So this is what losing feels like.
After 14 wins, four draws, 46 points and no losses to being the season, Orlando City SC was defeated for the very first time this season in USL PRO play on Sunday, losing to the Rochester Rhinos, 1-0, Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, New York.
Sunday’s match marked Rochester’s first win over Orlando City, like, ever. The Rhinos had come into the game 0-7-2 against the Lions, and finally got over the hump, beating Orlando in their final regular season matchup as USL PRO counterparts.
31′ Colin Rolfe — A clear break down on defense by the Lions led to the game’s only goal. Coming down the field, Levi Houapeu found Rolfe on some space left open by Tommy Redding, who found himself out of position, and Rolfe took the shot, curling it home for the score.
Thoughts and the rest of the game
Orlando City has not scored in a loooooong time — July 12 against the Wilmington Hammerheads, to be exact. Coming off of a 0-0 draw with Sacramento Republic FC, Orlando came out of the gates playing very much the same way they did the first time the played in Rochester this season, on May 10 — looking out of form, and lacking in quality possession.
Maybe it was the 10 day layoff between matches, but the Lions looked out of sync from the very beginning. There was hardly a moment in the match where they played like the better team.
Orlando City collected, amazingly, 12 corner kicks in the match, but just about none of them were dangerous, or at the very least, quality.
Kevin Molino, the team’s leading goal scorer, had a very tough time finding any space to create some chances and find the net.
Ian Christianson, who the team got on loan from the New York Red Bulls earlier in the week, made his Lions debut in the second half of the match, coming on for Adama Mbengue, who was very ineffective, having just an all around poor game. At the same time, Giuseppe Gentile also came into the match for his third cap with Orlando.
You could probably say that Orlando was having a tough time playing without some key players, such as Corey Hertzog, Brad Rusin and Anthony Pulis all out with injuries.
It always seemed like Orlando had the ability to go undefeated this season, but realistically, it didn’t seem like they would be able to pull it off. The way I looked at it, losing before the playoffs might have been a good thing for the Lions because now they can go into every game knowing that they can’t take teams lightly anymore.
Adrian Heath’s side will get the week off (from games, that is; you could imagine Heath will have them working hard in training) before taking on the Charlotte Eagles one last time at ESPN Wide World of Sports this season. The match — Saturday, August 2 — will kick off at 7:30 pm ET.