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May 17, 2017; San Jose, CA, USA; Referee Drew Fischer between San Jose Earthquakes defender Nick Lima (24) and Orlando City SC midfielder Servando Carrasco (5) during the second half at Avaya Stadium. Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Orlando City Earns Midweek Draw

Orlando City scored late in the second half against San Jose but failed to defend their lead.

The line-up Jason Kreis, Orlando City Head Coach, produced for this midweek fixture was a true test of depth. Players such as Ricardo Kaka, Carlos Rivas, and Jonathan Spector did not start for Orlando.

The defense was especially suspect considering two of the four defenders were getting their first minutes; Left Back Victor “PC” Giro and Center Back Léonardo Pereira made their first appearances for Orlando in what proved to be a good match for them.

Forgettable First Half

Striker Cyle Larin had a few chances in front of goal to put Orlando City in front, but failed to keep his header on target in the 9th minute when Will Johnson whipped in a quality ball into the box. San Jose created a dangerous free kick opportunity in the 26th minute. A curling strike from Earthquake’s Jahmir Hyka forced Joe Bendik to make a save. The best attempt in the first half went to the new face in the squad, Victor “PC” Giro. The crossbar denied Orlando City from taking the lead heading into halftime.

Substitutions Made the Difference

In the 60th minute Ricardo Kaka and Carlos Rivas came into the game for Orlando City and instantly impacted the team’s performance. Rivas’ speed provided an outlet for the defense and was the catalyst in numerous counter-attacking plays. In the 80th minute Rivas’ hard work paid off. Kaka fed the ball into Victor “PC” Giro who found Rivas waiting to pounce on the cross. Clinical finish.

Defense Plagues City Once Again

Just like it happened recently against Sporting Kansas City, Jason Kreis’ team gave away their lead rather cheaply. San Jose’s next attacking opportunity would destroy Orlando’s chances of leaving San Jose with a win and all three points. The Earthquakes scrapped together a goal just three minutes after conceding thanks to USMNT player Chris Wondolowski redirecting a wayward shot. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Orlando City returns home for their Sunday fixture against New York City FC. Orlando is winless in their last four games, but have beaten New York City FC twice already this season. NYCFC is also coming off a loss to their Western Conference opponent during the midweek.

About Josh LaSelva

Originally from Ocala, Florida. University of Florida Class of 2017. Avid FIFA player willing to beat anybody. Follow me on Twitter for everything you need to know!

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