Orlando City improved to 2-1-0 in the preseason with a 3-1 win over the Philadelphia Union today at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee — the home of the club’s training facility. Alexandre Pato, Chris Mueller and Matheus Aiás supplied the offense for the Lions while Paxten Aaronson helped the Union avoid the shutout with a late second-half goal.
“Three games in and every single game we’re improving on things, getting ready for the season to start, getting into a competitive mode, getting used to winning games,” midfielder David Loera said. “And yeah, the group is fitting in very well. We’re still working on things, but we’re ready.”
If you weren’t expecting a preseason match today, that’s understandable. Today’s game wasn’t listed on the original preseason schedule released by the club. Orlando City swept the Union in a pair of preseason friendlies, which were on either side of a 3-2 loss to New York City FC. The Lions out-scored Philadelphia 4-1 across the two preseason matches against the Union.
The Lions could have piled on even more goals. Orlando City missed a penalty wide of the net in the second half and also sent a late shot crashing off the crossbar. Orlando led 2-0 at the break with goals in the 28th and 35th minutes, tacking on a third in the second half shortly after the missed penalty.
For Pato, today’s strike made it two goals in two games since the Brazilian forward joined the Lions only days ago. Here’s a look at Pato’s headed goal, off an assist by Loera (a follow-up tweet to the one below by former TML writer Austin David corrects the player with the cross to Loera).
Although one shouldn’t make too much of preseason performances, it’s a positive sign to see both Pato and Aiás on the score sheet, considering Daryl Dike will be finishing up his loan at Barnsley at the start of the MLS season.
“I would say the progress has been going very well,” defender Kyle Smith said. “We have a lot of returning players, so I feel like the chemistry has picked up from last year. And then we’ve added a lot of good pieces to the puzzle and I think they’ve all fit in very well, so I’m very excited to see how we pan out this year.”
Next up for Oscar Pareja’s men is a scrimmage against the Columbus Crew this Saturday night at Osceola County Stadium.