Chester, PA – Orlando handed the Union their third loss in five matches, but more importantly, snap Philly’s 13-game home unbeaten streak. The streak dated back to September 3rd, 2021, their last home loss at the hands of the New England Revolution.
The 2-1 win over Philly was Orlando’s 1st win since their season home opener, defeating the NY Red Bulls 1-0. Since then, Orlando has drawn every match, except for a 2-1 home defeat vs Charlotte last week, a match they should’ve won.
I gave the OC Lions a rough time early in the season for their style of play. However, their build-from-the-back style of play is the reason they’ve found success thus far. Goalkeeping is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest reason why they’ve found a way to collect points. Pedro Gallese is arguably the best goalkeeper in the league, consistently denying strikers like President Macron in France. Let’s hope he never retires. However, tonight it was all about Mason Stajduhar!
The homegrown keeper hasn’t had many opportunities to start, but with Gallese off on international duty, it was Mason’s time to shine. His last start came on September 10th, 2022, also against Philly. He conceded five goals in a 5-1 loss. Consequently, I’m sure he was eager to show his squad, and anyone else watching, that he too is valuable. His value showed on Saturday as he come through with four blocked shots. Philadelphia had plenty of opportunities to score, but again, the Union strikers were denied.
Philly Flat Footed
Another big reason Orlando was able to get the win was the fact that Philly’s backline, specifically Jack Elliott, was caught off-guard and off-balance not once, but twice less than 10 minutes into the match. Martin Ojeda in the 2′ and Ivan Angulo in the 9′ both took advantage of a discombobulated Elliot. He seemed lost as the last-man center-back with Damion Lowe out on International with Jamaica.
What a start for #OrlandoCity
Martín Ojeda scores less than two minutes in! pic.twitter.com/w0cOzuyhU1
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 25, 2023
Philly was able to get one back in the 17th minute and it appeared as if they’d regained some composure, but Orlando was confident and maintained possession for the majority of the match. It was the first time this season that Orlando scored in the first half. The early aggressive pace worked out great for a team that doesn’t give up many goals.
Next up, Orlando hosts Nashville SC in what should be a competitive match. Nashville has made the playoffs every season since joining the league in the 2020 season. Currently, they’re tied with the Seattle Sounders for the fewest goals allowed (2) this season. However, only Montreal (3), currently in last place in the East, has scored fewer goals than Nashville (4) in the Eastern Conference. If Orlando can sneak one in, they should be able to hold on for another victory.
The Lions Den
- Mason Stajduhar – With four blocks and the hockey assist to open up the scoreboard, Mason showed out.
- Martin Ojeda – The Argentine scored the 1st goal and assisted the 2nd. Take a bow, sir.
📸Credit: Orlando City SC