Orlando falls to DC in game of the season so far

Orlando City SC v New England Revolution. Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages
Orlando City SC v New England Revolution. Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages / Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/GettyImages

Orlando City fell to DC United on July 4th in an offensive explosion in Exploria Stadium 5-3. DC went up 3-0 before Orlando battled back to trim the lead to one, but DC ultimately ended up getting the victory. Facundo Torres, Ercan Kara, and Alexandre Pato scored the goals for Orlando.

Orlando now sits in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 25 points through 18 matches. They're tied with FC Cincinnati and the New England Revolution. The match is also the second loss in a row in MLS play for Orlando.

After trailing behind 3-0, Torres found the back of the net with a low sharp strike from outside the box in the 57th minute on an assist from Mauricio Pereyra.

Kara then drew Orlando to within one goal in the 66th minute as he put home a header off of a free kick. Torres took the free kick about five yards off the end line far off to the right. He played the ball straight in and Kara went up to win the ball and put it in the net to bring the Lions to within 3-2.

Orlando City beat DC United 5-3 on 4th July

DC then went back up 4-2 with a goal several minutes later. Pato would then once again bring Orlando back to within a goal as he put home a penalty kick in the 80th minute. Orlando drew the penalty after a handball in the box by DC that was drawn by Benji Michel.

DC got their goals from a hat-trick by Taxiarchis Fountas, and then goals from Kimarni Smith and Nigel Robertha with Robertha’s being the dagger in second half stoppage time

Orlando had a big chance early in the 21st minute (when DC was only up 2-0) when Junior Urso got behind the backline, but the shot was saved by DC’s keeper. 

Orlando also had a couple of great chances to draw even in the 83rd minute while they were trailing 4-3. Robin Jansson had his shot saved, and then the rebound attempt was cleared away by a defender. 

Pedro Gallese also made a big save for Orlando in the 60th minute as he stopped a short-range strike from Michael Estrada to keep Orlando in the match. 

Orlando held a commanding edge in possession (72.9% to 27.1%). That big edge was not enough for the Lions to get a point. 

Even with giving up five goals, Orlando outshot DC 18-9 and held the edge in shots on target 7-6. Orlando also had a fantastically efficient day passing at 88.1%. DC completed 62.1% of their passes. Orlando held the edge in Expected Goals 2.4-1.5 (which is a shocking number to look at when you know the final score with DC out-doing their XG number by 3.5 goals). 

This was an interesting match to look at for Orlando. Obviously it wasn’t a great match defensively for the Lions, but you also have to like what Orlando did offensively. When you look at the possession, the passing numbers, and the goals scored you're impressed with Orlando was able to do and would think Orlando won, but that wasn't the case.

Sometimes soccer is a weird game where a team just seems to score just about every time they get a chance and you could make the argument that's what happened here with DC (that's not to say DC didn't deserve the win. They were potent with their chances).

DC also made 38 clearances (compared to just nine for Orlando) in a match where they were able to hold off the Orlando pressure enough to get the win. 

Pato was arguably Orlando’s best player in the match. He scored the goal, but also completed 82.3% of his passes, made three key passes, and was second on the team in duels won. He also drew three fouls. 

Torres was also strong in 45 minutes of action after being brought on as a sub at halftime. He scored, plus completed a whopping 96% of his passes.

Pereyra also had a really good match passing-wise. He completed 90.3% of his passes and led the team with five key passes while also picking up the assist.

Next up for Orlando is an in-state derby match against Inter Miami on Saturday, July 9th. Orlando will hope they can keep the offense up they showed in this match, but improve defensively against their Floridian rivals.