Orlando City

Rapid Reactions: Lions scrounge out draw with New York Red Bulls


1. It took until late into the evening, but Orlando City SC managed to eke out a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls at INTER&Co Stadium on Saturday.

2. The goal came in the 89th minute after Ivan Angulo threaded a cross into the box intended for Jack Lynn. The ball instead deflected off of Red Bulls centerback Noah Eile, who got the final touch into the net. Given how stymied Orlando's offense was in this match, it was somewhat funny that the goal that tied the game came from the Red Bulls themselves.

3. The Lions have scored five goals in total this MLS campaign, with all five of those coming at home and four of those being scored in the second half. The trend for the Lions isn't new, given the "cardiac cats" moniker that was given to them years ago. If Orlando can find a way to score goals consistently in the first half and not just the second, they should be able to find their footing throughout the season.

4. The goal for the Lions late masks an otherwise disappointing night on the pitch. With Orlando playing most of the match down, New York's notable style of play made creating chances offensively incredibly hard for the home side. The high pressing and numbers sent towards the ball stymied any offensive flow that Orlando was building on, making it a frustrating night overall.

5. Orlando attempted a season-high 654 passes in this match, completing 88% of them. It tells the story of just how much possession the Lions had throughout the game and how little the Red Bulls wanted the ball. All of the New York attacks came from counters off of turnovers, with hardly any within a full buildup.

6. The one goal for the Red Bulls came off a foul in the 20th minute, after Kyle Smith clipped Lewis Morgan in the box. It was the first penalty conceded by the Lions in 2024, one that changed the game entirely. It took almost 60 minutes for the Lions to find their equalizer after that.

7. The other big thing the Lions were missing was, in Oscar Pareja's words, a "punch" in front of goal. Despite holding possession and and completing passes, otherwise dominating the Red Bulls overall statistically, Orlando was missing the killer instinct in front of goal. Too many times the Lions looked to create chances for others, rather than taking them themselves. It's something, with time, the Lions should be able to work on and figure out in the long term.

8. Cesar Araujo came in for the final eight minutes plus stoppage time, a welcome sight for City fans to see. The defensive midfielder missed the last three matches after leaving the match against Minnesota with an ankle injury. He will be a big factor in the midfield as the season continues on.

9. After so many games to start the season, the Lions now have a full week off before their next match, on the road against D.C. United. That match will kick off on April 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.