HARRISBURG, Penn. - After an early Harrisburg City Islanders (5-1-1, 16 points) score, Orlando City SC (6-1-2, 20 points) fought back to earn a 2-2 draw behind two goals from Sporting Kansas City loanee and Forward Dom Dwyer at Skyline Sports Complex in Harrisburg, Penn., Friday night. The two goals from Dwyer were his 11th and 12th of the season, setting a new franchise record for most goals in a season.
Orlando began on the attack early and often, with passes from Midfielder Kevin Molino and Defender Bryan Burke threading the needle past the Harrisburg backline- leading to multiple chances for the Lions through the first 15 minutes of play. It was, however, Harrisburg who struck first.
After a through ball found Midfielder Andy Anding, the Islander charged down the righthand side of the pitch, finding Forward Sainey Touray open in front of the Orlando goal with a cross. The striker, who led the team with four goals coming into the game, slotted the ball past Goalkeeper Miguel Gallardo for the early 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Orlando to respond, with league-leading scorer Dom Dwyer striking in the 22nd minute. After a free kick was awarded to Orlando five yards outside 18-yard box, Dwyer rocketed the attempt above the Harrisburg wall and past Goalkeeper Nicholas Noble in the upper-right corner to level the match at 1-1. The goal was his league-leading 11th of 2013, tying him for the franchise record of most goals in a season with fellow Forward Dennis Chin- who set the record in 2012.
The Cuckfield, England, native kept up his scoring pace in the second half. Winger Bryan Burke drove down inside the Harrisburg box, with Dwyer close by inside the six-yard box. After a scrum around goal, Dwyer poked in the ball past Noble for his second goal of the game, 10th in his last five matches played, to give Orlando the 2-1 advantage in the 55th minute.
After holding the lead for nearly 20 minutes, Harrisburg’s Yann Ekra compiled an individual effort to tie the match at 2-2. Ekra found his way past the Orlando City backline after getting tripped up, blasting an attempt past Gallardo to even the score at 2-2.
Both teams exchanged chances in the later part of the second half, including those created by substitute Long Tan. The Chinese forward nearly found the back of the net in the 87th net, with his turnaround attempt low enough for Noble to grab and keep out of danger.
The Lions continue their roadtrip this Saturday, May 19, against the Rochester Rhinos (1-5-1, 4 points) in New York at Sahlen’s Stadium. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:05 p.m. and will be livestreamed on USLNation.com. The Rhinos won their first match of the 2013 season last Friday with a 1-0 result in Legion Stadium against the Wilmington Hammerheads. New England Revolution (Major League Soccer) loanee Matt Horth scored the lone goal in the 79th minute for the win.
Orlando has a quick turnaround after Saturday, entering into the 100th edition of the US Open Cup Tuesday, May 21, in Ocala, Fla., against the Ocala Stampede (PDL) at Forest High School. Kickoff for the match is set for 7 p.m. with tickets available at the gate for $10. If the Lions top the Stampede, they will host Major League Soccer’s Colorado Rapids at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl on Tuesday, May 28.