Orlando City SC History

Ranking Orlando City's Season Openers

Christopher Adams
Orlando City v Real Salt Lake
Orlando City v Real Salt Lake / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
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3. 2017: 1-0 vs. New York City FC

This should arguably be higher given it's importance in club history. This was the first ever game played at Exploria Stadium and a glorious debut for a beautiful venue. The legendary Kaka started and captained the squad but had to be subbed off in the 11' minute due to an injury. His replacement, Giles Barnes, did a hell of a job early on though, providing an assist to Cyle Larin for the first goal in stadium history. This is the only win in a season opener for Orlando and it did not come easy. Joe Bendik made six saves and Orlando had just 32% possession, but the Lions held on to open the new stadium in victorious fashion.

2. 2015: 1-1 vs. New York City FC

The first MLS game in Orlando City history. This is one of the most iconic moments in Orlando sports history and won't be forgotten. Over 60,000 fans packed the Citrus Bowl to see two expansion sides duke it out. Mix Diskerud opened the scoring for the visitors, but Kaka brought the late dramatics, tying the game with a deflected free kick in the 90+1' minute. You always remember your first.

1. 2016: 2-2 vs. Real Salt Lake

I mean, it had to be. Another 60,000 plus crowd filled the bowl to watch an extremely MLS match and Cardiac Cats heritage moments. Both teams had a red card in the first half, making the entire second half a 10 v. 10 game. The match as all but over with a 2-0 RSL lead in the 90' minute before all hell broke loose. Cyle Larin broke through in the 90+4' and then Orlando quickly won the ball back, launched a ball up to Larin who held off the defender, setting up Adrian Winter for a winner in the 90+5' minute. Two goals that late into stoppage time is so ludicrous and insane it seems fake. I don't think any home opener could even dream of topping this one.

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