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Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids: Five Takeaways

What did we learn from the Lions’ 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids?

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Orlando City SC Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It took until just past the 70th minute, but Orlando City managed to pull out an emphatic 2-0 win over the struggling Colorado Rapids. Two of the three substitutes, Carlos Rivas and Kaká, provided the goals in the last 20 minutes of the match to keep the Lions perfect at home and move their win streak to four games. Now, let’s talk about what we saw in this game.

Rocket Rivas Bangers, Volume 1

Finally. Finally it happened. Carlos Rivas scored a superb strike in the 70th minute from outside the box. It’s what Orlando City fans have been waiting to see from the Colombian striker since he first signed at Designated Player deal back in 2015. This year has been a huge improvement for Rivas in a multitude of areas of his game, but the culmination of all that improvement was the goal he scored on Saturday afternoon.

Subs Changed The Game

It makes Head Coach Jason Kreis look like a tactical genius, but bringing on Carlos Rivas and Kaká for Giles Barnes and Matias Perez Garcia resulted in an immediate shift in the game in favor of Orlando City. The pace of Rivas and the vision of Kaká swung momentum so far in Orlando’s favor that the Rapids didn’t even know what hit them. Prior to that point, MPG wasn’t distributing the ball very well and was trying too much to dribble with his head down, while Barnes was a step too slow to get to some of the balls played forward. The substitutions changed that, and ultimately won the Lions the game.

Hot, Hot Heat

Saturday’s game was hot. Really hot. So hot that I got a sunburn walking from my car to the stadium. Just imagine what it was like for the players on the pitch, going for a full 90 minutes in blistering 95-degree Florida heat. It’s tough. It may have played an advantage for the Lions, having been used to such hot temperatures from training the days prior, but the team visibly began to fade in the late stretches of the game and even Jason Kreis pointed it out in his postgame presser.

Breaking Down Colorado

The first three quarters of the game was tough to watch. Colorado came in with a game plan and executed it through most of the game, which included some very boring soccer that was, at times, painfully hard to watch. Credit to Orlando, though. The Lions managed to weather the storm, continued to create chances and finally broke through with 20 minutes to go. After that point, the game opened up significantly and there was no looking back for the Lions.

“We’re Top of the League”

Sitting pretty at 18 points through only seven games has Orlando at the top of the Supporters Shield race, just a point above the Portland Timbers. It may still be very early in the season to start talking about it, but the Lions only won nine games all of last year. They’ve already won six through seven games. Let’s bask in the glory at the top of the table, if only for a little while.

That’s how I saw it. What did you think? Did I miss out on something? Let me know in the comments below.