June 30, 2015 vs. Columbus Crew (U.S. Open Cup) - Orlando City advanced to the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals in their first season as an MLS club, defeating Columbus Crew 2-0 at the Citrus Bowl. Kaká, making his tournament debut, scored the opener in the 21st minute, before Carlos Rivas–who had a hat trick of penalty kicks in the opening game against Charleston Battery–doubled the lead in the 34th, putting the game on ice before halftime.
June 30, 2017 at Real Salt Lake - Will Johnson’s 17th minute goal was enough to get Orlando a much-needed three points at Rio Tinto Stadium this week in 2017. The goal came from chaos, as Kaká’s perfectly weighted free kick found the head of Jose Aja, but the Uruguayan’s header smashed against the bottom of the crossbar and into no man’s land. Johnson was there to clean it up.
June 29, 2019 at Columbus Crew - It was a good week to be Orlando City against Columbus, as the Lions defeated the Crew again in 2019, this time on the road. Playing on just two days rest, the Lions were able to see off their opponents with relative ease, as Chris Mueller put Orlando ahead late in the first half and Tesho Akindele knocked home the second in the 66th minute. Akindele’s goal was a beautiful team play–Robin Jansson made a strong tackle on Orlando’s end of the field to win the ball, Dillon Powers lofted a gorgeous cross-field pass to Nani, and then the captain drew the attention of three Crew defenders before a sumptuous layoff to Tesho ended the play with a goal.
Orlando City was announced as an MLS expansion club in 2013, but the club made its first true major splash this week in 2014, when Brazilian legend and 2007 Ballon d’Or winner Kaká was announced as the club’s first Designated Player signing. Kaká would go on to captain the Lions for three seasons, chipping in 24 goals and 22 assists in 75 MLS games while bringing thousands of new fans to the club.
Orlando City’s USL affiliate for the 2015 season was Louisville City, but the club would get their very own second team in 2016. Orlando City B’s founding was officially announced five years ago this Tuesday. The Young Lions would play in the USL in 2016 and 2017, taking a break in 2018 before joining the brand-new USL League One for 2019 and beyond.
James O’Connor was announced as the third head coach in Orlando City history this week in 2018. O’Connor would go on to lead the Lions for a season and a half in MLS, taking the team to the U.S. Open Cup semifinals in 2019.
This Week in Transfers
Adrian Winter was transferred back to his native Switzerland on July 5, 2016, heading off to FC Zürich, where he remains to this day.