It was a tough night for Orlando Soccer fans. First, the Orlando Pride faced the top team in the NWSL, The Carolina Courage, and was thwarted 3-0 Saturday afternoon. Later, Orlando City (6-10-1, 19 points) was crushed by the top MSL team, Atlanta United (11-3-4, 37 points) 4-0 on the road in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, giving the Lions their 8th straight loss. So the downward spiral continues.
“It’s the same old story for us. Goals change games,” Lions interim head coach Bobby Murphy said. “Three minutes in we give one up, we weather the storm and get back into the game and we had a few chances at the end of the first half and the start of the second half. Then we grow into it and we give one up on the break and you’re opened up against them and that’s where they want you. We just gotta find a way to stem this tide here.”
Orlando, for the 15th time this season, conceded the first goal of the match in the this minute of play.
Atlanta United midfielder Julian Gressel played the ball forward for Josef Martinez. While still in the air, the ball curled and got behind Orlando City centerback Amro Tarek, who made a futile effort to back-heel it out of the penalty area.
Instead, the ball deflected off Tarek, then off centerback Lamine Sané and into the path of Martinez, who put the ball into the back of the net and left Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik livid.
The Five Stripes generated more chances after that first goal, but eventually, the Lions found their footing. Orlando had their chances, with a Kljestan a free kick that centerback Jonathan Spector got an opportunity from point-blank range, but the ball was cleared off the line by Atlanta United’s Mikey Ambrose.
Orlando escaped the first half with a 1-0 lead.
Atlanta opened things up in the second half. Miguel Almiron managed to score in the 55th minute when a Will Spector pass was taken out on the break by United, and a few seconds later Almiron made it 2-0 after slotting past Bendik.
Just two minutes later, Ezequiel Barco made it 3-0 after putting back a rebound after Almiron curled one onto the crossbar, pretty much taking hope away hopes that City had of a comeback.
Almiron put a bow on the win for Atlanta in the 78th minute when he beat Spector and got himself into another 1-v-1 situation with Bendik and put a shot through Bendik’s legs and into the back of the net from a tough angle.
Orlando did have it’s chances. in the 61st minute, After Uri Rosell fired a shot from distance that a diving Guzan parried back in front of goal, Johnson was unable to simply slot home into the resulting open net, instead scuffing it wide of the goal. Orlando has been outscored 23-5 since their losing streak started in May.
New head coach James O’Connor is set to join the club this week, ahead of its July 7 match against LAFC at Banc of California Stadium.