Orlando City draw Real Salt Lake

Orlando, FLOrlando City SC played to a scoreless draw with Western Conference side Real Salt Lake to begin the Oscar Pareja era and its sixth Major League Soccer campaign. The game also saw the debut of three new faces to the Lions squad for this new season. Júnior Urso captained the Lions while Peruvian international team goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, earned a clean sheet in his MLS and Club debut. Antonio Carlos rounded out the new Lions in the starting XI at center back.

There was not much to separate the two teams on the field. Possession stats were split evenly. Orlando did outshoot RSL 9-5, but only two were on target. Saves were basically split with RSL having a 2-1 edge. No goals, no real big plays and two teams that were very evenly matched. Not the exciting opening game some would have hoped for but an important point earned by the Lions. A point that last season came at a premium and saw them miss the playoffs once again. Orlando City was without the services of both Nani and Dom Dwyer for the match. Once they’re both able to return, the Lions should be a contender this season. 

The New Boss

“First I would like to thank the fans tonight, incredible atmosphere. I knew it, but I had not felt that and tonight I felt it and our boys did as well. We are living with a sensation of ‘it could have been much more’ and give them the three points because our fans deserved it tonight, the way they came and filled the stadium and gave us that energy. That was transmitted to our players. They were very high and very happy about the support that we felt today.

Hopefully, we can give them more often the three points that we deserved tonight. But in this game it’s not something that you deserve, you have to actually execute it and make it happen and we couldn’t put the ball in the back of the net, unfortunately. But the performance was very right and our players had a great effort and the intensity and that passion that I want to see from this team on the pitch and I’m very proud.” Head Coach Oscar Pareja after the game.

Game Notes

For the sixth year in a row, Orlando City remained undefeated in its home opener. 

Ruan was the “Man of the Match” for the Lions. He generated a number of good looks for Orlando while pushing forward in the first half and though he was less influential in the second half, he made up for a potentially disastrous giveaway by making a crucial tackle on RSL’s Justin Meram in the box that only a player with the Brazilian’s speed and instincts could execute.

Next Match: The Lions will embark on their first road trip of the 2020 MLS season, traveling to face the Colorado Rapids on Saturday, March 7 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

 

Photo Credit | John Chapman

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Edwin Garcia
Known as EdLose or EddyWins depending on the streak. One of the founding members of the Lemonsiders. World traveler and a walking database of unnecessary, useless sports information. I’m the cynical calming voice of reason on the show. I’m a creator of great things. Co-host and creative guru of Lemon City. I dish out the hot sports take on a daily, ask Hipster Rick. I LOVE uniforms and am a collector of vintage baseball caps.

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