The club will be experiencing a lot of firsts in the early part of the season and this match, in particular, was no exception. We saw the first game of two new clubs, Adrian Heath's MLS coaching debut, Orlando's first home game, and each club scoring its first MLS goal.
I would like to focus on the latter.
In almost poetic fashion, the two players who will forever go down in history are none other than American international Mix Diskerud and Brazilian Superstar Kaká. Without a doubt, MLS will be pleased with that narrative.
Overall, fans seemed pleased to come out with a point, given the circumstances. It is not every day you come from behind when you're playing with 10 men. But for me, I would like to break down each goal to see exactly how the Lions got behind and how they managed to salvage a result.
Mix Diskerud (76')
An errant Cristian Higuita header that was meant for Kevin Molino was intercepted by Diskerud, who quickly initiated a counter attack that caught Orlando's back line switched off and had Brek Shea slightly too far wide and out of position. Shea was able to put his athleticism to good use and made a great recovery to stop Khiry Shelton from being in on goal. He instead conceded a corner.
Following a short corner, the ball eventually came back out to David Villa, who was pressured by Ramos. Higuita pressured the Spaniard to give his right back a little support, but in doing so, he left the space on top of the box free for Mix to receive the ball and curl in a fantastic goal. Molino should have potentially dropped in after Higuita pressured, but neither of the midfielders communicated with one another, allowing NYCFC to capitalize.Defensive midfielder Lewis Neal tried to come out pressure Diskerud, but he arrived too late to stop the shot.
The build-up to the Kaká free kick had a similar string of errors that led the Mix goal. Ned Grabavoy was marking Molino, but when the ball went out to Rafael Ramos on the right, Grabavoy slid more wide.
Instead of staying with Molino or passing him off to Andrew Jacobson, he left the Trinidadian free to slot into the space between the two midfielders and make a run on goal. He was then forced to foul the Orlando player, which set Kaká up for a free kick that he eventually scored on.
View the game gallery here.
With the first game and first goal out of the way, It will be on Adrian Heath and his men to deliver the first win of the season on Friday against the Houston Dynamo in the club's first MLS road trip.
Tactical analysis by John Rey, video editing by Austin David.