Orlando City (5-1-1, 16 points) remained undefeated at home with a 1-0 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Riverhounds (1-3-2, 5 points). The win extends City’s unbeaten streak to six games overall, and is the Lions third consecutive victory.
Trinidadian international Kevin Molino got the Lions off to a dream start in the third minute when he took a Yordany Alvarez pass in-between two defenders and fired home his first goal of the season. From that point, City was in complete control. The Lions dominated possession and outshot the ‘Hounds seven to two in the first half.
Pittsburgh’s defense was dealt a serious blow in the 30th minute when Shintaro Harada, the reigning USL-2 defender of the year, was forced out of the match with an injury. Devorn Jorsling looked capitalize on Harada’s absence and join his countryman Molino on the score sheet, but saw his two close chances go just wide thanks to fantastic efforts by Pittsburgh keeper Hunter Gilstrap.
The second half was much of the same for the Lions as they continued to dominate possession, but could not find the back of the net. In all, City outshot Pittsburgh 17-5, with all three of Pittsburgh’s second half shots coming in the final five minutes. For the second straight match, and third time this season, City received a man advantage late in the game. Pittsburgh’s Kyle Veris was sent off following a dangerous challenge on Erik Ustruck. Veris was already carrying a yellow card from earlier in the match.
5,876 soggy fans braved the thunderous weather to see the victorious Lions. The fans did not seem to mind the weather, and it actually had a positive impact on City’s play.
“The rain made the pitch quicker,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “It helped out our team as a whole, allowed us to take advantage of our speed.”
Next up for Orlando City is a two match road trip. It begins on Friday, May 20, in Rochester, NY, against CEO Steve Donner’s former club, the Rochester Rhinos. Before returning to Orlando, the Lions will make a stop in Harrisburg, PA to play the Harrisburg City Islanders. Both matches will be available for viewing on USL Live.
City returns home on May 25th to face league-leading Richmond. The Lions will try to avenge their only loss of the season on Military Night. Mayor Buddy Dyer will be inducting future soldiers into the US Army during halftime. To order tickets, call 407-536-5368 or visit www.orlandocitysoccer.com.
3rd minute - Orlando: Kevin Molino
Orlando City Line-up
GK: Miguel Gallardo; D: Luke Boden, Kieron Bernard, Rob Valentino, Erik Ustruck; M: Yordany Alvarez, Lawerence Olum, Lewis Neal, Kevin Molino; F: Ian Fuller (71’ - Mechack Jerome), Devorn Jorsling (75’ – Dennis Chin)