Orlando City News Release -- www.orlandocitysoccer.com
Saturday, March 2, 2013
SANFORD, Fla. — Two first-half goals were all Orlando City SC needed to defeat the Florida International University Panthers at the Seminole Soccer Complex Saturday afternoon, with the Lions going on to win 3-0 in their first collegiate friendly of 2013. U23s player and trialist Nico Russo added the second-half score for Orlando, who now set their sights on Saturday and the inaugural I-4 Derby against the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
“I thought we played some really good pockets of play and scored decent goals,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We’re doing okay, it’s about getting combination football and get a shape of the team. It’s mainly to get everybody fit and well away in Arizona.”
The Lions got off to an early lead after a mismanaged save from FIU goalkeeper Daniel Mion led to midfielder Jamie Watson burying the loose ball in the ninth minute. Orlando would go on to see several missed chances, especially when a corner in the 35th minute almost led to two-goal deficit for the Panthers.
Lions goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo would make his first of five saves of the game when FIU Forward Quentin Albrecht blasted a shot outside the 18-yard-line moments later, only for Gallardo to tuck the ball.
Despite the first half being mostly physical, Justin Clark would put the Lions up 2-0 right at the halftime mark when FIU's defense failed to clear the ball off an Orlando set piece, with the former Rollins product tapping the ball into the net.
FIU’s only scoring chance in the second half came in the 55th minute when midfielder James O’Connor brought down Nico Middtun in the penalty area, only for the young Panther to miss the penalty kick when his shot went past the right post.
Orlando continues the 2013 season with the inaugural “I-4 Derby” on Saturday, March 9, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl against the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale for the match by call 855-ORL-CITY or by visiting Orlandocitysoccer.com.