Three Second Half Goals Lead The Lions To Another Road Win.
You never know what you get from teams who have had a long layoff and Sunday night in Chicago was no different. Before 18,103 at Soldier Field, second half goals from Wilder Cartagena, Ivan Angulo, and Facundo Torres provided the Lions with three more points on the road. Here are a few takes from last night's match.
It had been eighteen days since Inter Miami ended the Lions' Leagues Cup campaign and it took forty-seven minutes for Orlando City to shake off the rustiness. The Lions did wake up after Chicago's Mauricio Pineda gave the Fire a 1-0 lead, scoring three consecutive goals to lead the Orlando to a 3-1 win at Soldier Field.
The starting eleven, without designated players Ercan Kara and Martin Ojeda, as well as usual starter Antonio Carlos, continues to take advantage of the deep player pool developed in the off-season. Both Rodrigo Schlegel, Dagur Thórhallsson, and Duncan McGuire filled in admirably, giving manager Oscar Pareja the latitude to 'plug and play' without negatively affecting his team's performance. Though it looks like it will take a few games for Junior Urso to be match fit, his addition to the player pool will definitely help Orlando in their last ten games of the regular season.
The Lion's central midfielders, Wilder Cartagena and Cesar Araujo, continue to show why they are two of the league's best central anchors, with their ability to win 50-50 balls, amazing work rate, and eye-opening tactical awareness. They both are a perfect complement to the front four of Mauricio Pereyra, Ivan Angulo, Facundo Torres, and Duncan McGuire (or Ercan Kara).
Orlando City gets six days rest before they host Western Conference leaders St. Louis at Exploria Stadium on Saturday night. There was obviously no loss of momentum with St. Louis over the Leagues Cup pause, as they destroyed Austin FC 6-3 last night at CITYPARK in St. Louis. Orlando City now sits on forty points, good for 4th place in the Eastern Conference. Saturday night at Exploria Stadium promises to be a must-see match between two of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer.
Gary Levitt @gary11123 justmytake.net
photo credit: Major League Soccer