The game in 100 words (or less): Orlando City SC still have a lot to learn 10 games into their inaugural MLS season. On Wednesday night, they attempted to go toe to toe with D.C. United, the reigning top seed of the Eastern Conference, and — bless their little hearts — they learned a valuable lesson. The Lions took an early lead (11th minute), and rather than try to maintain their rare lead, pressed for a second goal through an ill-advised wide attack. The fullbacks were too far up the field to defend United’s counter attacks and 1-0 became 1-2 over the next 68 minutes, slowly but ever so surely.
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Three moments that mattered
11′ — Larin hammers home a loose ball — The scrum at the top of United’s penalty area looked a lot like that of a rugby match. Somehow, the ball fell to the feet of rookie Cyle Larin, and the Canadian rifled his shot past Bill Hamid.
70′ — Opare loops a header over Ricketts — As far as looping headers go, they don’t get much better than Kofi Opare’s 70th-minute equalizer. Taylor Kemp provided the ball into the box and Opare skied to get his head to it and send it inside Donovan Ricketts’ far post.
79′ — Rolfe finishes a brilliant United move — Jairo Arrieta provided the cross to the top of the six-yard box, where Chris Rolfe was waiting and applied the delicate side-volleyed finish through the outstretched hand of Ricketts. Davy Arnaud’s outside-of-the-foot ball sprang Arrieta and made the entire play possible.
Man of the match: Taylor Kemp — Assisted on United’s equalizer and put in a steady, if unspectacular, shift at left back (5 interceptions, 4 clearances and 1 tackle won).
D.C. United: Hamid, Kemp, Opare, Boswell, Franklin, Farfan (Aguilar 66′), Arnaud, Kitchen, DeLeon (Arrieta 77′), Pontius, Silva (Rolfe 54′)
Goals: Opare (70′)
Orlando City SC: Ricketts, Boden, St Ledger, Collin (Turner 67′), Ramos, Heath, Ceren, Shea, Kaka, Avila (Rivas 81′), Larin (Rochez 77′)
Goals: Larin (11′)