The Orlando City Soccer Club Lions came back from a 16 day break and dominated the 2015 MLS Champs, The Portland Timbers, 4-1 in a lopsided contest at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The crowd of 31,000 plus witnessed the full brunt of the Lion’s planned 2016 attack with superstar Kaka returning to the line up from an injury to join Striker Cyle Larin, and Midfielder’s Kevin Milino and Adrian Winter, who have had a strong season despite playing without their team captain. This was the 2016 season debut for Kaka and it was explosive.
Kaka assisted on 2 goals and and scored another, and handed the ball to Kevin Molino on a penalty Kick that was kicked in for a goal. The Lions have missed Kaka on the attack as well as his touch on penalty and free kicks, and the big man delivered on a free kick from about 40 yards out that was perfectly angled to Seb Hines for a header goal in the 13th minute for a 1-0 Orlando Lead.
The Hines goal was followed by Kaka and Breck Shea on another attack. Shea Was attacking on the left side and was contested and stumbled slightly. she passed ahead to Kaka who immediately returned the pass to Shea who streaked past his man towards the goal for a score.
Portland had it’s periods on attack, but Orlando’s defense held strong. Portland’s Fanendo Adi had a penalty kick on goal in the 43’d minute and things got tense. But Orlando City’s Joe Bendik proved to be a hero and caught the shot to keep the score at 2-0 going into the half.
Beginning the second half, Coach Adrian Heath brought in defender Aurélien Collin in on defense for Tommy Redding. Collin was a solid substitute as Portland kept the pressure on, but once again, orlando was on the attack.
In the 47th minute, Kaka finally hit pay dirt with a goal with an assist by Adrian Winter, driving the crowd into a frenzy. This seems to drain the air out of the sails of the Timbers.
Later in the half, Kevin Molino was fouled in the penalty box, setting up a penalty kick. Kaka, who would normally take the penalty kick, handed the ball to Molino and patted him in a gesture of confidence. Molina scored on the penalty kick, beating the goalie on the right side of the goal with a ground shot, given Orlando a 4-0 lead in the 75th minute. This was Molino’s first MLS goal.
There was a rare Carlos Rivas sighting as he spelled Kak in the 80th minute of the match.
Portland managed to score a goal in the final minutes of the contest, eliminating the chances of an Orlando Shut out.
“Exceptional plays, great goals, big performances from a lot of players. As I said to the players after the game, if we believe in what we do and play with that same intensity, then certainly in this place with our supporters behind us we are a formidable force to deal with.” said Coach Adrian heath.
Speaking on Kaka’s Play: “Delighted that the captain was back and played like he did, he just lead from the front and you can see what we’ve been missing in the pass few games. It’s been a really good evenings work and now we have to forget about it and start work on Monday and get back at it again.” said Heath.
Orlando City next faces the Philadelphia Union on Friday April 8th in Philadelphia, PA