When Andres Reyes finished a beautiful free kick service from Mauricio Pereyra past Inter Miami goalkeeper Luis Robles and into his own net Saturday night, it was the first time Orlando City had gotten the benefit of an opposition’s own goal in over two years. The last time it happened came in a game none of us want to talk about ever again, when David Ousted scored on his own D.C. United side in the 50th minute of an eventual 3-2 loss for the Lions at Audi Field.
Uri Rosell was trying to pick out Dom Dwyer, but instead the pass came off Ousted’s foot and bounced in to make it 1-1 at the time. That happened on Aug. 12, 2018, which was two years and one month prior to Saturday’s own goal by Reyes. That drought of 54 games without an opposition scoring an own goal was the second-longest such streak in Orlando City’s MLS history. The longest streak occurred when Lions opponents went 78 matches without scoring an own goal from May 15, 2016 to July 29, 2018.
Orlando City fans must have thought own goals were common at one point. The Lions were gifted five own goals by opponents in the team’s first year in MLS and seven in the club’s first 44 MLS games overall. The team even got its first ever MLS win on an own goal by Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tyler Deric back on March 13, 2015. Under extreme pressure by an onrushing Pedro Ribeiro, Deric ended up punching the ball into his own net for the game’s only goal in a 1-0 final.
But since that initial burst of seven own goals in 44 matches, they’ve been difficult to come by. Orlando’s opponents have scored only three own goals against themselves since Jimmy Medranda did it on May 15, 2016 when the Lions visited Sporting Kansas City and lost, 2-1.
What changed? Well, the first seven came when Adrian Heath was head coach. Perhaps his favored 4-2-3-1 formation, an attacking mentality, and a desire by his players to dump the ball into the middle to Cyle Larin created more danger for opposing defenses. But it could just as well be coincidence. Even with Larin the team didn’t create any own goals at all in 2017 and only two in all of 2016.
The breakdown is as follows:
- Five (in four different games) in 2015.
- Two in 2016.
- None in 2017.
- Two in 2018.
- None in 2019.
- One in 2020 (so far).
If Lions fans saw only home games, they might be forgiven for thinking own goals were much more rare. Orlando City has played host to only two opposition own goals in the team’s MLS existence. Before Saturday’s gaffe by Reyes, the only own goal an opponent had ever scored against the Lions in an Orlando City home MLS game came way back on Aug. 29/30, 2015, when Eric Gehrig put one past his own keeper in a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire. I put two dates in the preceding sentence because that match against the Fire was a marathon, five-hour affair, thanks to inclement weather. The Reyes own goal snapped a streak of 74 consecutive Orlando City home games without an opposing own goal.
Orlando City is 1-0-1 at home when its opponent has scored an own goal. But the Lions are just 3-4-0 on the road when an opposing team has gifted them a goal, giving the team a total record of just 4-4-1 when the other team scores on itself. Those four away losses are the team’s current road streak with an opposition own goal. It’s supposed to make winning easier when the other team puts the ball in its own net — as it was when Orlando started out 3-0-0 away from home when getting a gift goal.
That run of wins started with the victory in Houston, continued with a 3-2 victory at Chicago when defender Adailton scored twice (!) into his own net on June 6, 2015, and the streak ended with a 5-2 road win at the New York Red Bulls when Damien Perrinelle put one past Robles — now with Miami but then a Red Bull — on a night that included a Larin hat trick.
In fact, Robles has been on the wrong end of three of the 10 own goals that have occurred against Orlando City. In addition to the Perrinelle own goal in 2015 and Reyes’ tally last Saturday night, Robles was victimized by teammate Karl Ouimette on April 24, 2016 at Red Bull Arena in a 3-2 Orlando loss. So Robles is 1-2-0 against Orlando City when his team scores an own goal. All things considered, he could have a worse record in that situation.
Here’s a complete list of own goals by Orlando City’s MLS opponents:
- March 13, 2015 at Houston Dynamo (Tyler Deric, 74th minute against Tyler Deric) — 1-0 win.
- June 6, 2015 at Chicago Fire (Adailton, 40th minute and 86th minute against Jon Busch) — 3-2 win.
- Aug. 29, 2015 vs. Chicago Fire (Eric Gehrig, 37th minute against Sean Johnson) — 1-1 draw.
- Sept. 25, 2015 at New York Red Bulls (Damien Perrinelle, 46th minute against Luis Robles) — 5-2 win.
- April 24, 2016 at New York Red Bulls (Karl Ouimette, 84th minute against Luis Robles) — 3-2 loss.
- May 15, 2016 at Sporting Kansas City (Jimmy Medranda, 67th minute against Tim Melia) — 2-1 loss.
- July 29, 2018 at LA Galaxy (Michael Ciani, 44th minute against David Bingham) — 4-3 loss.
- Aug. 12, 2018 at D.C. United (David Ousted, 50th minute against David Ousted) — 3-2 loss.
- Sept. 12, 2020 vs. Inter Miami (Andres Reyes, 34th minute against Luis Robles) — 2-1 win.