Orlando City left Kaká at home and took the front office with them to Chicago, and still managed to fight their way to a big three-point victory on Saturday night.
Bryan Rochez scored his second goal in consecutive weeks, and the Lions held their ground just behind the Montreal Impact, who picked up a big win over New England, in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Our five takeaways from the match..
More Like Bryan Brochez
In consecutive games, Rochez has come off of the bench for Orlando City to score the game-winning goal. I wrote about it on Monday, and I'll write about it again tonight: Adrian Heath needs to start using Rochez more down the stretch as Cyle Larin continues to burn out from the massive workload he's endured this season. Rochez is a game-changer for the Lions, and in both sub appearances he's made an immediate impact.
Brek Is Love, Brek Is Life
Orlando City is 2-0 since Brek Shea returned to the gameday lineup. Just sayin'. Shea took over for Adrian Winter on the right side in the second half, tucking in and providing more depth behind Rochez up top. He played a critical role in Rochez's goal, setting up Darwin Ceren in the box, which eventually led to the Honduran national firing the ball into the back of the net.
A Rock In The Middle
They probably won't get much of the credit, but David Mateos and Aurelien Collin were outstanding in helping Orlando City keep the Fire off of the board. It took some time, but it looks like Mateos is finally settling in on Orlando's backline. Behind Tally Hall, he was probably the best player on defense in this one.
No Kaká, No Problem
Somehow, Orlando City has managed to win consecutive games without its superstar Designated Player. Sure, having Lewis Neal in the center of the attacking midfield actually does no good for Heath's side, but despite this the Lions have still managed to draw six points from their last two games in a very tight Eastern Conference race. Of course, Orlando would love to have Kaká next week when they travel to Harrison, New Jersey when they take on the New York Red Bulls.
Not Another Tally Hall Comment
Some kids wanted to be pirates and ninjas when they grew up, but Tally Hall just wanted to be the best damn goalkeeper, and he's living his dream for Orlando City. Hall posted another great night for the Lions, helping preserve the shutout and bring home the three points. He also nabbed what should be another Save of the Week candidate, if you're overlooking the whole play being called offside.