ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 14, 2022) - Orlando City SC (12-12-6, 42 points) fell by a score of 1-0 on Wednesday night to Atlanta United FC (10-12-9, 39 points) at Exploria Stadium.
The two sides were scoreless heading into the break thanks to a goal-line clearance from defender Kyle Smith in the 36th following a breakaway from Atlanta’s Luiz Araújo. Pedro Gallese made three saves in the match, including a denial of a header from Santiago Sosa in the 71st minute, but it was Thiago Almada who broke through a minute later for the eventual game-winner for The Five Stripes.
City returns home on Saturday, Sept. 17 to host Toronto FC at Exploria Stadium in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Tickets are available here or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“It is unfortunate at this point and especially with this rival we came up with this result, but I have to say the boys put all the effort there. Their energy, their character, it was there. Simply, we didn’t do what we had to do in the last third. If you are not sharp in those moments, it is difficult. The other team had one or two chances and that is why they won. Hopefully we can return to that sharpness in the last piece of the field because we were not sharp today. Nothing to complain about this group. They have been pushing and I back them up 100 percent. This is a very competitive team, this team is very advanced and this is a team that has shown that they can compete. I love them. I am proud of them. We will fight. We will fight. Today is sour, but we will fight. This is a team that I love. This is our team, these are my boys and I love them. We are going to make it happen.
72’ Thiago Almada (Andrew Gutman) - ATL 1, ORL 0**
The Five Stripes took the lead with Thiago Almada combining at the edge of the area with Andrew Gutman on the give-and-go, running in behind the Orlando defense before sending his shot into the back of the net.
- The match was delayed for nearly an hour, with the 6 p.m. ET kickoff pushed to 6:55 p.m. due to thunderstorms in the area.
- João Moutinho recorded his 80th appearance in all competitions and his 70th start.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja made six changes to his starting lineup from the side’s last outing, with Pedro Gallese, Kyle Smith, Júnior Urso, Iván Angulo, Facundo Torres and Ercan Kara all re-entering the fold.
Next Match: The Lions face a quick turnaround as they welcome Toronto FC to Exploria Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 17. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.