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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MATCH PREVIEW: Lions Kick Off Regular Season On The Road Sunday

OrlandoCitySocer
Lions Kick Off Regular Season On The Road Sunday

Orlando Starts 2013 USL PRO Season Against Expansion Club Phoenix FC in Arizona Sunday night

Orlando, Fla.— Orlando City kicks off the 2013 USL PRO on the road Sunday, April 7, in Phoenix against expansion club Phoenix FC at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. Kickoff for the game is set for 10:30 p.m. EST as the Lions look to capture their third straight USL PRO regular season title.

“We’ve had a great preseason and I think we’ve gotten progressively better, ” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath after Orlando’s win in St. Petersburg over the Tampa Bay Rowdies Saturday night. “We’re looking forward to having another bit season.”

The Lions begin the regular season with a head of steam after concluding the 2013 preseason, which wrapped up Saturday night as Orlando captured the I-4 Derby presented by United World Soccer against 2012 NASL Champion Tampa Bay Rowdies in St. Petersburg. Orlando scored late to secure the 3-2 win over the Rowdies and 6-4 aggregate overall. Kevin Molino, Adama Mbengue and Dom Dwyer all score for the Lions in the win in front of hundreds of City supporters who made the trip down I-4.

Sunday’s opponent, Phoenix FC, is one of two expansion franchises for the 2013 USL PRO season. Phoenix was announced as USL franchise on July 2 of 2012 and is led by Head Coach David Robertson. Robertson played in over 220 first team games for Scotland’s Aberdeen, helping his squad win the Scottish League Cup in 1989 and the Scottish Cup in 1990.

His club defeated fellow expansion side and cross-state VSI Tampa Saturday night 1-0, with Phoenix’s Netinho scoring the only goal of the game, and the first in the club’s history in the Wolves’ first win. Overall the club is 1-1-0 (W-L-T), falling to the LA Blues in the USL PRO opener back on March 23.

For more leading up to Sunday’s game, please visit OrlandoCitySoccer.com.

Training Times:

Monday          Tuesday         Wednesday                Thursday       Friday

Off                   10-11:15**    10-11:15 **               10-11:15**    10-11:15**

*Practices are held at the Seminole Soccer Complex in Sanford, Fla, and are open to media. Times are subject to change. Please contact Chris Jones (cjones@orlandocitysoccer.com) on confirmed times before attending training.

**times a.m.

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