Orlando City Defense Shines in Win Over NYCFC

USA Today

by ANTHONY J. MERCED

Orlando City SC parked the bus to defeat NYCFC in the first game of the 2017 regular season with a final score of 1-0. Orlando celebrated the opening of their new stadium with an exciting goal from Cyle Larin and held it up with solid defense despite NYCFC’s pressure.

Orlando pressured NYCFC early with counter attack opportunities. Kaka was dangerous on the wings and Rivas pushed the New York back line in the first five minutes. Unfortunately, Kaka had to leave the game less than 10 minutes in following a hamstring injury. That didn’t slow Orlando down as substitute Giles Barnes fed Cyle Larin a perfect cross for a headed goal.

From that point on NYCFC dominated the game. They held nearly 70 percent possession while also producing opportunities for Villa and Ring to equalize the score. Orlando spent the second half keeping NYCFC forwards at bay. Their best opportunity came in the 53rd minute when Jack Harrison had a nearly open net to as a target. Joe Bendik came up big, stopping the chance and frustrating NYCFC.

Patrick Vieira will certainly have positive notes to take into next week’s home opener. NYCFC did press Orlando and produce scoring opportunities. However, their finishing wasn’t sharp and still have not addressed issues on the defensive side of the ball.

STARTING XI:

NYCFC: Johnson; Allen (’77 McNamara), Chanot, Callens, Matarrita; Moralez, Pirlo, Ring (’84 Okoli); Harrison, Villa, Wallace (’63 Shelton)

Orlando City SC: Bendik; Johnson, Aja, Spector, Toia; Perez Garcia (’87 Barry), Carrasco, Nocerino, Kaka (’11 Barnes); Rivas, Larin (’73 Higuita)

SCORING SUMMARY:

’15 (ORL): Kyle Larin (1) assisted by Giles Barnes (1)

DISCIPLINE:

’30 (NYCFC): YELLOW CARD Rodney Wallace
’76 (NYCFC): YELLOW CARD Alexander Ring

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