Orlando City Stays in 1st with Victory

Jean Alexandre nets 2 goals in 1st game back from international duty
by Danny Morales   |   Monday, July 22, 2013

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

ORLANDO – Jean Alexandre scored 2 goals during his return for the Lions, helping Orlando City SC defeat the Harrisburg City Islanders 3-1 on Saturday, July 20, in front of 7,311 fans at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl.

Alexandre had been away from the club for more than 2 months to play for the Haiti National Team in both international friendlies and CONCACAF Gold Cup play, where he donned the captain's armband for his home country. He last played in a game for Orlando on May 28, where he competed for 38 minutes against the Rochester Rhinos.

“Being the captain of the national team it forces me to be more vocal, which helps me in my game also,” said Alexandre after the game. “And I’m just glad to be able to transmit some of that here in Orlando.”

Orlando City got on the scoreboard first when Alexandre headed a cross from Luke Boden into the back of the net, giving Orlando a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute and Alexandre his 1st goal of the season.

“I thought he did well,” said Orlando City manager Adrian Heath about Alexandre. “To be fair to the team I thought first half we were terrific, we played a lot of very good football.”

Alexandre scored his 2nd goal of the game in the 36th minute after Jamie Watson fed the Haitian national a beautiful through-ball, leaving him one-on-one with the keeper to finish the scoring opportunity.

The Lions went into the locker room at halftime leading 2-0, while outshooting Harrisburg 12-3 in the 1st half.

Dennis Chin extended Orlando City’s lead to 3-0 in the 71st minute when he scored his 4th goal of the season after a Johnny Mendoza shot was deflected and landed at Chin’s feet for the finish.

“It’s been a difficult year for him with Dom (Dwyer) starting and being the dominant goal scorer,” said Heath regarding Chin, who led the USL PRO in goals last year. “Certainly the 90 minutes and the goal will do him good.”

Orlando goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo came up with a few big saves late in the game, but he couldn’t keep his clean sheet alive, as Harrisburg was able to get on the board in the 79th minute when forward Luckymore Mkosana chipped Gallardo for his 4th goal of the year, cutting the Lions lead to 3-1.

The Islanders outshot Orlando 9-4 during the second half, forcing Gallardo to make 3 of his 4 saves during the final 45 minutes.

After 4 minutes of stoppage time, Orlando City was able to hold on to its 3-1 lead and come away with 3 points. The win improves the Lions’ record to 12-2-6 with 42 points, keeping them in sole possession of 1st place in the USL PRO standings with 6 games remaining.

“We focus on ourselves,” said Alexandre when asked if the club is worried about the 2nd place Richmond Kickers. “And if we give our best every time we play, then we shouldn’t worry about Richmond.”

Orlando City finished the game outshooting Harrisburg 16-12, but only managed to put 7 of those shots on goal. The Lions will now have a 2 week layoff before their next game.

NEXT UP: August 3 – Orlando City SC vs. Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Fla. 7:30 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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