Orlando City (3-5-4, 13 points) traveled west to take on the San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-3, 18 points) with high expectations, but it was referee Allen Chapman who had the biggest impact in the 1-1 draw. Both goals came on penalty kicks, but it was an incredibly soft red card on Brek Shea that prevented the Lions from going for the win.
The first half was a bit on the dull side, with neither team able to mount any sort of serious attack. The Earthquakes dominated the early possession through the first 20 minutes, but they were unable to test Tally Hall in his second match back through 45 minutes.
Orlando City came out with the same starting XI they deployed last weekend in their 4-0 romp over the Galaxy, and midfielder Darwin Ceren continued to play extremely well. Fullbacks Luke Boden and Rafael Ramos were involved in the attack on the flanks, though neither was able to find a teammate with their crosses.
Things turned exciting quickly in the second half though, as Chapman decided to impose his will on the match. Brek Shea went for a fairly run-of-the-mill tackle on Sanna Nyassi, and while he missed the ball, he clearly avoided making much -- if any -- contact with the San Jose winger. Nonetheless, Chapman saw things differently, and Shea was given his marching orders.
Just when things were looking the bleakest for the Lions, Rookie of the Year front-runner Cyle Larin stepped up to say he was having none of it. He chased down Tally Hall's long ball, and cleverly nodded it past Quakes keeper David Bingham, who clumsily crashed into Larin for a clear penalty. Kaká buried the resulting penalty kick in the 64th minute, but the joy was to be short-lived for Orlando.
Just four minutes later, Ceren puzzlingly, crashed into Jordan Stewart inside the box for a San Jose PK. Stewart had his back to goal and posed hardly any threat, making the foul by Ceren all the more confusing. Chris Wondolowski stepped up for the spot kick against his old teammate Hall, and he buried it into the bottom left corner for his 100th career MLS goal. That puts him at ninth all-time, and assures his place among the greatest strikers in league history.
With things back even at 1-1, the home team began to press and take advantage of its extra man. Hall made a huge save on a curling Matías Pérez García shot at 72', and even Kaká spent a good deal of time hustling back on the defensive end.
In the end, San Jose was unable to break through the Orlando City defense a second time, despite playing a man up for nearly the entire half. The match ended 1-1, in what amounts to a solid road point for Orlando, and a wasted opportunity for the Quakes. City are back in action in Orlando next Saturday against the Columbus Crew, in a rematch of what was a demoralizing 3-0 defeat -- also on 10 men that night -- for the Lions back in April.