ORLANDO, Fla. – Feb. 27, 2016 – Only eight days away from the Major League Soccer season-opening game, Orlando City SC overpowered Brazilian side Esporte Clube Bahia 6-1, featuring a career-high four goals by Englishman Seb Hines, all assisted by Kaká. The Club also saw finishes by Darwin Cerén and Pedro Ribeiro – demonstrating the true team connection that has been formed through a dynamic style of play, capping off a successful 2016 preseason.
“We played very well tonight. I’m happy with the result,” said City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “After the first goal conceded, we used that momentum to push ourselves to get a goal. We are right where we want to be for the season. We are working on getting back on defense and getting better at keeping our formations.”
The visiting team secured the first goal of the evening in the first minute with a precise through ball that found Zé Roberto, who finished it past Lions’ goalkeeper Joe Bendik. However, City would showcase its effectiveness from set-piece plays throughout the match – something Head Coach Adrian Heath has spent a great deal of time on during preseason training. Hines evened the playing field with a header to the far post off a corner kick from Kaká in the 12th minute.
Despite numerous efforts from Cyle Larin, Kaká and Cerén, many created by Trinidadian midfielder Kevin Molino, the first half ended with a 1-1 scoreline. It was Molino’s first appearance for fans in the Orlando Citrus Bowl since May of last year.
Following the break, Heath lined up a fully-intact roster on what would be an impressive second half, taking advantage of their offensive chances. Hines scored his second goal of the night 12 minutes into the second 45, once again, assisted by Kaká from a corner kick, with the Englishman heading it in from 10-yards out.
Hines completed the first hat-trick of his career on another corner kick delivered by Kaká in the 72nd minute, beating the Brazilian defenders on the far post and heading it in past Bahia’s Marcelo Lomba to double City’s lead.
The midfielder Ribeiro scored Orlando’s fourth with a powerful low strike from inside the box, converting in his second consecutive fixture.
The Kaká-Hines combination gave the Lions’ their fifth goal of the night, after the team captain found Hines from a set-piece and he finished with a powerful header for his fourth goal of the evening – becoming Orlando City’s first player to score four goals in a match during the MLS era.
Salvadorian midfielder Cerén capped off the outstanding offensive game with a clever chip over the goalkeeper from the edge of the box, scoring City’s sixth of the night – concluding the Lions’ highest scoring match since the 2013 United Soccer League championship game.
With preseason competitions at a close, Orlando City will look to continue its impressive play into the 2016 MLS opener on March 6 against Real Salt Lake. City will be looking to #FillTheBowlAgain, when the match kicks off at 2 p.m. at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
Bahia - Zé Roberto (Hayner) 1’
ORL - Seb Hines (Kaká) 12’
ORL - Seb Hines (Kaká) 58’
ORL - Seb Hines (Kaká) 71’
ORL - Pedro Ribeiro 78’
ORL - Seb Hines (Kaká) 86’
ORL - Darwin Cerén 88’
Orlando City SC - GK Joe Bendik, D Seb Hines, Brek Shea, David Mateos, Rafael Ramos, M Darwin Cerén, Kevin Molino (Adrian Winter 60’), Servando Carrasco, Pedro Ribeiro, Kaká F Cyle Larin
Esporte Clube Bahia - GK Marcelo Lomba (Jean 45’), D Hayner, Gustavo (Robson 42’), Dede, Moises (Joao Paulo 18’), M Paulo Roberto (Juninho 74’), Yuri (Danilo Pires 64’), Romulo, F Hernane (Gustavo Blanco 45’), Luisinho (Cristano 45’), Zé Roberto (Edigar Junio 74’)