Goalkeeper duel in Orlando leaves SunPass Derby in a stalemate

SunPass Derby Stalemate

📸 Credit: Orlando City


Orlando, FL –  The SunPass Derby ended in a 0-0 stalemate as each team’s goalkeeper made some incredible saves to keep a clean sheet. Both Orlando and Miami created some incredible opportunities. Opportunities that would’ve ended in goals had certain players shown up, both literally and figuratively. The match really could’ve gone either way. Orlando, finally seeing some starting-eleven continuity benefitted from a more solidified lineup versus a Messi-less Miami. Nevertheless, neither team were able to break through and earn the win.

Even Stevens

Coach Pareja called it “a very level game“, and he was absolutely right. Both teams had three shots on target. We saw some incredible saves by Pedro Gallese and Drake Callender, as well as some defensive heroics and a few mistakes in some of the final touches that could’ve ended as goals.

In Orlando’s last match, versus the Philadelphia Union, Nico Lodeiro put on a masterclass, assisting all three of Orlando goals in the win. Tonight, however, he was kept under control. Sergio Busquets and Inter Miami kept control of possession for the most part, which forced Orlando to find other ways to create chances.

Clipped at the Wings

Instead, Orlando relied on the wings to build and create opportunities inside the box. However, Ivan Angulo and Facu Torres haven’t exactly been in top form lately. Both do a great job off the ball, finding space. However, their final touches leave much to be desired. Angulo seems to often find himself with the ball near or inside the 18, but somehow botches the extra pass, or takes a wild off-target shot. It’s the final touch for him that’s the problem.

Conversely, this season, Facu hasn’t been able to place many shots on-target. If Orlando is going to have any sort of success this season, Facu needs to take advantage of his opportunities and score when given the chance. His decision-making has been fine. He’s just not finding success at the rate we’ve become accustomed to.

Finding a Groove

The two strikers tasked with finishing goal-scoring opportunities, Duncan McGuire and Luis Muriel, each had opportunities to score tonight, but were stifled by Drake Callender. Nevertheless, Duncan continues put himself in prime goalscoring scenarios. And now, Muriel is finding some groove within the offense as well. He’s been more aggressive in recent matches, inserting himself and taking dangerous shots. He notched two against Philly and nearly hit a couple more tonight.

Two Brick Walls

Drake Callender played a hell of a match. He has solidified himself as Miami’s goalkeeper since coach Tata Martino took over the reins in Miami. Tata even shot down rumors of a potential Keylor Navas signing, saying “…we’re not thinking of replacing our goalkeeper… unless he gets an opportunity to further his career [in Europe]…“.

On the goalkeeping home front, Gallese, who was Orlando’s player of the match, has proven his doubters wrong in the past few matches after taking heat for Orlando’s early season struggles. A distinction that was not warranted, in my opinion. Tonight, El Pulpo made three saves, two of which were from shots inside the box. Some continuity with the formations and lineups have certainly helped him be his reliable self in the flow of the game.

Next up, Orlando travel to San Jose to take on the worst team in the Western Conference. This is a perfect opportunity to pick up some points on the road before returning home to face a struggling Columbus Crew, who seems to be more focused on their upcoming Concacaf Champions Cup final vs. Pachuca.

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