Orlando City started the season for the fifth time out of six seasons with a draw on opening day, but for the first time in club history the Lions didn’t score a goal. With Nani and Dom Dwyer out, Orlando went with a forward line of Benji Michel, Tesho Akindele, and Chris Mueller. They didn’t score but the Lions generated chances and didn’t provide the visitors with any opportunities at all.
New goalkeeper Pedro Gallese cut a lonely figure at the back for Orlando, as he wasn’t tested all night and only faced one shot on target — a comfortable attempt from distance. But the majority of the game was played in the middle of the pitch forward for the Lions, who failed to take advantage of opportunities in the 0-0 draw.
Orlando City fans may not be happy with only one point from the opener, but there were clear signs of what Oscar Pareja is building — a high-pressing, ball-winning team that strives to move the ball forward whenever possible. Many teams lack sharpness early in the season, and it’s easy to forget the team hasn’t been together very long, but if this is what the team looks like without two of its marquee players, 2020 might be a big step in the right direction.
We hope you enjoy these images from Saturday’s opener as the Lions embark on the Oscar Pareja era.