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  • Matthew Laboissonniere

Charlotte FC Match Review

That’s more like it! Orlando with a really gritty win against Charlotte to find themselves higher in the standings. The Lions have now moved up to 5th, which is a critical move with how jam packed the Eastern Conference is right now, with not that many games to go. That’s now two wins in a row and it feels like a million years for Orlando fans since they’ve said something like that. Additionally, two attacking players found themselves on the scoresheet, which is always a good thing for teams moving forward to get their scorers scoring. Kara had the opener off of a slick pass by Torres, and Tesho Akindele scored the winner right at the death, traveling full field to get two attempts at a shot, scoring on the second. It was a win full of grit and pride for this team and one that just may keep Pareja’s job safe for the foreseeable future, with the ever looming Open Cup final in the near horizon. All in all, these 3 points felt the most massive to me all season.

Match Facts

Yellow Card - 8’ - Mulraney

Yellow Card - 23’ - McNeill

Yellow Card - 42’ - Torres

Yellow Card - 48’ - Carlos

Goal - 62’ - Kara

Goal - 66’ - Gaines

Yellow Card - 68’ - Jones

Yellow Card - 82’ - Pereyra

Goal - 89’ - Akindele

Three Things

1. Tesho Time!

What a run! What an effort! You could see how much it meant to him and all the Orlando City players. Akindele has definitely caught some stick from Orlando fans, especially since he has been called upon often with Kara holding the bench with an injury. Lots of fans - including myself- were eager to see academy standout Jack Lynn get some starter minutes with the first team. It can always be good to introduce some young legs into the mix. However, Tesho more than made up for his past faults on Sunday. He worked hard to get all the way down the field, followed up his initial miss, and secured the 3 points for Orlando.

2. Kara Silences Haters

I couldn’t help but notice Kara’s celebration after his cool finish. Silencer. He did not have much emotion until he was greeted by his teammates, and why should he? He is still the leading scorer on this team and he was not treated well when he was rehabbing his injury. Even when the starting lineups were announced, I saw a lot of people wondering why Kara was selected. The Designated Player showed them why in the 62’ minute, calmly burying a pass delivered by Facundo Torres into the bottom right corner. Despite my back and forth opinion on him, I couldn’t help but smile when I saw that. Talk your shit, Ercan.

3. Tricky Torres

Torres has officially stepped into his own in these past couple of matches. Dating back to the Colorado match, he has really been playing with some confidence. As a setup man, a dribbler, a striker of the ball, everything has been done much more cleanly and concisely. Additionally, he is taking advantage of his spatial freedom, constantly moving along the front 3 and the midfield to try to get an advantage against the opponents. He was fitting in beautifully in those pockets of space between Araujo and Kara, eventually getting an assist on the night. The Lions need him to be flowing with this confidence as the playoff push continues.

Final Word

It was not a perfect match in the slightest. Orlando had to withhold a lot of Charlotte pressure but that is normal when you’re on the road. They also didn’t hold their initial lead for that long either. However, 3 points at this stage is all that matters and they worked their ass off for it.

Up Next

Orlando’s next game is against NYCFC on Sunday, August 28th back home in Exploria.


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