Draw with Richmond keeps Orlando City undefeated

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Orlando City Lions midfielder John Rooney in action against the Richmond Kickers on April, 28, 2012.

The Orlando City Lions (3-0-1) hosted the Richmond Kickers (1-2-1) on Saturday night as the Lions picked up their first draw of the season in what ended up as a 0-0 scoreline in front of 7,899 fans at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Despite the draw, Orlando still remains unbeaten through four matches.

Richmond’s offense created multiple chances for the Kickers early on, giving highlight after highlight for Orlando City Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo. The Torreon, Mexico, native found himself on his toes throughout the first half, making four saves in the first 45 minutes. In comparison, Gallardo made just seven saves through two matches for City between the nets.  He would leave the match with a concussion during halftime.

In the 24th minute, Gallardo nearly ran out of the box to stop Richmond’s Christopher Agorsor who was streaking down the field behind City’s defense - a chance that could’ve easily tilted the match in Richmond’s way.  Agorsor’s initial shot rebounded right to him, causing Gallardo to scramble on his hands and knees.  He recovered quickly enough to snatch the ball from Agorsor’s feet and end the attack.

The Kickers continued to press on until the halftime whistle, leaving Orlando with a lot to think about at halftime. Richmond outshot Orlando by a mark of 8-3, by far the biggest margin disparity in shots since the season began. 

A club-record four substitutions were used at the start of the second half, along with a new formation that put fresh legs like Max Griffin and Dennis Chin in at the forward positions. With the change, Orlando’s play dramatically improved - as the momentum slowly started to shift in favor of the Lions. 

The Lions greatest chance to take the lead occurred in the 90th minute, when a corner from Kevin Molino fell into a crowded area in front of the Richmond goal. After multiple touches, the ball was cleared out – ending City’s chances at taking the three points and victory. 

Head Coach Adrian Heath commented on his team’s play, not offering any excuses for the one point draw. 

“Offensively we didn’t have too much life tonight. I’m disappointed that we didn’t grab the win but a draw is a draw. We can do better than this.”

Orlando City will look to continue their unbeaten streak next Saturday, May 5, against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (855) ORL-CITY or by heading to the club’s official website at orlandocitysoccer.com.