Orlando City Moves into 1st Place

Lions shutout Seattle Sounders Reserves with help from an early goal
by Danny Morales   |   Monday, August 12, 2013

Purple Pride – column on Orlando City SC (OCSC) & the Orlando & Central Florida area soccer scene.

Kevin Molino scored an early goal, helping Orlando City defeat the Seattle Sounders Reserves 2-0 on Sunday, Aug. 11, in front of a regular season record crowd of 10,697 at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl.

The win improves Orlando’s record to 15-3-6 with 51 points, bringing the club into a tie at the top of the league with the Richmond Kickers (14-1-9, 51 pts), setting up for a 1st place matchup between the 2 clubs on Wednesday in Virginia.

“Hopefully we’ll take some confidence out of the performance tonight,” said Orlando City manager Adrian Heath. “We’ve given probably one of the most pleasing performances of the season for me.

“Tonight I’m really pleased with the players,” added Heath during his postgame press conference.

Molino put Orlando City on the scoreboard early, when he netted his 2nd goal of the season just 36 seconds after the start of the match, giving Orlando a 1-0 lead. Molino’s quick goal was fast enough to go down in the record books as the quickest goal in club history.

Rob Valentino extended Orlando’s lead to 2-0 in the 30th minute when he knocked an Anthony Pulis corner kick into the back of the net for his 5th goal of the season.

“My goal is to not let any in,” said Valentino after the game. “So tonight that’s what I’m more proud about, keeping 0 on the scoresheet for us.

“To get 0 on the scoresheet tonight, that’s a great feeling heading into a big game on Wednesday. So as long as we can do that, team’s aren’t going to be able to beat us,” added Valentino.

Orlando City went into the locker room at halftime leading Seattle 2-0, while also outshooting the Sounders Reserves 9-4 during the opening half.

After an uneventful 2nd half, Orlando held on for a 2-0 win over Seattle, allowing the club to now look forward to Wednesday’s match against Richmond.

“We’re capable of winning anywhere, we’ve proved that,” said Heath about Wednesday’s match. “I think we’ll need a really big performance on Wednesday against Richmond.

“We knew a few weeks ago that it might come down to this game and it looks like it did,” added Heath.

Orlando leads Richmond by plus-4 in goal differential following Sunday’s win, which is the USL PRO’s 2nd tiebreaker after head-to-head records.

The Lions will now travel to Richmond on Wednesday where they will face the Kickers for sole possession of 1st place in the USL PRO standings. Both teams have 2 games remaining in the 2013 season and for now sit tied at the top of the table with 51 points each.

Injury report

Midfielder Jamie Watson and goalkeeper Jon Kempin were still listed with injuries for Sunday’s game. Following the game, manager Adrian Heath said that next Wednesday’s game could be a little soon for the 2 injured players to return to the lineup, adding that they are both getting better.

“Maybe a touch too early,” said Heath about the potential of Watson and Kempin playing against Richmond. “They’ve both responded and getting better, but the last thing we need is for them to be injured for the playoffs.”

NEXT UP: August 14 - Orlando City vs. Richmond Kickers, City Stadium, Richmond, Va. 7 p.m. EST, USL Nation.

Danny MORALES

Nationality:
USA
College:
Valencia College
Club Domestic:
Orlando City
Club Foreign:
Real Madrid
Former athlete turned journalist who remembers the days of the Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny, Danny now writes Orlando City news while chronicling the clubs move to become an MLS franchise.
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