Orlando City looked to continue to build off last Wednesday’s win, but were dealt to settle to a scoreless draw against FC Dallas on Saturday at Orlando City Stadium.
“The truth of the matter is that I’m pleased with the performance,” said Orlando head coach Jason Kreis. “Really, really pleased with the efforts that the group put out. I knew it was going to be a difficult day. It’s hot out there today, it’s our third game in a week, we’ve had to travel all the way to Portland and back in the last week.
“A lot of considerations for why the performance wasn’t quite as energetic as I would’ve liked it to have been. But at the end of the day the guys gave everything they had and I think can feel very proud of what they put into that game.”
The Lions (10-13-9, 39 points) entered the game playing their third game in seven days; a 3-0 loss to Portland last Sunday followed by a 6-1 win against the New England Revolution on Wednesday.
The announced attendance Saturday was 24,007.
Controversial no-calls marked the second half with both teams suffering from plays that the referee did not whistle.
In the 74th minute, Dallas looked like it could have argued for a penalty when a shot from Kellyn Acosta hit off Seb Hines’ arm, but no call was made.
In the 94th minute, Orlando City also could have argued for a similar call when Richie Laryea’s effort eventually bounced off Matt Hedges‘ arm.
A referee pool reporter submitted questions on why head official Armando Villarreal didn’t whistle the call or call for video review.
“The referee saw the plays in question and determined that it wasn’t a deliberate hand ball,” Villarreal said in a written statement.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I wrote more on that controversial no-calls with comments from Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja and Kreis in my latest piece on MLSSoccer.com.
Despite a scoreless first half, Dallas played the better halve especially after almost finding the net in the 30th minute when a free-kick taken by Mauro Diaz was denied by Orlando goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
Center back duo impresses
It was the first time this season Orlando City deployed the center back duo of Jonathan Spector and Seb Hines on Saturday.
Both defenders left an impression for Kreis following the game.
“I thought [their performance] was pretty solid,” said Kreis. “Obviously we need to look back at it a little bit because I did think Dallas created quite a few things but, let’s be honest, Dallas has some really, really good attacking players. I know they’ve been going through a rough patch lately but after some confidence of getting their result I knew they were going to cause us some problems, especially because they got a lot of fast players. But all in all, I think those two did a pretty solid job for us.”
Spector has played at the starting center back position for the Lions for much of the season. For Hines, however, he’s had to work his way back to the first team after playing much of the year at Orlando City B and dealing with knee injuries.
Despite the draw, Spector cited the shutout as a deciding factor in their performance.
“I thought it went relatively well. I mean when you get a clean sheet as a new center back you have to be relatively happy. Seb is an experienced player, communicates well and makes it easier to kind of play together when that’s the case.”
Here’s how the Lions lined up:
Orlando City XI: Bendik; Toia, Spector, Hines, Sutter; Carrasco, Yotun, Barnes, Nocerino; Kaka (c), Dwyer.
Orlando City bench: Edwards Jr.; Ramos, Redding; Powers, Laryea; Rivas, Larin.
Sunday, Oct. 15
vs. Columbus Crew at 3 p.m.
(Photo Courtesy of Orlando City)
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