The Orlando City Soccer Club secured a much needed win over New York City FC 2-1. Orlando City’s battle to get used to new head coach Jason Kreiss’ style of aggression and higher energy is starting to pay off for the Lions.
“For me the most important thing tonight was the performance. I’m seeing continued improvement in the performance, continued improvement in how we’re defending and it’s pleasing,” said Head Coach Jason Kreiss
Team Captain Kaka had his first multi-goal game in his MLS career by scoring both of Orlando’s goals. The Lions took their seventh point of the season from 2015 expansion rival NYCFC, and the 3 points from the win keeps them close to playoff contention.
Kaká opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. After working the ball up the right wing with Pérez García, the Brazilian superstar turned the corner on his defender and sprinted at NYCFC goalkeeper Josh Saunders on the post. Kaká’s first shot went through Saunders’ legs, but stopped just short of the line before he followed it up and tapped it in.
NYC retaliated in the second half and tied the score 1-1 when Steven Mendoza fired home a close-range rebound after Joe Bendik made a strong save on another short-distance shot from Frank Lampard.
Pérez García, who made his third start for Orlando, played a slick backheel pass to Kaká on the edge of the box. The captain took a touch to get open for a shot, forcing an NYCFC defender to trip him up. Kaká buried the penalty kick, sending Saunders the wrong way to win the game for City.
“Today was a special game for us, for everybody,” Kaká said after the match. “I think also for our staff because Jason came from that team. So a lot of motivation for the game. Congratulations for us because we need it and we deserve it.”
Orlando City now has nine days to prepare before traveling to play the Montreal Impact on Sept. 7. They then go straight to Los Angeles for a match against the Galaxy on Sept. 11.