Lions bounce back after first loss of season
Orlando, FLA— It took Jean Alexander six minutes to prove he was worth bringing to Orlando as the Lions defeated the Charleston Battery 2-1 in front of 5,600 home fans at the Citrus Bowl Saturday night.
Alexander, on loan from the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes, opened up the scoring for Orlando City just six minutes into the game on a header. Defender Jerome Mechack brought the ball down the side and faked out a defender putting the ball over his head and lobbed a pass to Alexander for the diving header.
“Well Jerome played a really good ball in. We spoke about it before the game I told him that I didn’t like making runs to the back post; I like passes coming into the front post and his very first pass was a terrific ball in and I was just able to get my head on it,” said Alexander.
The Lions got a taste of what they would have to deal with the rest of the match seconds later when defender Kieron Bernard came up with an open net save on a shot by Battery forward Jose Cuevas after Keeper Miguel Gallardo was forced to move up and defend at the top of the box.
The Battery kept pushing the pace of the match and it paid off in the 38th minute when midfielder Nicholas Paterson found the back of the net on a shot from just outside the penalty box.
Orlando City was able to get a go ahead goal in the 57th minute when midfielder Jamie Watson caught the ball off a bounce, and was able to shoot it across his body and into the lower left corner of the net.
Alexander was almost added another goal to his name in the 80th minute , as he was able to get off a crowded shot from about 15 yards out that banged off the crossbar.
The win gives Orlando City a firmer grasp on the league lead and they will have a week off before facing Antigua Barracuda FC on June 17. While Charleston must face the same opponent on June 15.
The Orlando City Lions recently announced the signing of Haitian international midfielder Jean-Marc Alexandre. Alexandre is on a short term loan from the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, and will join the Lions for their next two matches against the Charleston Battery and Antigua Barracuda FC.
Alexandre was born in Haiti but was raised in Delray Beach, Fla. During his College years he played at Lynn University in PalmBeach, Fla. He was drafted 12th overall in the 2009 MLS draft by Real Salt Lake.
During his rookie year in the MLS, Alexandre spent 9 games under current Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath on a loan with the Austin Aztex. During his nine games, Alexandre played extremely well under Coach Heath’s system scoring four goals during his short time in Austin.
In the three seasons Alexandre played for Real Salt Lake he scored one goal in 38 appearances. He was traded to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2011, and has yet to be named a starter for them but is regularly named to the match day roster.
In his first game with Orlando City Alexandre’s presence was felt almost instantly, he scored the first goal of the game in the seventh minute against Charleston as he helped the Lions win 2-1.
Juan Gutierrez contributed to this article
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