ORLANDO, FL – Orlando City SC played to a 1-1 draw against the Colorado Rapids at Exploria Stadium Friday night in preseason action. Orlando now has a (0-2-1) record this preseason, but has played solid soccer in this recent match.
AS this is a preseason match, the big news is the new additions to the team. As the Lions moved on from Nani, Daryl Dike, and Chris Mueller, fresh faces are not being integrated into the squad.
Friday saw the debut of Uruguayan winger Facundo Torres, who played nearly the whole game.
“I really thought it was a hard exercise, a tough one, and seems like competition is getting closer,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “I saw the team in some moments of the game with that taste of just being in the season already. So that’s good.”
Pareja started Pedro Gallese with Joao Moutinho, Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Ruan on the back line, Sebas Mendez and Cesar Araujo in the central midfield Mauricio Pereyra and wingers Torres and finally Benji Michel, with Alexandre Pato up front.
Orlando’s Robin Jansson opened the scoring in the early stages by taking a cross pass from a charging Ruan and blasting it past the Colorado keeper for a 1-0 lead.
Orlando held a lot of possession but the movement seemed a bit hesitant at times, showing they they still needed some time to get used to the new players and environments for the new players.
Jonathan Lewis won a dangerous free kick for Colorado from the middle, about 10 yards outside the area but Rubio hit his shot wide of the left post in the 33rd minute.
In first half stoppage time, Rubio equalized when Keegan Rosenberry sent in a back-post cross from the right and Orlando’s defense fell asleep, allowing Rubio to tap home. The clubs went to the break tied at 1-1.
The majority of the second half was played between the penalty boxes after that early chance but Pereyra drew a foul in the 56th minute and the Lions thought they’d taken the lead on the ensuing set piece.
Torres took the free kick and sent a back-post ball to the right. Pato put the ball in the net but the flag came up for offside.
“Second half was probably a midfield game for both (teams) without many actions in either box,” Pareja said. “We will keep improving but a good good match. I like it overall. I thought it was a very good exercise to start with.”
“It’s good to get Facundo into the team and starting to get the connections with the guys out there,” Jansson said. “So that’s good. And I’m happy to see that.”