Oviedo native Tommy Redding makes MLS debut as Orlando City play to scoreless draw


Samuel Edwards / Valencia Voice

Cyle Larin remains tied for the MLS rookie goal record with 11 after Orlando City played to a scoreless draw against Philadelphia.

ORLANDO — Tommy Redding made his Major League Soccer debut becoming the youngest Orlando City SC to play in a game as the Lions earned a point with a scoreless draw against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday at the Citrus Bowl.

Tally Hall recorded his fourth clean sheet of the season and finished the game with four saves including a couple of big stops against Sebastien Le Toux in both the first and second half.

“He’s a quality goalie,” said Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath about his veteran goalkeeper. “The best goalies makes saves when you need it.”

Both teams went the locker rooms scoreless at halftime despite Orlando having outshot Philadelphia 3-2 during the opening 45 minutes. The Lions had his best opportunity of the first half in the 30th minute when Cyle Larin got a look at goal but sent the shot right at the goalkeeper.

Redding made his MLS debut for Orlando City when he came in as a substitute for fellow rookie Connor Donovan in the 14th minute after Donovan went down with a left knee injury.

The 18-year-old became the youngest player in Orlando City franchise history to play in an MLS game with his debut on Saturday.

“I thought Tommy Redding did smashing when he came on,” said Heath about the teenagers debut. “I thought he was very composed.”

Multiple other players praised Redding’s play on Saturday including Hall, veteran defender Aurelien Collin and Kaka, who said that he expects Redding to be a important part of the defense moving forward.

Donovan is set to undergo an MRI during the next few days, but Heath said following the game that things didn’t look good for the young defender. Orlando City are also currently without center back Seb Hines, who is out with a knee injury as well, which means Redding could see himself staying in Orlando despite a recent loan to the Wilmington Hammerheads.

Recently signed defender David Mateos arrived in Orlando on Saturday and is expected to start training with the team on Monday in preparation for Saturday’s game against Seattle.

Orlando City was playing their third game in seven days and fatigue could be seen late in the game, especially in the defense. Following the game Heath and multiple players admitted that playing three games in one week finally got to them on Saturday.

The draw brings Orlando City’s record to 7-10-7 with 28 points, putting them in a tie with Montreal for sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Orlando’s next game will be on the road against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, August 16 with kickoff time schedules for 5 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on ESPN2 and feature a matchup of U.S. Men’s National player Clint Dempsey against Orlando captain Kaka.

“Every game’s going to be important now,” said Heath about the final stretch of the season.