USL PRO Game Report
Saturday, September 6, 2014
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – In its final USL PRO Regular Season match, Orlando City SC defeated the Richmond Kickers 1-0 at ESPN Wide World of Sports (WWoS) on Saturday night. The Lions set a USL PRO regular season record for wins with 19 this season.
After the match, USL PRO officials awarded Orlando City its third Regular Season Trophy in four seasons, capping off another successful regular season campaign for the Lions. Midfielder Kevin Molino scored the lone goal of the game, notching his 20th league goal in 2014, also a USL PRO record.
“It’s been a great year at home," Orlando Head Coach Adrian Heath said. "I’ve been in this game long enough now to know that winning as much as we have isn’t easy to do. It takes a lot of determination, desire and drive, and we’ve done that now for the last three or four years so I’m really pleased. I’m also very proud of the players tonight. It’s been a good night for us against a very experienced team.”
Molino tallied the lone goal in the 22nd minute with a spectacular header for the Lions. The Trinidadian ran onto a well-placed ball into to the box from Luke Boden, performing a no-look flick past Richmond goalkeeper Ryan Taylor to give City a 1-0 advantage.
“He’s demonstrated that he’s more than capable of moving to the next level,” said Heath of Molino’s performance. “I honestly think that he’s one of the most talented footballers in America, whichever division you’re talking about. This has been a huge break-out season for him and I’m really excited for him.”
Orlando maintained the bulk of possession in the first half as it applied pressure throughout. In the 30th minute, Molino played a piercing ball behind the Kickers’ defense to Brian Span, but his effort was saved for a corner by Taylor.
Orlando’s momentum carried into the second half as the Lions created several chances to add another goal. In the 54th minute, good build-up play from the Lions allowed Boden to get in behind his marker deep inside the penalty area, and he sent a dangerous ball across the six-yard box. Several City players were lurking nearby but the Richmond defense was able to clear it away.
Two minutes later, Molino delivered a wonderful through-ball that led to a one-on-one opportunity for Giuseppe Gentile. The former Chicago Fire striker had a clear chance on goal, but Taylor came charging off his line to prevent a second goal.
With the number of chances increasing, Orlando’s confidence to go forward grew, displaying crafty one-touch passing in the final third. The possession-oriented style of play yielded additional scoring opportunities late in the match, including Corey Hertzog’s effort that went just wide of the target.
Molino’s game-winner was all that was needed for the Lions to notch a record 19th win to close out their USL PRO regular season campaign.