ORLANDO - May 17, 2015 - Orlando City SC (3-5-3, 12 points) won its first game at the Orlando Citrus Bowl in commanding fashion before 40,122 fans on Sunday night, defeating the reigning Major League Soccer (MLS) Cup Champions LA Galaxy (3-4-5, 14 points) 4-0.
The win was the largest margin of victory by an expansion team over a defending MLS champion in MLS history, and marked the second highest attended game for the Lions. Orlando City has averaged 37,446 fans per home game this season, a record for the first six stand-alone MLS home games for an expansion team.
Featuring a lineup that included Tally Hall in the starting XI and Martin Paterson in the 18-man roster, Orlando City jumped off to an early lead when Eric Avila headed home Brek Shea’s assist in the 12th minute after fantastic combination from the Lions deep in LA’s half, beginning with Rafael Ramos and Kaká on the right-hand-side.
Avila’s finish was the first time Orlando has led at home all season.
As the first half came to a close, Orlando’s strong attacking play in the final third continued when Kaká skillfully beat his defender before setting up rookie Cyle Larin for his fourth goal of the season, providing the Lions with a 2-0 advantage going into halftime.
Kaká’s man-of-the-match worthy performance carried over into the second half when the playmaker converted from 12 yards away, after being brought down in the box, sending LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo the wrong way.
Defensive midfielder Darwin Cerén added the final blow in the 72nd minute, scoring from distance as his shot took a slight deflection on its way to the goal.
“I’m delighted for everybody connected with the Club, especially the supporters who have been incredible,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “I’m really pleased for the players because they’ve been working so hard. Overall, it’s been a pleasing day for everybody, for my staff, and more importantly the supporters. The most important thing for us is to continue to do what is right. We spoke all week about trying to play more aggressively. ”
- With the win, Orlando City moved into the fifth place in the East.
- Both Tally Hall and Martin Paterson made their Orlando City debuts during the 4-0 victory.
- Rookie Cyle Larin’s goal was his fourth this season, and fifth in all competitions.
3’ Early in the match, Brek Shea found Cyle Larin with a great ball into the box. The rookie did well to chest the cross down in a tight position but was bumped off the ball by the LA defense.
10’ Orlando’s pressure continued in the 10th minute when Luke Boden found Shea on the back post with a curling corner kick. Shea managed to hold his defender off and nod it back into the danger zone, however, LA was able to clear it away.
12’ City’s early pressure would yield dividends when midfielder Eric Avila scored his first goal of the season. Avila’s finish was the result of fantastic combination play in the final third from City, beginning with a probing through ball from Kaká to release Ramos for a cross into the box. Ramos’ ball found Shea who headed it back to Avila for a clever finish past Jaime Penedo.
24’ The Galaxy attempted to respond when Ignacio Maganto weaved past two defenders in the box, but Seb Hines came across strongly and blocked his attempt.
27’ Orlando nearly doubled its lead midway through the first half when Larin intercepted Leonardo’s back-pass to Penedo. With the goalkeeper well of his line, Larin confidently attempted to lob the ball over Penedo from 35 yards away, but narrowly missed the target.
34’ With the first half winding down, Larin scored his fourth goal of the season, tucking away an unselfish pass from Kaká, who broke free into space after skillfully skipping past his defender.
43’ Ramos found Shea, who was making a diagonal run across the Galaxy defense. The USMNT star attempted to catch Penedo off guard at the near post, but the goalkeeper was in a good position to make the save.
45 (+1): At the end of the first half, Orlando had three shots on target, while LA was unable to hit the frame in six attempts.
46’ Luke Boden created another nervous moment for the LA defense from a corner, finding Seb Hines in the six-yard-box. The defender’s header appeared to sneak over the line, but Penedo pulled off a steady save.
55’ City’s strong play continued in the 55th minute when the Lions were awarded a penalty. Kaká stepped up to take the penalty, sending Penedo the wrong way for his fourth goal of the season. Following the goal, the Brazilian displayed pure class with his celebration, holding up a Kevin Molino jersey to the crowd, honoring the midfielder who suffered an ACL injury a few weeks ago.
57’ A strong effort from Cerén from 35 yards away forced Penedo to nervously parry it over the crossbar.
68’ LA head coach introduced former West Ham United midfielder Sebastian Lletget for his MLS debut.
72’ Orlando’s efficiency in the final third continued when Cerén blasted a low effort into the back of the net from 30 yards away. The midfielder’s strike was slightly deflected by Tommy Meyer, momentarily fooling Penedo.
77’ Heath brought on Carlos Rivas for Larin, who received a standing ovation from the 40,122 fans in attendance. Shortly afterward, Martin Paterson was also introduced for his first MLS game this season.
87’ Paterson ran on to another well-placed ball from Kaká, playing it to the near-post for Rivas who was unable to connect properly.
90’ Two minutes of stoppage time were added as Orlando City kept a 4-0 advantage.
90 (+4) The referee blew the final whistle, resulting in a 4-0 victory for the Lions’ first win at the Citrus Bowl.
ORL - Eric Avila (Brek Shea) 12’
ORL - Cyle Larin (Kaká) 34’
ORL - Kaká (Penalty) 55’
ORL - Darwin Cerén (Unassisted) 72’
ORL - Kaká (Yellow Card) 56’
LA - Jaime Penedo (Yellow Card) 59’
LA - Mika Vayrynen (Yellow Card) 65’
Orlando City SC – GK Tally Hall, D Luke Boden, Sean St. Ledger, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos, M Darwin Cerén, Cristian Higuita (Amobi Okugo 73’), Kaká, Eric Avila, Brek Shea (Martin Paterson 82’), F Cyle Larin (Carlos Rivas 77’)
LA Galaxy - GK Jaime Penedo, D Baggio Husidic, AJ DelaGarza, Tom Meyer, Leonardo, M Mika Vayrynen (Sebastian Lletget 68’), Ignacio Maganto (Jose Villareal 64’), Juninho, Stefan Ishizaki, F Gyasi Zardes, Bradley Jamieson (Alan Gordon 46’)
Substitutes not used:
ORL – Donovan Ricketts, Tyler Turner, Harrison Heath, Danny Mwanga
LA - Brian Rowe, Omar Gonzalez, Oscar Sorto, Rafael Garcia
Time of Match: 5:00 p.m. ET
May 17, 2015
The Lions’ next match will take place against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, May 24, at Levis Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.
Orlando City will return to the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Saturday, May 30, for a match-up against Eastern Conference foes - Columbus Crew SC. Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30p.m. ET.