Score 1 2 F
Orlando City 0 1 1
Philadelphia Union 1 0 1
PHI – Danny Califf 1 (Gabriel Gomez 1) 27
OC - Max Griffin 1 (Erik Ustruck 1) 90 + 3
OC - Anthony Pulis (Caution) 2
OC - Charlie Campbell (Caution) 22
OC - Miguel Gallardo (Caution) 25
OC - Luke Boden (Caution) 62
PHI - Gabriel Farfan (Caution) 75
OC - Kieron Bernard (Caution) 88
Orlando, Fla. - “Our Hearts Beat Red,” the slogan for tonight’s match, was certainly a fitting name for a game that had the entire crowd’s heart pounding at the end. In their first official pre-season match of the 2012 season, the Orlando City Lions drew the Philadelphia Union of the MLS 1-1. Max Griffin scored the tying goal in added time in front of 5,963 City fans, starting out Orlando’s preseason on a positive note.
Philadelphia struck first as Danny Califf scored off of a header by Gabriel Gomez in the 27th minute. The free kick was setup due to Orlando City Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo coming too far out of the box and fouling Union forward Danny Mwanga. The free kick was attempted by the Union’s Gabriel Gomez, with the shot being headed-in by Califf to put the Union up 1-0 early in the match. After a few chances taken by both squads in the later part of the first half, the Union went into halftime with a 1-0 lead.
The second half was filled with new faces, as the Union essentially substituted in their entire lineup for fresh legs. Head Coach Adrian Heath commented on the first half and what he thought the team could improve on moving forward in the pre-season.
“I didn’t think we distributed the ball well in the first half,” Heath said. “We’ve got good players, but the first half wasn’t our strongest performance.”
With the Union having the advantage early in the second, Heath brought in fresh legs at the 65th minute. Orlando began quickly regained control of the match, bringing extra pressure to Philadelphia’s second team. This was especially evident up front, with Max Griffin repeated terrorizing the Union back line.
As the match drew to a close, Orlando City turned up the attack. Griffin, after coming close to scoring just minutes before, finally broke through with only seconds to spare. Erik Ustruck, crossed the ball into the box with Griffin running in open space. Griffin took a quick touch to settle before striking, placing a low shot to the far post and past Union netminder Chase Harrison.
After the match, Griffin talked about the goal and what it meant to score against the MLS’ Union.
“Scoring is always the best thing in the world,” Griffin said in the post-game press conference. “The ball was fed perfectly to me at the end, and I got the right angle to score. It means a lot to me.”
Orlando’s next match will be at the ESPN Pro Soccer Classic at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Fla. Their first match will be on the 25th against another MLS squad, Toronto FC. City defeated the MLS squad in last year’s tournament, with Ian Fuller scoring the lone goal to lift Orlando to third place in the tournament. Tickets are available by visiting their website at http://espnwwos.disney.go.com/events/pro/wdw-pro-soccer-classic.
Orlando City – Miguel Gallardo (Sean Kelley 46), Jerome Mechack (Erik Ustruck 67), Rob Valentino (Kieron Bernard 67), Logan Emory, Luke Boden, Kevin Molino (Phillip Borde 81), James O’Connor (Don Smart 60), Anthony Pulis, Charlie Campbell (Adama 60), John Rooney (Ian Fuller 70), Dennis Chin (Max Griffin 60)
Philadelphia Union – Zac MacMath (Chase Harrison 46), Sheanon Williams (Raymon Gaddis 46), Carlos Valdes (Greg Jordan 64), Danny Califf (Gabriel Farfan 46), Porfiro Lopez (Zach Pfeffer 64), Freddy Adu (Jimmy McLaughlin 46), Gabriel Gomez (Roger Torres 46), Brian Carroll (Amobi Okugo 46), Jack McInerney (Michael Farfan 46), Josue Martinez (Chandler Hoffman 46), Danny Mwanga (Antoine Hoppenot 46)
Score 1 2 F