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Orlando City 1 - San Jose 0

Late Game Heroics from Jack Lynn Earn Orlando City Three Points on the Road.

 

It has been quite a week for Orlando City. A 3-2 win at Philadelphia, a mid-week scoreless draw at home to Miami, and last night's 1-0 win in San Jose. Seven points out of three difficult games may add up to the Lions gaining some confidence and momentum to deal with the very tough eastern conference of Major League Soccer. Here are a few thoughts from last night:


  • Playing Miami to a scoreless draw last Wednesday night and immediately traveling to San Jose is never easy, even if your full side is available. It was much more difficult last night without Robin Jansson, Cesar Araujo, Ramiro Enrique, and after fifteen minutes, an injured Duncan McGuire. As we have observed for the last two seasons, the player pool depth built by Luiz Muzzi and Oscar Pareja once again allowed for player rotation due to injury and suspension.

  • I have no answer for the end-result impact goalkeeper Pedro Gallese has made in his four years with Orlando City. The Peruvian international, like every goalkeeper, has had some games where he has been a bit off, but his uncanny ability to cut angles, collect dangerous crosses, and make great saves has kept the Lions in many games. Last night was no different as he earned his fourth clean sheet of the season.

  • With Robin Jansson out due to injury, and manager Oscar Pareja's decision to change the shape to 3-5-2, midfielder Wilder Cartagena, another Peruvian international, has been 'forced' into a center back role. Cartagena has worked his magic, consistently winning 50-50 balls, cutting off service into the box, and most importantly keeping Rodrigo Schlegel in check. That is no diss on Schlegel, as he has maintained his professionalism and emotion over the last few games.

  • The result of Cartagena playing center back, and with Cesar Araugo not available due to yellow card accumulation, Pareja was forced to use 'the two old men' in the center of midfield. Do not get me wrong, the ages of 35 and 34 are young to me, but not when you travel across the country and play midfield. Nicolas Lodeiro and Felipe Martins put in a massive shift last night - a remarkable effort against San Jose.

  • In baseball, a swing and a miss is sometimes referred to as a whiff. Martin Ojeda earned an assist on Jack Lynn's winning 89th minute goal, and he has never been so thankful to miss hit Ivan Angulo's cross. Note: Lynn scored the game-winner, but it was Angulo's amazing length of the field run and cross that ultimately resulted in the goal.


Orlando City's record moves to 4-5-4, good for sixteen points and 10th place in the eastern conference. The Lions face another three-game week starting Saturday with Columbus at Exploria Stadium, at Chicago on Wednesday, May 29th, and then to New York Red Bulls on June 1. Another tough three-game stretch for Oscar Pareja and his side.


 

Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net


Photo credit: Orlando City Soccer Club

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