Orlando City SC

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MLS Snapshot: Martinez, Dwyer, Larin score all 6 in ATL, ORL thriller

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The game in 100 words (or less more): First of all, let’s start with the numbers and get those out of the way. In three games at the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, there have been 16 goals scored (13 by the home side, Atlanta United). Seven of those 16 goals have been scored by Josef Martinez (16 in 14 games this season), including three more (his second straight hat trick, joining Eddie Johnson and Robbie Keane as the only players in MLS history to achieve the feat) in Saturday’s breathtaking 3-3 draw with Orlando City SC.

On the other side, Dom Dwyer bagged his first two goals for Orlando City, while Cyle Larin also got his name on the scoresheet to bring his season tally to a dozen. While the six goals were certainly thrilling for the new MLS-record 70,425 fans in attendance, the result is hardly ideal for Atlanta (43 points), who so desperately needed to make good on their games in hand. With seven games left to play, Tata Martino’s side sits fifth in the Eastern Conference, just two points back of the Chicago Fire (with a game in hand), and seven back of second-place New York City FC. Orlando, meanwhile, remain ninth in the East, six points back of the sixth and final playoff place.

[ MORE: MLS weekend preview — TFC’s Shield chase continues in LA ]

Three Four Five Six moments that mattered

10′ — Dwyer heads home at a near-impossible angle — It took him seven appearances and 445 minutes, but Dwyer has his first goal since being traded to Orlando at the end of July.

36′ — Martinez taps home at the back post for 1-0 — Julian Gressel did the really hard part, keeping the ball in play and somehow sliding it past Joe Bendik. Martinez arrive to the right place at the right time, and it was 1-1.

39′ — Dwyer does it again, puts Orlando back ahead — 445 minutes for his first goal, but just 29 minutes for his second. 99 percent of strikers are streaky scorers, and Dwyer has never been any different.

55′ — Martinez rises above to head ATL level — Chris McCann’s cross begs to be headed into the back of the net, and Martinez duly obliges.

58′ — Larin heads home Dwyer’s cross to restore the lead — Scorer turns assister, as Dwyer floats the ball to the back post for Larin.

69′ — Martinez slots home at the near post for 3-3 — Martinez explodes into the space as he races to get onto the end of Hector Villalba’s cross. Terrible recognition on the defense’s part, and brilliant movement by Martinez.

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Man of the match: Josef Martinez

Goalscorers: Dwyer (10′, 39′), Martinez (36′, 55′, 69′), Larin (58′)

Orlando’s Johnson arrested for domestic battery, suspended by MLS

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Canadian national teamer and Orlando City SC midfielder Will Johnson has been arrested and charged with domestic abuse after an incident with his wife very early Wednesday morning.

Major League Soccer has suspended Johnson, and both the league and club released statements both backing the investigation and suspension.

[ MORE: Match fixing forces WCQ replay ]

Johnson, 30, is in his first season with the Lions after stops with Toronto FC, Portland Timbers, Real Salt Lake, Chicago Fire, Heerenveen, and De Graafschap.

According to The Orlando Sentinel’s Alicia DelGallo:

In a verbal and sworn written statement, Childs Johnson said the couple of nearly five years is going through a divorce. During a verbal argument Tuesday, Johnson tackled his wife, according to the statement, “wrapping both of his arms completely around her waist.”

Childs Johnson fell to the ground and hit the right side of her head on the brick patio. She also scraped her right knee, left hand and right arm. Her mother was present for the incident and the deputy said she corroborated the story. The children were not present for the incident, according to the report.

The report says Childs Johnson doesn’t plan on pressing charges against Johnson, but is willing to testify in court.

MLS: FCD, ORL ride long winless skids; VAN, CLB get big wins

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Columbus Crew SC 2-1 FC Dallas

The game in 100 words (or less): It’s panic-button time in Dallas, after Oscar Pareja’s side fell to six games without a victory (four losses) on Saturday, falling 2-1 in Columbus. Ola Kamara and Jonathan Mensah got the goals for Gregg Berhalter’s side; Walker Zimmerman grabbed the late consolation tally for FCD, who have been outscored by a total of 14-5 in those six games. The defending Supporters’ Shield winners, who currently sit sixth in the Western Conference, will find themselves outside the playoff places at the end of weekend if the San Jose Earthquakes defeat the LA Galaxy on Sunday. Columbus, thanks to the victory, move up two places to third in the Eastern Conference.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s MLS roundup — TFC dominant; wild Texas derby ]

Three moments that mattered

50′ — Kamara finishes Jimenez’s cross for 1-0 — Federico Higuain got the ball wide to Hector Jimenez, who played the simple cross into the box, and Kamara managed to keep his feet just long enough to open the scoring.

71′ — Mensah heads Higuain’s free kick for 2-0 — There was a time, not so long ago, when FCD were one of MLS’s two best defensive sides. At this point, it seems long, long ago.

78′ — Zimmerman rises above, and it’s 2-1 — Columbus, unlike their Saturday’s counterparts, have rarely been good defensively, especially against set pieces.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Federico Higuain

Goalscorers: Kamara (50′), Mensah (71′), Zimmerman (78′)


Orlando City SC 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps

The game in 100 words (or less): Let’s take a quick second to check in on Orlando City’s highest-paid player, and one of the highest-profile names in MLS history.

Well, that seems far from ideal. Saturday’s home defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps was the latest puzzling result in a thoroughly disappointing season for Jason Kreis’ side, who are now seven games without a win (five losses) and currently sit six points adrift of the sixth and final playoff place in the East. Orlando out-possessed Vancouver, 73-27; out-shot Vancouver, 25-7 (4-3 on target); crossed the ball a mind-numbing 48 times; and came within inches of an equalizing goal what felt like a dozen times altogether. Vancouver, meanwhile, vault all the way up to fourth in the West, past FCD and the Houston Dynamo, now five points clear of the playoff cut line.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s MLS roundup — TFC dominant; wild Texas derby ]

Three moments that mattered

9′ — Redding heads it into his own net — Tommy Redding could do little more than get his head to the ball as the free kick sailed into the box. Joe Bendik could do nothing to bail him out.

53′ — Shea lifts it over Bendik for 2-0 — Cheeky finish by Brek Shea, against his former club.

62′ — Larin heads home for a lifeline — In theory, having a skilled striker the size of Cyle Larin should always be this easy. In reality, not every cross is as perfect as this one from Yoshimar Yotun.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Marcel de Jong

Goalscorers: Redding (9′ – OG), Shea (53′), Larin (62′)

MLS Snapshot: Piatti brace lifts Impact | Crew, Orlando City draw

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The game in 100 words (or less): The Montreal Impact have proven to be a second-half of the season team the last several years, and that form appears to be holding true once more. Mauro Biello’s side won its fourth straight match on Saturday, while Ignacio Piatti continues to show he’s one of the most deadly scorers in the league. Meanwhile, RSL’s six-match unbeaten run is snapped north of the border, leaving the Western Conference side three points out of sixth place.

Three four moments that mattered

11′ — Piatti nets his first of the night — The Impact made this attack look so easy, and Ignacio Piatti simply won’t miss a chance like this one.

26′ — Evan Bush left motionless as RSL equalize — Luis Silva took matters into his own hands, and boy did he connect with this effort!

29′ — Impact punish poor RSL defense — Guess who? Piatti has his second of the evening.

47′ — Hosts begin to pile it on — Anthony Jackson-Hamel played provider in the first two goals, so it’s only fair he got one of his own.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Ignacio Piatti

Goalscorers: Ignacio Piatti (11′, 29′), Luis Silva (26′), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (47′)


The game in 100 words (or less): Orlando City and the Crew settled for a point apiece on Saturday night, but for the former the club is running out of opportunities to pick up points in the playoff race. Giles Barnes pulled a goal back for the hosts after Lalas Abubakar netted his first MLS goal for the Crew, but Orlando couldn’t find a second. The Lions played up a man for the final 13 minutes, following Harrison Afful’s dismissal.

Three moments that mattered

35′ — Abubakar knocks in first MLS goal — Orlando City’s defensive woes are certainly notable as well, but for Lalas Abubakar this is a quality way to open his scoring account in MLS.

67′ — Barnes knots it up at 1-1 — The veteran MLS forward picked up his second goal of the season.

77′ — VAR used for red card decision — The video monitor came into play briefly in the second half, and Harrison Afful was sent off the pitch early after the referee viewed the defender’s elbow to the head of Yoshi Yotun.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Zack Steffen

Goalscorers: Lalas Abubakar (35′), Giles Barnes (67′)

MLS: Fire’s road woes continue; Red Bulls rally to beat Orlando

Photo credit: @NewYorkRedBulls / Twitter
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) Justin Meram scored in the 73rd minute to help the Columbus Crew beat the Chicago Fire 3-1 on Saturday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Meram, with the outside of his right foot, tapped home a cross by Waylon Francis to give Columbus (11-12-2) its first lead. Wil Trapp perfectly placed a long, arcing pass down the left side to Francis, who fed Meram at the top of the 6-yard box for the finish.

Michael de Leeuw gave the Fire a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute, but Kekuta Manneh chipped a loose ball over the sliding Matt Lampson to tie it in the 18th. Ola Kamara capped the scoring in the 88th minute, converting from the spot after drawing a penalty on Lampson, who came well off his line to challenge Kamara on a breakaway.

Chicago (12-6-5) has lost three of its last four after an 11-match unbeaten streak.


HARRISON, N.J. (AP) Sean Davis assisted on the go-ahead goal and added an insurance goal in the 80th minute to lift the New York Red Bulls to a contentious 3-1 win over Orlando City on Saturday night.

There were four yellow cards and Orlando’s Kaka was given a red card in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Davis set up the go-ahead goal in the 60th minute, slotting the ball forward to Alex Muyl with Bradley Wright-Phillips beating goalkeeper Joe Bendik to the spot on the centering pass for the redirect and his 14th goal. Davis then took a throw-in from Kemar Lawrence, tapped it to his right and curled perfect shot from distance in the 80th minute.

Carlos Rivas, with an assist from Kaka, put Orlando up 1-0 with his fifth goal in the 18th minute but an own goal by Leo Pereira leveled the game in the 30th minute.

The Red Bull (12-9-2) have scored 12 goals and allowed just two in their last three home games after a slow start. Orlando City (8-10-6) has won only twice in its last 17 games.