Orlando City's inaugural MLS season saw steady play from the likes of Tally Hall, but the net was also minded by Donovan Ricketts early in the season and although Earl Edwards Jr. didn't see the field in league play, he did start in a U.S. Open Cup game vs. Charleston Battery.
There was even some Josh Ford toward the end of the year after Hall's injury. The 2015 campaign also saw some turnover in net as, midway through the season, Donovan Ricketts was traded to the LA Galaxy for a second-round pick in the upcoming 2016 MLS SuperDraft and Orlando City decided against exercising its option on Tally Hall's contract, releasing him from the team. Miss u, Tally. Now, on to the saves.
Josh Ford Tested Early Against Philadelphia Union
Save at the :28 mark.
In the final game of Orlando City's season, Josh Ford's play in net stood out as the back line fell asleep during the run of play. Philadelphia Union's C.J. Sapong set off a rocket that was heading towards the far upper corner of the net until Ford was able to put enough leather on it to deflect onto the crossbar. This game saw the Orlando City keeper only concede a goal off a penalty as Ford proved he was a more than capable reserve heading into the off-season.
Tally Hall Denies Harry Shipp From Distance
September was a huge month for the Lions, collecting nine out of a possible 12 points and positioning themselves for a possible playoff run. City needed to keep pace and get a result in this late-September match to keep up with the rest of the clubs in the playoff hunt. Harry Shipp, bless his heart, did his best to put the Chicago Fire up at the 38-minute mark with a curling effort from just outside the box, but was thwarted by Hall's diving, two-handed save. Had this gone in it would be a sure nominee for MLS Goal of the Week, but, instead it was named Geico's Save of the Week.
Hall Makes Two Saves Off a Penalty
You could feel bad for Obafemi Martins here and you'd be well within your rights to feel bad for Andy Rose, who attempted to scoop up the trash left behind on Martins' penalty to put Seattle up 2-0. Martins' attempt at a quick shot to catch Hall off guard was swatted away by the Orlando City keeper for a stellar save in a high pressure situation and he took care of the rebound chance as well.
Real Salt Lake Gets Nothing and Likes It
Salt Lake had three attempts on goal here and, thanks to a combined effort from Orlando City's back line and Tally Hall's goal-line stop, couldn't finish after a flurry. The Mane Land's resident goalkeeper Brent Petkus had a terrific breakdown of the play.
The most important thing that a young goalkeeper can learn from this is that every time there is a shot, Hall has his feet set for the save. He is not guessing which way the ball is going, which you see some keepers do at short range. He comes across and he robs Garcia of an easy goal. There's nothing that a keeper loves seeing more than a striker at a loss of words after being stonewalled. Goalkeepers have to steal games to win championships and Tally Hall stole a point in Salt Lake on the Fourth of July.
Earl Edwards Jr. Comes Up Huge in USOC Shootout
All three of Earl Edwards Jr's saves against the Charleston Battery in the U.S. Open Cup make the list for preserving Orlando City's chances in advancing through the tournament. The rookie goalkeeper stonewalled three Battery chances to seal the game and saw the Lions through to the next round.
Brek Shea Makes Snap Save Against D.C. United
In a play that won honors for MLS Save of the week for week 5 (and a commanding 64% of the vote) Brek Shea made a lightning fast save on his left-footed goal-line clearance to deny Chris Pontius. After Ricketts makes the initial save but fails to reel in the ball, Shea wisely continues his run in the area to the goal line and is in position to make the stop.
Ricketts Leaps For a Wonder Save
This early season stop against Montreal Impact's Marco Donadel showed that the 37-year-old Ricketts still had a lot left in the tank in his 6-foot-3 frame. A shot that was fired from about 30 yards away was skillfully pawed away by the keeper.
Save at :45.
Donovan Ricketts made a difficult save against Portland, moving to his left then pivoting and diving to the right to make the stop. This save was also nominated for MLS Save of the week.
St. Ledger put it all on the line to make an incredible save in last night's match. Read: http://t.co/zSp5mGggCd pic.twitter.com/A4LC4mkgLh— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) July 1, 2015
Sean St. Ledger's header clearance off the goal line was very similar to Shea's and helped preserve a 2-0 victory for Orlando City to see them through to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals.
Save at :27.
Another Orlando City save nominated for Save of the Week saw an off-balance Hall stick his foot out to deny New England Revolution's Chris Tierney.
Vote for your favorite saves here. If you think we missed any comment below with your favorite.