Live Blog: Orlando City vs. Sporting Kansas City

Match Recap

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City SC tallied wins in all five of their previous matches at Orlando City Stadium. But on Saturday, the Lions (6-3-1, 19 points) suffered their first draw of the season and first non-win at home in a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City (5-2-4, 19 points) in front of 25,527 people at Orlando City Stadium.

“I have to say, at the end of the day, I think a draw was a fair result and pleased to take a point,” Lions head coach Jason Kreis said after the match. “Our objective is clearly always gonna be to have three points, to go after three points at home, but sometimes we’ll have to settle for one.”

Orlando City trailed at home for the first time after surrendering a ninth-minute goal to Latif Blessing. The Lions responded in a big way, taking the lead behind scoring efforts from forward Cyle Larin and captain Ricardo Kaká.

“I think we responded different this time,” Larin said after the match. “Made sure we got back in the game. We’re home, we don’t want to lose here, and, I mean, everyone wanted to keep going, and I think the crowd played a big part in that. When we went down 1-0, we came back, and we kept putting pressure on them.”

In the 16th minute, left-back Donny Toia laid it off to Carlos Rivas sitting at the top-left corner of Kansas City’s box. Rivas then crossed the ball into a cutting Larin, who lunged forward with his right leg extended to touch the ball in for the equalizer.

“I think I knew where he was gonna put it once he got his head up,” Larin said. “Made my run. I think last year we played Kansas City over there, the same play happened. And I didn’t finish that one, but I finished this one today, and I made sure I finished it.”

Kaká followed that goal with his third score in the past four matches. In the 26th minute, Rivas tried to find Larin on the back post, but the ball sailed just above his head. Right-back Scott Sutter then sped down the right flank to re-enter the ball into the box. Waiting there was Kaká, who bounced it off his chest twice before one-timing it past SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia in the back-right corner.

“He’s been showing up at the right spots at the right time,” Kreis said. “Obviously, tonight’s goal was a special one. In that much traffic, to take it down the way he did and calmly place it around the defender in the far post, there’s not too many players that are capable of those types of goals.

“So, we know that he’s a special player, and we’re gonna rely on special players to make special plays in these types of games.”

After Blessing’s Equalizer on a rebound off a save by goalkeeper Joe Bendik in the 74th minute, it appeared City would take the lead again. In the 75th minute, midfielder Will Johnson delivered a corner kick that met center-back José Aja’s head for a would-be game-winner. The goal was negated when it was ruled that the ball went out of bounds and back into play on the corner kick.

“[On] the taking of the corner kick, the ball leaves the field of play and comes back in,” referee Ricardo Salazar said after the match, per’s Simon Veness. “The assistant referee raises his flag and communicates to the referee what has happened. Therefore, we have to disallow the goal.”

Said Aja on his goal being disallowed, translated from Spanish: “Well, honestly, I was really sad. I really thought it was a goal, and it would’ve been my first goal, here, for this club, and I can’t express how sorry I am about it.”

Man of the Match: Ricardo Kaká

The Brazilian played his first full match since returning from injury in a match against the Colorado Rapids on April 29. He tallied two shots (one on goal) and completed 81.3 percent of his 32 passes. Kaká also recorded a tackle and drew two fouls.

What’s next?

Orlando City takes to the road on Wednesday to play the San Jose Earthquakes. That game is at 10:30 p.m.

Orlando City Will Prepare Differently for 2nd Quick Turnaround

Prior to City’s matchup with Sporting, the Lions experienced their first losing streak in 2-1 and 4-0 losses to Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo, respectively. Both matches were a part of a stretch of three games in eight days. The Lions’ draw on Saturday with Kansas City marks the beginning of another stretch of three games in eight days. City will play the Earthquakes on Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.

For Kreis, preparation will be different.

“Yeah, I think that we have to look at what we could do differently, whether that’s rotating more players, whether that’s staying with the same lineup in all three games,” he said. “I think we have to think of those things. As far as the tactical preparation, there’s not much more we can do. We did everything we could.

“And, again, for me, the Houston game was a poor performance. That Toronto game was a really good performance, really positive performance. Obviously a result we didn’t want but still a positive performance.”

Midfielder Antonio Nocerino relishes the opportunities to play more often. That, for him, is something he enjoys.

“For me, it’s the same because I like play,” Nocerino said after the match. “For me, I play every day. Because when I play Champions League, I play 55 game for one year with the national team, with the Champions League. I like. I like.”


NDR Notes

  • Orlando City trailed its opponent for the first time at home after SKC’s goal in the ninth minute.
  • After the first half, City had eight fouls; Kansas City had none. City had just one foul in the second half compared to SKC’s seven.
  • City’s draw with SKC is the first non-win at home. It is also the first draw of the season.
  • Kaká played his first full match since returning from injury in a match against the Rapids on April 29.
  • Larin scored his seventh goal of the season.
  • Rivas recorded his fifth assist of the season.


Time Team Goal-scorer Assisted by
9’ Sporting Kansas City Latif Blessing n/a
16’ Orlando City SC Cyle Larin Carlos Rivas
26’ Orlando City SC Ricardo Kaká Scott Sutter
74’ Sporting Kansas City Latif Blessing n/a

Statistics and Starting Lineups

Goals Assists Shots Shots on Goal Possession %
Orlando City SC 2 2 7 4 38.3%
Sporting Kansas City 2 0 14 8 61.7%

Orlando City SC starting XI (4-3-1-2): Joe Bendik (GK); Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, José Aja, Scott Sutter; Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino, Will Johnson; Ricardo Kaká (C); Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin

Sporting Kansas City starting XI (4-1-2-3): Tim Melia (GK); Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler (C), Ike Opara, Graham Zusi; Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sánchez, Benny Feilhaber; Jimmy Medranda, Latif Blessing, Gerso Fernandes

Edits Log:

  • 5/14/17, 4:28 p.m.: Adjusted who passed the ball to Rivas before Rivas’ assist to Larin.


Comments are closed.