that forced Red Bulls goalkeeper Matt Goodman into a spectacular flying save.
In the 66th minute, however, Scotty Taylor got in behind the Lions back line and was drawn down in the box. Taylor slotted the penalty kick to the left post for a 2-1 lead. Four minutes later, Ben Hines fired a shot from the right side of the box into the back of the net. Hines scored again in the 75th minute.
A great persistent effort Alejandro Pereira in the corner won City possession in the Red Bull box and Andres Ojeda fired it home just minutes after entering the match.
The Lions return to action on Monday, February 20, when they take on the New England Revolution at 2 p.m.
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Atlanta United 2-3 New England
New York City 4-1 DC United