The game in 100 words (or less): Orlando City SC’s recent struggles continued on Saturday — as did the good fortune of the New York Red Bulls — as the Lions fell to a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of the Red Bulls. Sacha Kljestan scored the game’s opening goal, a stunning strike from nearly 25 yards out (video below), to give Jesse Marsch’s side its fourth victory in five games and reclaim second place in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, OCSC slip to sixth place in the East with their latest defeat (second straight) and the New England Revolution’s 1-0 victory over New York City FC. Cyle Larin was shown a controversial red card (video below) 10 minutes after going a goal down, doubling the troubles for Adrian Heath’s side. Despite out-shooting the visitors by a total of 14 to 10, the Red Bulls’ man advantage proved too much to overcome.
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Three moments that mattered
21′ — Kljestan unleashes a bomb to make it 1-0 — Kljestan has to be one of the most well-rounded midfielders in the US national team’s player pool — strong defensively after five years as a defensive midfielder in Belgium, and always capable of creating and scoring goals in the attacking half of the field. This blast from nearly 25 yards out will likely win a few Goal of the Week votes.
32′ — Larin goes in studs up, sees red — Here’s the thing about fouls and cards: you don’t have to actually make contact for the referee to whistle you for an infraction. If you go in studs up, shin-high, recklessly and completely miss the ball, you’re still endangering the safety of an opponent, which can carry a sentence up to a red card.
90+1′ — Grella takes it himself, provides the insurance — Mike Grella weaved his way through the heart of the (thoroughly exhausted) Orlando City midfield and past the defense to double the lead and secure all three points with two minutes of stoppage time left to be played.
Man of the match: Sacha Kljestan — Not only scored what would eventually go down as the game-winning goal, but his…embellishment skills, we’ll call them…played a big part in Larin seeing red rather than yellow or nothing at all.
Orlando City SC: Hall, Ashe (Ribeiro 88′), St Ledger, Collin, Ramos, Higuita, Ceren, Rivas, Kaka, Neal (Rochez 77′), Larin
New York Red Bulls: Robles, Wallace, Perrinelle, Miazga, Lade, Felipe, McCarty, Grella, Kljestan (Ouimette 81′), Sam (Abang 58′), Wright-Phillips (Zizzo 70′)
Goals: Kljestan (21′), Grella (90+1′)