Martin Ojeda, Mauricio Pereyra, and Ivan Angulo combined to take down the Union at Subaru Park, ending Philadelphia's 13-match home win streak.
On a cool and rainy night away to Philadelphia, Orlando City came away with a 2-1 win and three points. Due to Major League Soccer's short-sightedness, both teams dealt with depleted lineups with players fulfilling international obligations. Orlando was forced to make six changes to the starting lineup from last week's loss to Charlotte, including goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, who had big shoes to fill for the unavailable Pedro Gallese. Here are a few takeaways from last night's game:
I will start with goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar. The twenty-five-year-old Massachusetts native does not get to see a lot of action with Pedro Gallese being a top MLS goalkeeper. Stajduhar came up big last night, and his ball to Ramiro Enrique in the second minute started the quick sequence that led to Orlando's first goal. He also made some great saves and overall managed his goal box well. Stajduhar' s distribution was shaky at times but that will get better with more minutes, whenever that may be.
Mauricio Pereyra was tremendous again, both with his distribution and ball-winning. Pereyra still does not get the league-wide attention he deserves, and his slicing thru-ball to Martin Ojeda in the 2nd minute led to Ojeda's opening goal. Manager Oscar Pareja will need to manage Pereyra's minutes - thankfully the Lions will see six days rest with no midweek match. Here is that sequence that led to Orlando's first goal: https://www.mlssoccer.com/news/philadelphia-union-seethe-after-latest-loss-ends-home-streak-we-re-pissed
Orlando City has high hopes for designated player Martin Ojeda. The 24-year-old Argentinian, after last week's goal against Charlotte and last night's opening goal against the Union, is starting to show why he is so highly-touted. Quick, decisive, and very open to taking a shot, Ojeda combines well with midfield general Mauricio Pereyra. It will get more interesting when Ojeda gets more minutes with the club.
As mentioned, Orlando City manager was forced to make six changes to the starting lineup last night due to the MLS refusing to honor the FIFA international break. Philadelphia manager Jim Curtin found last night's game no different, with nine players unavailable due to international duty or injury. Let me be very clear: the MLS should not be playing through this, or any FIFA window. Sure, I understand the MLS model and schedule is different from most of the world, but in its 27th year, the league owes it to its fans, partners, Apple +, and Fox to put its best players on the field week in and week out.
Orlando's match schedule normalizes for the next few weeks. This is most welcome as the team just came off playing seven games (two CCL and 5 MLS) since opening day. The roster change out has worked well, with the Lions losing only once to start of the MLS campaign. After five games, Orlando sits on eight points for 4th place in the Eastern Conference. They host Nashville Saturday night at Exploria Stadium and may have the likes of Facundo Torres and Pedro Gallese available for that tough matchup.
Gary Levitt @gary1123 justmytake.net
photo credit: OCSC video credit: Major League Soccer