Orlando City took on the New England Revolution in Foxborough in its first match following the international break. Away matches in MLS are never easy, but the Lions have done well on the road so far this season. The 1-1 draw against the Revolution is a good result although Orlando City certainly was trying for more. Here are our five takeaways from the match.
Shaking off the Rust
Orlando City came out a little rusty, though the same could be said of both clubs. Both were able to move the ball into the other team’s area, but neither looked too sharp doing it in the early going. Everything seemed a bit slower, and in particular for Orlando City. One player who didn’t seem rusty was Carles Gil. Gil was given way too much space by Jake Mulraney in transition at the top of the box, and Gil made him pay for it with a goal to give the Revolution the 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute.
The Return of El Pulpo
I know that I, and many others, expected Adam Grinwis to start this match, and for Javier Otero to be the backup. Otero recently signed a short term contract with Orlando City and is OCB’s keeper with 58 saves and three clean sheets. That is not what happened. Once again, Pedro Gallese returned from international duty — this time in Qatar — and on very little rest, to start the match. El Pulpo didn’t miss a beat. Yes he gave up one goal, but that was to a wide open Gil who made the perfect shot. Otherwise he did as well as we’ve come to expect from the Peruvian.
The Beefy Swede Comes Up Big
It was obviously early on that Robin Jansson wanted to get into the attack. He was pushing forward, doing his best to act like a box-to-box midfielder, and generally pushing beyond the half line. Not to say he was delinquent in his defensive duties, but he had his eye up field. That hunger paid off in the 35th minute when Jansson got his first goal of the 2022 regular season. The goal came from a corner kick, in which he surprised three defenders by taking the loose ball and moving to the end line before nutmegging the keeper to draw the Lions even on the road.
Strong Second-Half Start
I can only assume that Jansson’s goal woke the club up, because coming out after the half Orlando City was much more sure in possession. The passes were cleaner, the defending better, and for the first 20 minutes the Lions controlled the match. The club created chances, and the Lions were the protagonists. Unfortunately, Orlando City was unable to get another goal.
I would not have described this as a chippy game — at least not any more chippy than normal, especially after watching that USMNT versus El Salvador match. However, Orlando City committed 12 fouls and earned four yellow cards. The Revolution committed 21 fouls, and earned four yellow cards as well. Rodrigo Schlegel, Kyle Smith, Jansson, and Mulraney earned the yellow cards for Orlando City. Some of those were just last-ditch efforts to break up the New England counter.
That is what I took away from Orlando City’s return from the break against the Revolution. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.