With sub tropical storm Albert bearing down on the state, the storm that is brewing with Orlando City is at Category 3, as in 3 losses in a row. In front of a crowd of 25,288 fans, the Orlando City Lions fell to the Chicago Fire 2-1.
It was a game that Orlando, though played short handed, dominated the action. 20 shots on goal, 90% passing accuracy, and possession over 60% of the match, yet they lose.
“I certainly can’t remember a night where I felt like we were more dominant, with this Club or maybe with any club, to be honest,” Lions head coach Jason Kreis said. “I think we can look at the statistics and the players know in their hearts that we were the by far the better team. You won’t hear me say that very often, but I will tell you there was only one team that was pushing things tonight. The other one was there to try to pick up a draw or catch something on the break.”
Chicago, coming off of their own 2 game losing streak, was motivated from the start. They pressed Orlando from the start, with Orlando backing up as the Fire occupied and maneuvered on their half. Mohamed El-Munir drew a yellow card outside the box, but about 27 feet directly in front of the goal. Chicago’s Aleksandar Katai easily knocked in a strike in the 13′ to start the scoring at 1-0. Chicago is 3-0 in games when they scored first this season.
Forward Cristian Higuita in the 28th minute, Josue Colmán worked his way into the box and found Chris Mueller, who delayed before slipping it to Higuita all alone. The Colombian calmly placed his shot inside the far post, tying the score at 1-1.
In the final minutes of the match, Sasha Kljestan was kicked in the face by Mo Adams in the penalty area, and Adams was sent off with a straight red. Kljestan fouled Adams first though and was given a yellow card, and the Fire were given possession. Kreis was livid that no penalty kick was not awarded.
“This is where I’ll have to plead my soccer ignorance because going into tonight I know a specific conversation that was had in the offseason, perhaps it was about a year ago, with the head of referees and with the technical committee – the on-field technical committee who are discussing red card violations that happen during dead balls.” said Kreis “It was specifically told to me – maybe I misremembered, but I think it was specifically told to me that any red card that happens during a dead ball situation where that red card violation is, that’s where the foul is awarded. So from my point of view, if there’s an ejectionable offense [and] it happens in the penalty box, it’s a penalty, because otherwise I can just imagine scenarios.”
The Lions will head on the road for their next four games, first visiting New York City FC on Saturday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m. ET. City then visits Miami United FC in the fourth round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 6. The Lions will move on to Vancouver and Montreal before returning to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, June 23, to host the Montreal Impact.