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New York City 2, Orlando City 2: as it happened!

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The Blues draw with OCSC 2-2 in an up-and-down season opener

MLS: New York City FC at Orlando City SC Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

FT: NYCFC draw Orlando 2-2 to begin 2019.

City supporters will undoubtedly be disappointed with the Blues bottling a 2-0 halftime lead. But, at the same time, you gotta take the good with the bad and accept a point on the road.

This game was very uncharacteristic of NYCFC due to their penchant for controlling the game and creating an abundance of offensive chances. It was the Lions, however, that seem to dictate the pace. Even if it wasn’t always reflected on the scoreboard, they were in control.


88’: Keaton Parks comes on for James Sands.


78’: Tony Rocha comes on for Ben Sweat in a sub that makes zero sense.


75’: Orlando crawl back into it and tie the game. Yikes. 2-2


72’: Jesus Medina comes on for Jonathan Lewis. The former Akron Zip put in a good shift this afternoon and assisted Ofori’s goal.


70’: Things are getting a bit more tense. NYCFC have taken control of the game’s pace, but haven’t remained as clinical.


59’: Goal. Orlando. Mueller puts in a ball that is too hot for NYCFC’s defense to handle. City still lead 2-1.


HT: NYCFC lead Orlando City 2-0 at the half, with the goals coming from two midfielders: Ebenezer Ofori and captain Alex Ring.

City hasn’t dictated the pace of this one as they are accustomed to doing. But the Lions’ underwhelming attack and poor movement in the attacking third has rendered that insignificant, at least for the time being.


45’: GOOOOOOOOOAAAAALLLL!!! The Ringmaster converts after a threaded pass into the box finds him 1-v-1 with Rowe, giving NYCFC a comfortable 2-0 lead!


36’: James Sands has been quietly brilliant thus far and has made a slew of quality defensive plays.


26’: Johnson leaves his line and makes a spectacular clearance!


13’: GOOOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!!!! No, a golazo! Ebenzer Ofori — an unlikely candidate — fires in a smokin’ shot from 30 yards to give NYCFC a 1-0 lead!


NYCFC have been slow out of the gate. The Blues have not shown their usual approach of possessing the ball and control the game in the early going. Perhaps a byproduct of a young team still trying to gel together.


We’re off in the Sunshine State! New York City wear their signature City Blue (w/ offset stripe) while Orlando don the royal purple.

Fun, quick factoid: Orlando City, for some odd reason, have decided not to start Nani, Dom Dwyer, or Cristian Higuita for this First Kick. This is something that NYCFC could perhaps exploit in this game, though all three could be considered real threats off the bench.

Regardless, these are interesting times.


Rosters are out! Well, hot damn. Jonathan Lewis and James Sands have been named to the Starting XI. This is an exciting development, and we are stoked on it!


Rosters

New York City Starting XI:

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Ronald Matarrita (calf injury)

Orlando Starting XI:

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: N/A

Referees: Baldomero Toledo (referee); Adam Wienckowski, Brian Dunn (assistant referees); Matt Franz (4th official); Guido Gonzalez Jr. (VAR)


How To Watch

Match date & time: March 2, 2019, 2:30 pm.

Venue: Orlando City Stadium, Orlando, FL

Online streaming: Twitter

TV: Univision

Local radio: WNYE 91.5 FM — English; WADO 1280 AM — Spanish.

All-time series: It is finally time — the 2019 MLS season is here!

New York City FC kicks off their new season on the road against familiar foes Orlando City. The all-time series between these two clubs is dead even in 12 matches since both joined MLS in 2015, with each logging five wins, with the other two matches being draws. NYCFC, however, have had their way with the Lions recently, having won three straight against them.

But this is still a road game. And, historically speaking, Orlando City Stadium is a tough place to play. Not to mention that OCSC is not the same team as before, having acquired the services of Portuguese winger Nani in the offseason.

This is a great test for City out of the gate and should serve as a baptism by fire for new additions Alexandru Mitrita and Keaton Parks as well as the team as a whole.

This post will update with highlights and information as we receive it.