Orlando City improved to 3-1-0 on the 2021 preseason with a 1-0 win over the Columbus Crew at Osceola County Stadium tonight. The Lions got only one goal, but it was enough. Tesho Akindele scored the only tally of the match with an assist from Alexandre Pato early in the proceedings.
For Pato, that makes two goals and an assist in three preseason matches since joining the club. The way the Brazilian is playing now, one can only imagine what he’ll do in a settled rotation once he gets a better feel for the way his new teammates play. Oscar Pareja has to be pleased with what he’s seen from his newly acquired veteran forward.
Here’s a look at Akindele’s goal:
We keep going. @Tesho13 | #VamosOrlando pic.twitter.com/6j142T87DV— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) March 28, 2021
The clean sheet was Orlando’s second of the preseason, with the other coming in another 1-0 win in the opening scrimmage against the Philadelphia Union. The Lions nearly had another shutout in the second meeting with the Union if not for an incredible individual effort by Paxten Aaronson with Orlando leading 3-0 in the second half. City has conceded twice in the run of play in four preseason matches, with New York City FC scoring twice from the penalty spot in the second scrimmage.
Akindele is the sixth different Lion to score so far in the preseason, joining Alexander Alvarado, Robin Jansson, Pato (twice), Chris Mueller, and Matheus Aias.
As always, be careful not to put too much emphasis on closed-door preseason scrimmages but these kinds of results against top notch Eastern Conference competition are certainly encouraging as the 2021 MLS season approaches. The team isn’t giving up many goals during open play, the players who will be expected to contribute offensively are scoring, and wins are far better than any other result.
Orlando City’s Preseason Results
- 3/15/21 – Orlando City 1-0 Philadelphia Union
- 3/18/21 – Orlando City 2-3 New York City FC
- 3/24/21 – Orlando City 3-1 Philadelphia Union
- 3/27/21 – Orlando City 1-0 Columbus Crew
Next up for Orlando City is a preseason scrimmage against FC Cincinnati this coming Wednesday. As with the others, it’s behind closed doors.