Orlando City downs Phoenix while Dwyer breaks record

ORLANDO — Dom Dwyer set a new USL Pro record for goals in a single season while also helping Orlando City SC defeat Phoenix FC 2-0 on Friday, June 7 in front of 7,466 fans at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl.

“This is the pros so obviously it’s the best achievement that I’ve done,” said Dwyer about his new USL Pro single season scoring record. “To set records is always good but I’m just getting started.”

Orlando City hadn’t played a game in USL Pro play in nearly two weeks but Jamie Watson got them on the scoreboard midway through the first half, giving City a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute by putting away a penalty kick after Long Tan was taken down inside the box by a Phoenix defender.

Dwyer then extended Orlando’s lead to 2-0 with his USL Pro record setting 14th goal of the season in the 31st minute when he took a strike from just inside the 18-yard box that went past the Phoenix goalkeeper and reached the back of the net. The goal was Dwyer’s 14th of the season, putting him all alone atop of the USL Pro record books for most goals in a season.

“He knows how important he is to the team and he’s thriving on that.” said Orlando City manager Adrian Heath about his lead scorer. “Obviously the fact that he knows he’s important makes his confidence feel better and all around he’s contributing.”

The previous USL Pro record was 13 goals in a season, set by Jhonny Artega back in 2011. It is worth noting that it took Artega 21 games to score his 13 goals, four of which were scored in his final game of the season, while Dwyer scored his record setting 14 goals in just 12 games.

“It’s nice to break a record,” said Dwyer after the game. “But at the end of the day it’s another three points and there’s a lot more to go, it’s a longer season and I want a lot more goals than this.”

City went into the locker room at halftime leading 2-0 while outshooting Phoenix 7-2 during the opening 45 minutes.

Orlando went on to play a scoreless second half to hold on to the 2-0 victory. Phoenix only managed five shots the entire game, while Orlando City finished the game with 15.

With the win Orlando City improves its record to 9-2-1, as they remain on the top of the USL Pro table with 29 points.

Orlando’s next game is Sunday, June 9 at home against the Antigua Barracuda’s. City defeated Antigua 7-2 last time the two teams met, with Dwyer scoring his first career hat-trick in the game.