Orlando City SC (9-1-2, 29 points) topped the visiting Phoenix FC Wolves (2-8-3, 9 points) 2-0 Friday night at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl behind first half goals by Jamie Watson and Dom Dwyer. Dwyer’s goal in the 31st minute moved him to 14 goals on the season, breaking the previous USL PRO scoring record of 13 held by Jhonny Arteaga of FC New York in 2011.
“We started a little slow but when I look at the full body of work I was pleased with the result tonight,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We had to be honest with our play against a strong Phoenix side tonight, but I’m happy with the result. “
Orlando began on the offensive early, with attacks by Wingers Luke Boden and Bryan Burke creating multiple opportunities for the Lions by curling attempts into the box. The midfield of Orlando, which consisted of veterans James O’Connor and Anthony Pulis, kept the possession-oriented style of play alive- holding onto control while Phoenix kept up a defensive front throughout the first 45 minutes.
The Lions broke through the Wolves’ backline in the 27th minute, with Forward Long Tan bullying his way through the defense and into the box. Phoenix Defender De Jesus Wacio took down the striker inside the 18-yard mark, awarding Orlando the penalty kick. Midfielder Jamie Watson calmly converted the attempt in the bottom left corner, giving the Lions the 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long after for Orlando to strike again, with Dom Dwyer’s goal in the 31st giving the Lions a 2-0 advantage. The Sporting Kansas City loanee dribbled across the box just minutes after the first goal, finding an open area for his 14th of the season- a USL PRO single-season scoring record.
Orlando continued their strong rate of play in the second half, not allowing Phoenix to break through for any chances. The attack continued by Dwyer and company, and though Orlando didn’t score a goal- the 2-0 scoreline held to take the three points and victory.