Hundreds of Orlando City SC fans made the trip to Charleston, SC, but in the end, the Lions were only able to reward them with a 1-1 draw
Orlando had the better of the play for much of the first half, though it was choppy soccer from both teams. New York City FC desperately missed Mix Diskerud in the midfield, who sat out the match with an unspecified illness.
While Orlando had more of the possession, NYCFC did manage a couple strong chances in the opening minutes. Designated player David Villa found a few yards of space at the top of the box at 10', and he unleashed a curling shot to the far post that beat keeper Donovan Ricketts and slammed into the crossbar.
As the half wore on, Orlando's possession began to pay off. Bryan Rochez and Kaka jumped on a NYCFC giveaway in the 22nd minute, and Kaka's ensuing chance was barely blocked by a sliding New York defender. Moments later, Kaka charged through the midfield and fed fullback Rafael Ramos on the right side, who blasted his shot just over the bar.
Kaka finally made New York pay in the 31st minute, as he received a pass from Kevin Molino, held off a defender at the top of the box, and skillfully side-footed a shot past keeper Josh Saunders. The teams traded blows for the remainder of the half, but the score held at 1-0 Orlando until the halftime whistle.
New York came out strong in the second half, moving to a flat 4-4-2 and controlling a good deal of the possession. They capitalized ten minutes in, as Orlando center back Aurelien Collin was caught lunging at the ball 40 yards from his own goal. David Villa was there to take advantage, and he fed rookie forward Khiry Shelton who beat Ricketts one on one for the goal.
It was back and forth soccer after the second goal, with both teams earning their fair share of chances. In typical friendly fashion, both squads subbed out the majority of their lineups around the 70 minute mark.
Among the subs, Luke Boden looked strong for Orlando City at the left fullback spot, and he and fellow sub Tony Cascio caused trouble for New York down the left wing. Rookie Cyle Larin entered the match as well, and was strong for Orlando up top.
Despite a late chance off a free kick for Orlando, the final whistle blew with the score still knotted at one.
Preseason or not, there's no doubt that Orlando City would have liked to come away with a victory against their fellow expansion side. Still, the Lions looked strong in possession for much of the match, and they will have plenty to build on heading into Wednesday's match-up with the Charleston Battery.