Orlando City left it late for the second match on a row - equalizing in stoppage time to earn a valuable point on the road in Seattle.
“I’m really pleased for the guys – really, really pleased. I thought we played quite well and the players put a lot into this game. They had a lot of quality and I thought we created enough chances,” Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis said in his post-match press conference. “I was set to be disappointed if we were going to walk out of here with nothing because I felt the guys deserved something. At the end, to get that goal, was really important for the group. I’m really happy for them.”
Kreis’ team played hard, committed soccer and their efforts were rewarded in the end. After going down a goal 18 minutes into the first half, Orlando City had to respond in a big way to take points against the defending MLS Cup champions.
The Lions defensive line, led by Jonathan Spector, deserves a huge amount of credit for the way they responded after going down early.
With the score at 1-0 in favor of Seattle, Orlando City was forced to commit numbers forward; Jason Kreis knew that would open up counter attacking opportunities for Clint Dempsey and the Sounders.
“That’s a big strength of theirs with the players that they have. In transition, they like to go forward very quickly and they’ve got guys that make really good decisions when they’re running at you. We knew that was a big strength of theirs and we talked about that before the game,” Kreis explained. “And any time that a team has a lead the length of time that they had it you know that they’re going to be countering and looking for that goal in transition to break our backs.”
That goal never came. The center back pairing of Spector and young Tommy Redding stood strong with Scott Sutter and Donny Toia sticking to their defensive duties on the flanks. Joe Bendik made some vital saves down the stretch which fueled Orlando City even more.
After the match, Lions goal-scorer Scott Sutter shared some thoughts on the thrilling nature of Orlando City’s past two matches:
“I think I need to shave my hair a quarter bit shorter because I’m getting a bit of grey hairs. It’s not easy for the heart. But that’s just the way it is in futbol you know? You just need to be ready the whole game because it’s not just 90 minutes, it’s 93, 94 minutes. It’s a really good trait to have in a team, that you just go right till the end, we just need to make sure that we don’t concede in the last minute, but we are happy. We managed to get a last minute draw.”