Orlando City set to host Pittsburgh Riverhounds in first round of playoffs


Photo Credit: Ty Wright

Following Saturday’s 10,215 supporters, Orlando City SC raised the season attendance average to 8,053, making it their highest in club history.

Resting many key players, Orlando City SC managed to just pull out a win Saturday night, defeating the Charlotte Eagles 1-0, in front of 10,215 fans to close out the regular season at the Fifth Third Bank Field at the Citrus Bowl,

The Lions clinched the No. 2 seed in postseason with their loss to the Richmond Kickers on Wednesday, making their season finale game virtually meaningless, at least in regard to the standings.

Orlando City (16-4-6, 54 Points) will host the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (10-8-8, 38 points), who finished with the No. 7 seed, Saturday, Aug. 24 in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. Orlando City finished the regular season 0-1-1 against Pittsburgh, being held scoreless in both games.

“I think the most important thing is that we won the game tonight,” stated Lions head coach Adrian Heath, who decided not to have players Kevin Molino, Luke Boden and Rob Valentino suit up. “We were able to rest them and still get the victory. Was it perfect- no, but it was enough.”

Following a furious amount of saves from Charlotte’s goalkeeper- Alonso Jimenez, in the 50th minute of play, Freddie Braun was able to find the net after rebounding a missed shot from teammate Adama Mbengue, scoring the only goal of the game.

The Lions made great use out of their reserves, pulling players early so that no one got to fatigued. Backup goalkeeper, Sean Kelly, kept the scoresheet clean in the second half, replacing Miguel Galladora- giving Orlando City their eight shutout of the season.

Despite being outshot 27-6, Charlotte possessed many chances to tie the game– in the 86th minute of play the Eagles watched their final opportunity of an equalizer diminish when midfielder Sergio Villasenor shot bounced off the far right post.

Playoffs are knockout-format– if Orlando City was to advance to the semifinals, they would host the winner of the No. 4 Harrisburg and No. 5 Charlotte matchup on Friday, Aug. 30.

“I don’t think the mentality anything different, we just know that our next goal is to win the championship,” stated Braun. “We have all the confidence in the world, we know that we are the best and we are going to keep that mentality and take it into the playoffs.”

Tickets are available for Saturday night’s quarterfinal by calling (855) ORL-CITY or by visiting http://www.orlandocitysoccer.com/. For more information on the upcoming playoffs and more, please visit Orlando City’s official website of follow the team on Twitter.