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Orlando City vs. Real Salt Lake: Five Takeaways

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Orlando City went on the road to Real Salt Lake, played a man down without Kaká for 45 minutes, and still managed to leave the stadium with a point in hand. The defense played well, Tally Hall was a wall, and the Lions played another Western Conference team without losing. Our five takeaways...

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

All things considered, Orlando City pulled off a great result on Saturday night, coming into a tough Western Conference environment in Rio Tinto Stadium on a short week, and playing a man down for over 45 minutes, after Kaká -- yeah, Kaká -- was sent off.

The referee stole the show, but all that matters is that they did all of those things I mentioned above and still managed to pull off a 1-1 draw against a good Real Salt Lake team.

Here are our five takeaways....

PRO Referee's Gonna PRO

The aforementioned stealing of the show by the referee in this one was done by the infamous Sorin Stoica, who seemed to be on a mission to make Orlando City's trip to Salt Lake City a living hell. With a large majority of calls already going against the Lions, Stoica made his mark on the game shortly before halftime by issuing a straight red card to Kaká. Didn't take much reviewing of the tape to decide it shouldn't have been a red, especially for a guy that had never knowingly picked up a red in his club career before that. But when you have a ref that's given out 17 red cards in his last 28 games, you should know what to expect.

Don't even get me started on that Carlos Rivas DOGSO in the second half...and five minutes of stoppage? For what?

Both A Good And Bad Performance

Statistically speaking, this was one of Orlando City's least impressive games this season. The Lions attempted just 328 passes in this match, which is nearly 200 less than they've been averaging over the past couple of months; a lot of that would have to do with RSL dominating possession throughout the match, including in the second half when they were up a man. Orlando also passed at a 75 percent rate, which was also one of their lowest marks this season. Surprisingly, however, I thought Orlando City played more dangerously after Kaká was sent off, which seems weird to say after losing the former World Player of the Year.

Tally Hall is The Wall

Without a doubt, Tally Hall will go down as the Man of the Match for Orlando City. Hall came up big nearly every time the Lions needed to count on him. He made a big save in the fourth minute that would lead to Orlando City's counter-attack goal. He made even more late in the match, including juuuuuust getting his finger tips on the ball to push it off the post, keeping things level. RSL took 23 shots in the game, they put seven of them on frame, and Hall was able to stop six of them. Great performance.

Fun fact: "The Wall" is actually the nickname given to Tally Hall, and not the supporters' section in the Citrus Bowl (you guys are still great, though!).

Can We Just Move Orlando To, Like, The West?

With the draw, the Lions moved their record to 4-1-2 against Western Conference opponents this season. Coming into that match, they boasted the best points-per-game number against opposite-conference teams this year, and their only loss against the West remains the 1-0 defeat at home against the Vancouver Whitecaps back in March. The Lions' next match will be against another Western team, when they return home next Saturday to take on FC Dallas.

The Kaká Effect

RSL set a RioTinto Stadium record on Saturday night with 20,956 showing up for the Independence Day match-up, and to the disappointment of the many that probably showed up just to see Kaká, they only got 45 minutes worth of what they paid for. Where Kaká goes, the fans have followed him his season, and there will certainly be a sad bunch of fans that won't get to see him on Saturday night against Dallas (should MLS not overturn his one-game suspension), including this poor guy, who is coming to the game all the way from Belfast, Ireland!