Orlando City's first season in MLS is over, and now the long, cold march into winter begins. It's been a long season full of plenty of ups and downs, and like most of you, I can't wait to experience it all over again in 2016.
As for Sunday's match in Philadelphia, it was mostly filled with down moments. The Lions closed out their season with a disappointing 1-0 loss against the Union.
Let's just dive right into this one, here's our five takeaways from the match:
Josh Ford Ain't Bad
Starting in goal for the first time in his MLS career, Josh Ford put on a good show for Orlando City against the Union. Early in the match, he made a pair of big saves back-to-back that kept the game scoreless, and another few important stops as the match progressed. Philly's only goal came off a penalty kick, so it's hard to put him at fault there, but regardless, it seems like no matter who Orlando puts in goal they find a way to come through and perform well.
The ref was bad. I'm bad. You're bad. We're all bad.
But really, eight yellow cards on 22 fouls is kinda ridiculous. Yeah, you could argue that maybe Orlando City should foul less, but it seemed like referee Chris Penso was looking for any reason to make a call against Orlando City. The penalty kick he awarded was bullish -- the ball was flying 20 feet above the ground when Cristian Higuita nudged Sebastian Le Toux inside the box. And two minutes of stoppage time in the second half? C'mon, man.
Y'all Need To Calm Down
Rafael Ramos returned to action for Orlando City on Sunday night after breaking his face open in a match against the Montreal Impact three weeks ago. Rafael Ramos also picked up right where he left off, getting a yellow card less than 10 minutes after entering the game. Cristian Higuita also picked up his ninth and tenth yellow cards of the season last night. This is a theme that became far too common for the two in 2015, and is something that needs to change next season. Both are great talents, but both are young, and they need to control their tempers a little bit.
Get Some Rest, Captain
Kaká has had anything but a simple first season in MLS. Yes, he was Orlando City's best player for most of the season, but being the global star that he is, he was tasked with not only leading Orlando City on the field but representing the club and league off of it, being everywhere for events and photo ops. His last club goal was back on July 4, and we haven't seen the same guy since. Hopefully he gets some rest this winter and comes back ready to compete like an MVP caliber player in 2016.
Props To Adrian Heath
2015 was anything but easy for Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath. Injuries, call-ups, suspension, he had to deal with it all, and yet he still had his young expansion club fighting for a playoff spot until the very last day of the regular season. Heath won't win MLS Coach of the Year, but he should at least pull some consideration
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That's it, folks. It's been fun covering games for all of you this season. Until next time, rock it, lock it, polkadot it. :)