Our Top 5 All Time Orlando City Goals in MLS
Updated: Jun 1
Following on from comments made by MLS commissioner Don Garber this week, which seem to outline what we all probably knew already, we may be without soccer for some time to come. MLS will likely not be returning in mid-May and may not even return in its usual format. That being said, we here at The English Lion firmly believe that Orlando City SC is fortunate enough to be sitting on an absolute treasure trove of unforgettable moments, that we can all merrily reminisce about until the beautiful game finally returns to the City Beautiful. So here are our top 5 Orlando City Goals (in no particular order) in MLS, along with some honourable mentions:
1. Johnson @ Montréal, 2019
'Alexa, show me the perfect team goal'. Whilst this list may be in no particular order, it's reasonable to expect most fans would have this goal at the top of their lists. And I think Alexa would be inclined to agree. This was the perfect team goal, and probably capped the finest first 45 minutes of soccer in this club's MLS history. It was a merciless demolition. A series of one and two touch passes between Mendez, Moutinho, Mueller and Nani down Orlando's left eventually leads to Moutinho swinging in a dangerous cross which is met by a thumping header from Wild Man will.
2. Brek Shea v Portland, 2016
This memorable strike from former Stoke City winger Shea came in a 4-1 rout over the Portland Timbers, and is as much about intelligent interplay as it is about striking the ball well. Shea scampers down the left hand side chasing a neat through ball from Kaká. He almost loses his footing, but recovers to gently dink a ball back into the Brazilian superstar on the edge of the box. Kaká, with one touch, then pops the ball back off to Shea at the perfect height. The former FC Dallas winger then let's fly with an unstoppable half volley which beats the keeper all ends up.
3. Dom Dwyer v Portland in 2018
The striker has been much maligned over recent times, but this effort was peak Dom. He chased a dinked ball down the right hand side and into the penalty area. He slips, almost losing his footing all together, before recovering and cleverly pivoting the ball back onto his right foot and then lashes the ball past the goalkeeper. The goal capped a remarkable come back as City came back from 2-0 down to take the game 3-2.
4. Kaká @ Atlanta in 2017.
What can we say about this one? Just Kaká doing Kaká things. A long ball from a goal kick is excellently controlled by Cyle Larin. The Canadian then lays the ball off to the Brazilian who hits a beautiful, swirling first time drive into the top corner. The goal silenced the native plastics in their own... I was going to say stadium, but this game took place at Bobby Dodd stadium. Which, much like the Mercedes Benz stadium doesn't belong to them. Just had to throw that in there.
5. Higuita @ Colorado, 2018.
It's entirely possible that the loudest cheer for this goal game from a pub just down from Kings Cross station in Central London. I had gathered with the rest Orlando City UK (@Orlando_CityUK on Twitter) to see Cristian Higuita arrow a shot into the top corner and haul the Lions level. In a game they eventually went on to take 2-1. A personal favourite of mine.
Orlando City UK gathers for a watch party in central London for OC's trip to Colorado in 2018, that's me back row-far left.
* Photo credit Orlando City UK
Nani vs New England in 2019
Another personal favourite of mine, a game I was fortunate enough to bare witness to from the Wall. This strike is ingenuity and calmness personified. Nani controls the ball on the edge of the box, twisting and turning before firing a left footed shot into the net. One to watch over and over again.
Kaka @ Real Salt Lake in 2015
As I alluded to earlier with Will Johnson's goal at the Impact, I do love a team goal. Individual brilliance is all well and good, but there is something poetic about seeing good players link up and play great soccer. Neat interplay between Ribeiro and Avila leads to the Brazilian legend advancing 1 v 1 with the keeper before coolly slotting the ball home.
Adrian Winter vs Real Salt Lake in 2016
One of the more memorable Orlando City goals. The Lions recovered from a 0-2 deficit to claw the game back for a draw in injury time. A route one ball over the top is not dealt with by the RSL defenders. Fan favourite Winter sees his opportunity and shows great determination to get there first and apply the finish. Queue absolute limbs inside Camping World Stadium.
Nani vs LAFC in 2016
You know that moment, when you're playing FIFA and you send your keeper out in a 1 v 1 just a moment too soon? Well, this. This is what happens. Nani brings Orlando back level straight from the off, after the visitors nicked an early lead. L1 + square. Goal.
Cyle Larin @ Portland
Scoot along to number 2 for this instinctive finish (but also enjoy the rest of his top 5). This is an instinctive finish of the highest order. The cross is whipped in at an awkward heigh, and Larin adjusts his body quickly to flick his chest at the ball and divert it past the keeper. Proper poachers goal.
Well that's it for another quarantine countdown. Let us know what you think of our selections via the usual channels, and let us know if you think we night have missed anything. Stay safe 💜