Match Recap: Orlando Scores Three Unanswered, Wins 2013 USL PRO Opener in Arizona

Orlando Scores Three Unanswered, Wins 2013 USL PRO Opener in Arizona

Goals by Dwyer, Tan and Molino propel Lions comeback victory in regular season opener

Tempe, Ariz.— Orlando City SC kicked off the 2013 USL PRO season opener in comeback fashion, defeating expansion side Phoenix FC 3-1 at the Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Sunday night. After being down 1-0 in the opening part of the match, the Lions scored three unanswered to take the victory and three points to begin the 2013 regular season.

The match in Tempe began with scoring chances for the Lions, including a free kick resulting from a controversial challenge by Phoenix Goalkeeper Andrew Weber. The former Seattle Sounder took down a charging Dom Dwyer outside the 18-yard box, giving the keeper an early yellow card.  The Lions couldn’t connect on the ensuing corner, but kept control early on against the expansion side.

Phoenix responded with attacks of their own, capitalizing in the 16th minute. Speedy Midfielder Diego Faria caught the Lions sleeping just past the 15 minute mark, beating Goalkeeper and Sporting Kansas City loanee Jon Kempin after intercepting a pass from the Orlando backline to give his expansion club an early 1-0 lead.

After the early goal, Orlando settled down in the later part of the first half– nearly capitalizing on multiple chances before finally breaking through in the 35thminute. Forward Jamie Watson found a clear lane on the right side of the pitch outside the 18-yard mark, with his pass curling in and finding a charging Dom Dwyer in stride. The Sporting loanee headed the ball past Weber, tying the match at 1-1.

The Lions came out in the second half with increased energy and fight, controlling possession for the majority of the second half. Head Coach Adrian Heath made a crucial change in the 63rd minute, subbing in former DC United Striker Long Tan to push the attack – which is exactly what the Chinese forward did.

After a well-played through ball by 2012 USL PRO MVP Kevin Molino, Tan took care of the rest – chipping his attempt up and over Weber to give the Lions the 2-1 advantage.

Orlando wasn’t done scoring, converting their third straight after Molino found space on the righthand side, blasting his shot home to give Orlando the comfortable 3-1 lead in the closing part of the match.

Orlando now heads further west to meet the L.A. Blues for a Wednesday night matchup at Cal State Fullerton Titan Stadium. The match was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. but has moved back one hour to 8 p.m. EST kick off time. The Blues are 1-1-0 through two games in the young USL PRO season, topping Phoenix 2-0 in the league opener on March 23 before falling to VSI Tampa Bay FC 0-1 on April 2. The match will be live streamed on USLNation.

For more information on Wednesday’s away game in Los Angeles and the upcoming home opener this Sunday, April 14, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl against the Rochester Rhinos, visit Orlandocitysoccer.com.

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is a premier professional soccer sports franchise in the United States and is a member of the USL PRO. The Lion’s pro team has won two regular season titles and one postseason championship during their short time in Orlando. Outside of the pro squad, OCSC also has their own youth club, Orlando City Youth Soccer (OCYS) and a U23s team that participates in the PDL. For more information on the pro and youth clubs, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com and www.orlandocityyouth.org.

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Orlando City Soccer Club Is Ready To Take On The Hammerheads!

Orlando City Soccer
Orlando City Soccer Club

ORLANDO CITY REMAINS CONFIDENT IN HEADING INTO PLAYOFFS

Rivalry heats up in first-ever playoff meeting between the Lions and Hammerheads

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City Soccer Club begins their title defense on Friday as they kick off the 2012 USL PRO Playoffs against their fierce rivals, the Wilmington Hammerheads at 7:30 p.m. at the Citrus Bowl.

“Like I say against everyone, we’ll give them the respect they deserve,” said Orlando City Soccer Head Coach Adrian Heath.  “But we don’t fear anyone.  We’re confident in our own ability to get the job done.”

The bad blood between the two sides has been brewing all season long, starting with the Lions defeating the Hammerheads 4-1 in the 2012 home opener.  Orlando City dominated the game, and set the tone for a record-breaking season with the statement win.

Wilmington returned the favor when the City travelled north to Legion Stadium, and defeated the Lions 3-1.  It was Orlando City Soccer’s only loss of the USL PRO season.  Orlando’s players and coaching staff haven’t forgotten.

“We scored first, early on, but we didn’t play well,” said Heath.  “It’s tight up there, and that gave us some trouble.  Fortunately, we don’t have that issue at home.”
In the two matches between City and Wilmington, the Lions have outscored the Hammerheads 5-2, but in the most recent meeting, the match was played to a 1-1 draw.  Much of that scoreline was the result of the Hammerheads’ defense-minded strategy and willingness to sit and wait for countering opportunities.
“I think it’s difficult for teams to not do that when they come here to play us,” said Heath, referring to Wilmington’s defensive strategy.  “Especially when we play well.  I thought a lot of our football was very, very good in the last game.”

Statistically, the Lions dominated that final match, outshooting the Hammerheads 36-6.  Though Orlando City Soccer scored only once, they also hit the post several times.  The Hammerheads managed just one serious scoring chance, the result of a surprising defensive lapse from the league’s best back line, but they made it count.  Orlando will be keen to avoid those mistakes on Friday.

“If we have that many efforts at goal again, I’ll be delighted,” said Heath.  “That will probably win us the game.  But it’s that time of the year now – play well and carry on or go home.  Our memories of the final last year are still very vivid, very fresh.  That will be out motivation on Friday, because we want to experience that again.
The match will be broadcast locally on AM 740 The Game, and will be simulcast on USLNation.com for those outside Orlando.  Tickets for the match are still available, and start at just $15.  For more information, call 855-ORL-CITY or visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.

Player to Watch – Kevin Molino:
This season, as Dennis Chin goes, so does Orlando City.  The 2012 USL PRO Goals Champion and Points Champion has been the Lions’ breakout star this season, and for good reason.  He makes things happen.  But behind Chin, there has been a far more important player pulling the strings – Kevin Molino.
Though he has registered just seven official assists on Orlando City’s 50 goals this season, there’s hardly a scoring chance the Lions have converted that doesn’t involve Molino in some manner.  Like last year’s USL PRO MVP Yordany Alvarez, Molino pulls the strings in the City offense.  His distribution skills are unmatched in the league.  If Molino plays well, the Lions will move on to the USL PRO Championship for the second straight season.
About Orlando City Soccer Club:Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is one of Orlando’s premier professional sports franchises. Orlando City plays in the USL PRO league, part of the United Soccer Leagues.  During the inaugural 2011 season, the Orlando City Lions captured the USL PRO American Division, Regular Season, and Playoff championships, and was named the 2011 USL PRO Organization of the Year.  For more information, visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com today.

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Orlando City Soccer Announcement!

KEVIN MOLINO NAMED TO TRINIDAD SQUAD FOR CANADA FRIENDLY

Orlando City midfielder expected to earn 10th career cap on Wednesday

 

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation has named Orlando City Soccer Club Midfielder Kevin Molino to the squad for Wednesday’s international friendly against Canada.  Molino is aiming for the 10th cap of his senior international career.

 

“I’ve never faced them before at the senior level so I’m anxious to play this first game,” said Molino to TTFF media. “I know it’s going to be a tough game because they have been together for a while and they are preparing for the rest of their 2014 qualifying games.”

 

Molino has joined the T&T squad in Ft. Lauderdale for a brief training camp ahead of Wednesday’s match.  The game will be played in Lauderhill, Fla., at the Central Broward Regional Park & Stadium.  Former Lion Devorn Jorsling, the player who converted the game-winning penalty kick in last year’s USL PRO Championship Game, was also named to the Soca Warriors squad for Wednesday.

 

“I’m delighted he’s getting another cap for his country,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath.  “It’s another opportunity to show his talent to a wider audience.  It all helps with gaining experience.  Hopefully he comes back fit and well for Friday.”

 

With the limited amount of travel required for Wednesday, Molino is expected to be available for Orlando City’s regular season finale against the Dayton Dutch Lions on Friday.  With City having a first-round bye in the playoffs, Molino will still have plenty of time to rest should he play two games in three days.

 

Tickets are still available for Friday’s match, and start at just $15.  Tickets for the playoff opener on August 31, opponent to be determined, are also on sale now.  Call 855-ORL-CITY or visitwww.orlandocitysoccer.com for more information.

 

About Orlando City Soccer Club:

Orlando City Soccer Club (OCSC) is one of Orlando’s premier professional sports franchises. Orlando City plays in the USL PRO league, part of the United Soccer Leagues.  During the inaugural 2011 season, the Orlando City Lions captured the USL PRO American Division, Regular Season, and Playoff championships, and was named the 2011 USL PRO Organization of the Year.  For more information, visitwww.orlandocitysoccer.com today.

 

CONGRATS To Kevin!!!! He happens to be one of our favorite players! ( Aurora I am looking at YOU MA’AM) ! We are so proud that one of our guys got picked for this! Amazing news!!! See You All at the game on the 17th !!!!!!

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