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Orlando City vs. Sporting Kansas City: Five Takeaways

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What did we learn from the Lions’ 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City?

Nick Leyva, The Mane Land

Orlando City only managed a draw yesterday after two mop-up goals from Latif Blessing kept the visiting Sporting Kansas City team in it. A tough game for sure, but the Lions managed to score two goals themselves, thanks to Kaká and Cyle Larin. Now, let’s talk about what we saw in this one.

Kaká Keeps it Rolling

Through five games this season, the captain has already notched three goals. It seems like yesterday when fans were saying how Kaká was old and that he didn’t have it anymore, but Ricky is proving his doubters wrong. Not only on the offensive end, but defensively as well. Multiple times in this game he was tracking back to break up attacks, then running the other way to set up chances for the Lions. If he can keep up this level of production, this could be a superb year for the captain.

Clean Up Duty, Aisle Six

Orlando let up two goals last night, the most goals the team has allowed in the new stadium, with both coming off rebounds. It was unfortunate in both instances, but Orlando also probably could have done better marking the runs of Latif Blessing as he came into the box. While the Orlando defense was able to get a block on the initial shots, unfortunate bounces resulted in the two goals and Blessing got two “right place at the right time” goals.

Fly Wings, Fly

Both goals from the Lions yesterday came from crosses coming from the wings. Both started with Carlos Rivas crossing the ball into the box. Larin got his foot on the first one, guiding it into the net, while the second one overshot Larin, but fell on the other side of the box to Scott Sutter, who put it in for Kaká. Having that solid play on the wings and quality balls into the box has been huge for Orlando this year and continues to improve. Rivas now has five assists — the most he’s had in MLS in his three years —and is currently third in MLS, while Sutter has three.

Tough Day For Jose Aja

It was a rough day at the office for Orlando defender José Aja. First, on the first Sporting Kansas City goal in the ninth minute, Roger Espinoza tugged Aja’s jersey and took him out of the play. Then, on the second SKC goal, the ball went through Aja’s legs, as it fell to Blessing to put away. Finally, Aja’s go-ahead goal that he headed in was waved off, after the assistant referee ruled that the ball from Will Johnson went out of play right as he took the corner. Unlucky all around for the Uruguayan defender.

Still Undefeated at Home

Despite the draw, Orlando remains undefeated at home this season (5-0-1). The Lions are one of eight teams in MLS and one of five in the Eastern Conference that still remain without a loss on their home soil. The more that Orlando can keep its home turf as a fortress, the better placed the team is to remain high up in the standings, regardless of how the Lions do away from the friendly confines of Orlando City Stadium.

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