Orlando City came into Red Bull Arena with both Kaká and Brek Shea starting, and had a second-half explosion from Cyle Larin and a third straight game with a goal from Bryan Rochez. It was an amazing performance from the entire team, pulling out a 5-2 win against the best team in the Eastern Conference.
This could be one of the best results for Orlando City this season, considering the circumstances. Plus, it's a three-game winning streak for the Lions, the longest in their short MLS history.
Without further ado, here's our five takeaways from the match:
CYLE F$%&ING LARIN
After a long goal drought for the sensational rookie, Cyle Larin finally got that elusive 12th goal in the 24th minute to give the Canadian the outright rookie goal scoring record. After scoring two goals against Columbus back in August, Larin had to wait eight games before finally getting the record. And he didn't stop there. In the 43rd and 61st minutes, Larin tallied two more class goals to bring his tally to 14 goals on the season. He's also the only rookie to record two hat tricks in a season. Plus, he got a hat trick against the best team in the league and six goals in two trips to the New York metro area. No big deal.
Hines' Injury Changed the Game
After David Mateos pulled out of the lineup during warm-ups, after feeling something amiss, Seb Hines was forced into the starting role. After putting in a solid 30 minutes, the center back hurt his collarbone (according to Adrian Heath after the match) on the Red Bulls' first goal after colliding with Tally Hall and two Red Bulls defenders. With no other defenders on the bench for the Lions, Brek Shea was moved back to left back, Luke Boden was moved to center back, and Carlos Rivas was brought on to play the left winger role. With Shea and Rivas on the left side of the pitch, both players dominated New York and created a new dynamic for Orlando's attack. Meanwhile, Bodz, who's never really played as a center back, played pretty well all things considered. He won balls in the air, did well denying any chances in the box (mostly -- he got a bit lost on Lloyd Sam's goal) and held his own against a dangerous Red Bulls attack.
Carlos Rivas: Super Sub
Under tough circumstances, Rivas was forced to come into the game sooner than expected and boy did he change the game for Orlando. His speed and agility forced New York to respect him more on the left wing, giving Cyle Larin more room to work in the middle. Although he only recorded two assists, he should have been given three since it was his ball into the box that resulted in a Damien Perrinelle own-goal. This was a breakout game for Rivas and the only thing that would have put a cherry on top for the Colombian would have been if he tallied a goal.
Hines, Higuita Lost for Next Week
With all the good news surrounding this game, there's gonna be some bad news. It initially looked as if Hines had a severe shoulder injury during the game, so the chances of him playing next week at home are pretty slim. Cristian Higuita will also miss this key match-up against Montreal, after picking up another yellow card, putting him over the limit for yellow card accumulation. It's a real shame for Higuita, after turning in a stellar performance last night. Lots of things he did in the midfield really changed the game for Orlando, especially what he did for the second goal.
— Ben Jata (@Ben_Jata) September 25, 2015
Orlando's Not Out of it Yet
With last night's performance, the Lions are still in the hunt for that final playoff spot. With the current form they're in, there's a good chance that they could make a serious run at Montreal, which makes next Saturday's game against the Impact all the more important. Didier Drogba, Ignacio Piatti and company need to be prepared for a battle, because Orlando City's gonna bring it to them.