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Orlando City lost their third straight game in Seattle on a short week Wednesday night after coach James O’Connor’s full squad rotation.
The Lions started with a 4-3-3 formation with Benji Michel, Santiago Patiño, and Josué Colmán as the forwards for the team.
The initial lineup did not bode well for the Lions, who didn’t have the majority of their starters. The match was, however, surprisingly even. Without a few controversial plays, Orlando may have been able to pull off the victory.
The Seattle Sounders were more in control for the first 20 minutes, and in the 19th-minute Sounders defender, Brad Smith made a run in the left side of the field while getting close to the box and Orlando City right-back Kyle Smith couldn’t shut him down. Smith sent a cross to Sounders striker Raul Ruidiaz, who tapped it into the back of the net to make it 1-0 for the Seattle.
After that goal, Orlando seemed to wake up and they created good chances. Seattle had two close opportunities to score, but both were barely missed before the first half was called.
In the second half of the game, both teams created good chances. In the 68th minute, the Sounders scored another goal from Handwalla Bwana, assisted by a cross into the box from Nicolas Lodeiro to make it 2-0. There was controversy in which the referee took five minutes to decide about a possible handball on Lodeiro, but the goal was allowed at the end.
Orlando’s forward Chris Mueller came in for Colmán while the referee was checking the handball. When Mueller came in, he made an instant impact to the team; he was making runs and creating chances, and in the 75th minute, Mueller made a run through the middle and drove a shot to the bottom right corner of the net to make it 2-1.
Stoppage time was eight minutes added, and the Lions tried to take full advantage. Seattle scored the third goal from Ruidiaz in the third minute of stoppage time, but the goal was called back for his handball. The match was called soon thereafter and Orlando suffered yet another defeat.
Orlando’s next game is at home on Sunday at 3 p.m. against the also-struggling F.C. Cincinnati.