SANFORD, Fla. - The Orlando City U-23s (0-2-0, 0 points) fell to FC Miami City Champions 3-1 on Saturday at Seminole Soccer Complex. Orlando City’s goal came from Kyle Carr in the 60th minute.
“I thought it was an interesting game, but I thought they battled very hard from the first whistle to the last whistle, which is something we require of them,” said head coach Darren Powell.
Though the result may not have been what they were striving toward, the Lions held good spells of possession in the second half but were unfortunate at times in the final third.
FC Miami got on the board in the 35th minute after Bryan Perea converted from the penalty spot, sending City goalkeeper Mitchell Thorn the wrong way. Perea earned the penalty kick after being brought down in the box while running on to a deep ball.
Miami doubled their lead in the 40th minute, courtesy of Patrick Lopez’s header off a corner from Daniel Gonzalez. City defender Jonathan Coleby got his head on it to try and deflect it away, but Lopez’s finish had too much pace on it.
“The second goal we just missed two great chances at the other end and they broke on the counter,” continued Powell.
Orlando City came out strong in the second half and their efforts finally paid off. Andrew Brody’s service from the corner flag bounced around the box before being cleared out to Kyle Carr, who fired a shot from 20 yards away into the lower left corner. With the deficit cut to just one goal, the Lions pushed on for the equalizer.
It never came, though, and FC Miami iced the victory in the 80th minute when Adam Ghahti slipped past his defenders and slid the ball past a charging Mitchell Thorn.
“We were pushing and pushing, and I thought we created some good opportunities, we just couldn’t connect on the final ball,” said Powell.
Powell didn’t have to look far to find things he was proud of from the match, pointing to the constant effort and energy from the team who were given a boost from the supporters in attendance – the Iron Lion Firm and the Ruckus.
“The fans were tremendous again, just singing all game and encouraging the players, it was great to see. I know the players, coaches, and everyone associated with the club really appreciates them.”
“All in all, the players worked hard. If we just learn to defend a little bit better, a little bit more mature, hopefully the hard work will pay off in the end.”
Orlando City U-23’s next match will take place against Palm Beach on Saturday, May 30 at West Boca Community High School. The Lions will return home on Thursday, June 4 against Floridians FC at Seminole Soccer Complex.