Ricardo Kaka

MLS Snapshot: San Jose Earthquakes 1-1 Orlando City SC

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One game in 100 words: Orlando City SC procuring a draw in this one was the best case scenario when Brek Shea was sent off due to a red card early in the second half. Down to 10 men, Orlando snagged a goal and following the game-tier, played the rest of the match relying on compact defense to block the shooting lanes of San Jose. The Lions were outplayed for much of the first half but held the majority of possession in the end and made the needed adjustments to walk away with one point. In the Eastern Conference’s sixth place, Orlando currently has 13 points. San Jose is situated at fourth place in the West.

 

Goals

San Jose: Chris Wondolowski 68′ (PK)

Orlando: Kaka 64′ (PK)

 

64’ — Kaka cool on the PK — Orlando City goalkeeper Tally Hall smacked a long ball for midfielder Darwin Ceren, who ended up colliding with Earthquakes netminder David Bingham, which action in the box compelled the referee to call a penalty kick in favor of the Lions. And who else would step up a covert the opportunity than Kaka. The former AC Milan star had no trouble executing, firing in the PK with ease.

68’ — Wondolowski matches — For his 100th career MLS goal, a major milestone for any San Jose Earthquakes forward Chris Wondolowski readied himself at the spot for the penalty kick and buried it with confidence in the lower left-hand corner, sending Hall the opposite way. Off a corner kick, San Jose defender Jordan Stewart tracked the ball on the far side of the box and held firm, drawing the penalty when Ceren made contract with him.

90’ +2’ — Should Salinas have taken the contact? — San Jose appeared a bit weary toward the end of this contest, and there were a couple decisive occasions that could’ve altered the game. In this setting, Shea Salinas could’ve created an almost unstoppable goal by merely succumbing to the pushing of forward Martin Paterson in a 1-on-1 duel in the box. This sequence brings up the diving debate. When is it satisfactory to absorb contact and fall?

 

Lineups

San Jose: Sanna Nyassi (Cordell Cato 71′), Adam Jahn (Khari Stephenson 68′), Shea Salinas; David Bingham; Marvell Wynne, Victor Bernardez, Clarence Goodson, Jordan Stewart, Chris Wondolowski, Fatai Alashe, Matias Perez Garcia

Orlando: Cyle Larin (Martin Paterson 84′); Tally Hall, Rafael Ramos, Seb Hines, Sean St. Ledger, Luke Boden; Cristian Higuita, Darwin Ceren, Eric Avila (Amobi Okugo 87′), Kaka, Brek Shea

Orlando City SC 1-1 New York City FC: Wild finish as Kaka nets late equalizer

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One game in 100 words (or less): Orlando City SC had this game at their fingertips as they had managed possession very well. But their inability to create scoring sequences and net the deciding goal allowed New York City the chance to capture the 1-0 lead in the second half. Orlando managed to luckily draw level in stoppage time and escape out with a point regardless. Both Kaka and David Villa had notable impacts, while overall, the match showed a more sustained effort from the home team. New York remained alert to capitalize on their positive moments, though.

Goals

Orlando: Ricardo Kaka 90’ + 1’

NYC: Mix Diskerud 76’

Three moments that mattered:

1. Kaka’s free-kick deflection for the draw— Nearly all hope would have been lost for Orlando, but this historic MLS fixture wouldn’t end on a typical note. Time was running out. Kaka stepped up to take a free kick opportunity and rocketed his strike off Jeb Brovsky’s chest. Somehow, the powerful endeavor dribbled into the back of the net after the ricochet, and goalie Josh Saunders had little time to react.

2. Mix drills curler — For NYCFC, two of its signings from European clubs, David Villa and Mix Diskerud, combined to grab the first goal of the match in the 76th minute. Moving inside from the left, Villa edged into the penalty box and then flicked a short pass to the USMNT regular, who whipped in a low curling shot that fizzed by goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. This was a very opportunistic goal from NYC, and it completely stunned the crowd at the Citrus Bowl.

3. Collin sent off — The final fifteen minutes of play had clearly swung in New York’s favor, especially after Aurelien Collin was given the red card for his aggressive challenge on Villa near the center of the pitch. The call was not very disputable, as the Frenchman slid hard with his studs in the air. Down to ten men, Orlando was forced to stay firm for the match’s remainder with one less defender.

Lineups

Orlando: Donovan Ricketts; Rafael Ramos, Aurelien Collin, Seb Hines, Brek Shea; Amobi Okugo, Crisitan Higuita, Kevin Molino, Kaka, Lewis Neal (Bryan Rochez 80’); Carlos Rivas (Sean St. Ledger 90’+3’)

NYC: Josh Saunders; Josh Williams, Josh Hernandez, Chris Wingert, Jeb Brovsky; Mehdi Ballouchy (Khiry Shelton 62’), Andrew Jacobson, Mix Diskerud (Sebastian Velasquez 88’), Ned Grabavoy; David Villa, Adam Nemec (Javier Calle 89’)

Kaka calls MLS debut in Orlando one of his career’s ‘special moments’

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Some have claimed that Orlando City SC attacking midfielder Ricardo Kaka journeyed to America on the decline of his career.

Granted, it’s certainly not his professional soccer pinnacle when he won the Ballon d’Or in 2007, or in 2009, when Real Madrid bought him for the second-highest transfer fee all-time–roughly $70.48 million (€65 million).

Kaka saw his latest stint, a return to Serie A side Milan, flame out in a year, but his performances still presented that skillful creativity that everyone admired years ago.

And, supported by his captain status in Orlando, his experience and leadership capabilities are nearly unparalleled across the league.

[RELATED: Orlando City SC season preview]

The massive hype surrounding Orlando’s opener against David Villa and New York City FC will most definitely put the 32-year-old in the spotlight, and he’s prepared for it.

“I’m very excited and looking forward to playing on Sunday because I have had very special moments in my career and I think Sunday will be one of these,” Kaka told reporters, per Goal.com.

“It’s the first game of the league, so it will be an amazing day for me.”

Kaka will be joined by a host of MLS veterans including former Sporting KC defender Aurilien Collien, a two-time MLS All-Star and strong point in SKC’s back line for several years, and Brek Shea, the ex-FC Dallas man eyeing USMNT action after a unsuccessful spell at Stoke City.

The stage for a great MLS season is set, and even City head coach Adrian Heath is feeding the positivity. Heath is no stranger to soccer over the Atlantic and believes MLS can live up to the greatest expectations.

“It’s no different than being anywhere in Europe,” he said. “That’s the biggest compliment I can pay this place.

“I’ve played all over the world in some of the biggest stadiums and this will be equal to what I’ve witnessed before.”

Orlando will encounter worthy competition in the East, and that’s why all of ProSoccerTalk’s writers, expect me, have chosen against the Heath’s side making the playoffs.

MLS revives interest in signing AS Roma defender Ashley Cole

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A report from the Daily Mail has detailed that AS Roma defender and former Chelsea standout Ashley Cole is primed for a move to MLS in January.

The teams seeking his signature appear to be new franchise Orlando City FC, which has signed well-known Brazilian forward Ricardo Kaka as a Designated Player, and the New York Red Bulls, who could part ways with one of their notable players, Arsenal great Thierry Henry, at season’s end.

Cole hasn’t impressed at Roma this year, and most recently, he was substituted at the half of his squad’s 7-1 Champions League loss against Bayern Munich.

Earlier this year, the defender called MLS an ‘easy’ ride after dismissing offers to exit to America in the midst of the summer transfer window.

After all, even if MLS wants to ink a deal with the defender, Cole will have to agree to it, and as far as an exciting player to add to Major League Soccer’s reputation, the Englishman doesn’t bring that element, though he once was one of the best defenders in the world.