Led by a first-half hat trick by Forward Dom Dwyer, Orlando City (5-1-1, 16 points) dominated visiting Antigua Barracuda FC (0-5-0, 0 points) 7-2 Saturday night at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. 6,580 fans witnessed the Lions secure the largest margin of victory in USL PRO play in franchise history, remaining unbeaten at home in four games played at the Citrus Bowl.
“I was pleased with our attacking play and movement in the first half,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We had some sloppy second half play and we’ll fix a couple things as we get ready for the next week.“
It didn’t take long for Orlando to strike, with an opening-minute attack resulting in a score for the Lions. After an Orlando corner attempt, the ball bounced between the teams before finding Midfielder Jamie Watson. Watson whipped his attempt into the box, finding Dwyer for the 1-0 lead. The Sporting Kansas City loanee headed in the pass into the back of the net, giving the striker his league-leading sixth goal of the 2013 season.
Just three minutes later, Dennis Chin got behind the Antigua backline, rounding Goalkeeper Molvin James while luring the defense away from the center of the Antigua 18 yard box. Midfielder Anthony Pulis patiently waited for the feed, slotting his attempt into the net for his first goal of the season and the 2-0 lead.
The scoring kept coming for Orlando, with Watson perfectly leading Chin in the 12th minute. The 2012 USL PRO Scoring Champion, Dennis Chin, was in stride behind the Antigua defense. Chin, who was making his second start of the season, easily beat James for the third goal of the night and his second of the season.
Dwyer again found the back of the net in the 17th minute, capitalizing off of an Antigua turnover for his second of the night. His third would come in the closing minutes of the first half, with Luke Boden’s corner finding the Cuckfield, England, native’s whipping header, completing his opening-half hat trick.
Two more goals were scored in the second half by Orlando, including an own goal by Antigua in the 49th minute and a Rob Valentino header in the 54th for the 7-0 lead. Two late scores by Antigua put them on the scoresheet, but it was too little, too late as the Lions completed the 7-2 victory.
Coming off the win, Orlando travels to face the Seattle Sounders Reserves (Major League Soccer) on Sunday, May 12, in the first reserve-league match for the Lions in the 2013 season. The game will be played at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. EST. The game will count in both team’s respective league tables, as per an agreement made between MLS and USL PRO announced in the offseason.