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Orlando City at D.C. United: Five Takeaways

What did we learn from the Lions’ loss to United?

MLS: Orlando City SC at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City took on Wayne Rooney and D.C. United in yet another match that Orlando City fans will want to forget. The 1-0 loss is first of two away matches, and the first of nine matches in 32 days. Not a great way to start such a brutal stretch, but what can you do? We can look at our five takeaways from the match.

Wayne Fricking Rooney

Three times he’s pulled something like that — the block of Will Johnson and long, game-winning cross, the illegally placed free kick where Brian Rowe was mugged, and now the long distance shot over Rowe’s head. It’s certain to be goal of the week. Again. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just his miracle shot that hurt Orlando. Rooney caused trouble all over the place for the Lions. He almost scored on a free kick in the 30th minute, as well. Seriously, can someone for Orlando City do something about this guy next time they play?

Ascues’ Very Bad, Horrible Game

Carlos Ascues is usually a pretty good player. I don’t know what he ate yesterday, or if his pillow wasn’t fluffed properly, but he wasn’t his usual self. To make matters worse, he was involved in some key plays. His turnover led to Rooney’s wonder goal. In the 33rd minute, Ascues had an almost open net, couldn’t get his feet under him, and once he decided what to do with the ball it was too late. In the 66th minute, Orlando City strung together some neat passing only to have Carlos sky the ball into the stands. Those were just a few examples of many. He was finally taken off in the 70th minute for Uri Rosell.

Missed Chances

Orlando City probably should have won this match given all the opportunities the Lions had to score. The Lions had 11 corners, 19 shots (but only three on goal), and 55% possession. There was the Chris Mueller header in the 67th minute that went just over the crossbar. Ruan put a ball across the box that Tesho Akindele couldn’t get a foot on. There were the numerous chances taken outside the box. I already mentioned how Ascues couldn’t find a goal if he had a map and compass. Orlando City scored eight goals in its previous three games in all competitions. The Lions weren’t able to buy a goal against D.C. United.

PRO Overturns a United Goal

Ulises Segura had seemingly put United up 2-0 thanks to some hold-up play by Wayne Rooney. Lamine Sané, who lost that duel with Rooney, was caught up field, as D.C. slipped the pass ahead to Segura, who put it past Rowe for the goal. But, wait! Referee Alex Chilowicz checked with VAR, and amazingly Segura was called offside. He was offside, but the fact that PRO and VAR made that call against Wayne Rooney — I mean, D.C. United — was a welcome surprise. PRO gonna PRO, but sometimes they PRO for you, not against you. Of course, they also missed a foul that could have resulted in an Orlando penalty kick, so there you go.

A Silver Lining?

I don’t want everyone to think I’m a complete downer, so I will say this: Orlando had some very nice stretches of play. The Lions strung together passes, worked the ball into the final third, and created chances. They just couldn’t finish any of those chances, as I mentioned above. With no Dom Dwyer, and no serious striker to take his place, Orlando has done well recently to score goals. The Lions weren’t able to keep it up for a fourth match in a row, and it highlights the need for more scoring power up front.

There’s what I took away from this disappointing match. Let me know what you think. Did I miss something? Disagree with something? Are you also sick of Wayne Rooney? Let me know in the comments.