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ORLANDO — For the second week in a row Orlando City went up a man in the first half and came away with a draw, this time with a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Fire at the Citrus Bowl on Friday.
The Fire went down a man in the 32nd minute after Michael Harrington received a red card for a tackle on Brek Shea. Orlando City only managed to get off seven shots in the second half despite the man advantage, which was something Adrian Heath was disappointed about following the game.
Cyle Larin kept his hot start to the season going with a goal in the 4th minute that put Orlando City up 1-0. The second-year forward finished the game with six total shots, three of which were on target.
“He could have had a couple more tonight,” said Heath of his second-year forward. ” But as I said last week I don’t see why he can’t get to 21 (goals).”
Orlando City was without Kaka for the second week in a row, but did have the services of newly acquired Antonio Nocerino as the Italian made his MLS debut. Following the match the midfielder noted the differences between the MLS and some of the top-tier leagues he’s played in across Europe.
“In Italy it is more focused on tactics,” said Nocerino through a translator during postgame. “Whereas in the MLS the focus seems to be from what he saw today on aggressiveness, speed and physical attributes.”
Nocerino played 63 minutes before being subbed off and despite giving the ball away a few times the 30-year-old played well and impressed his teammates and manager. In his 63 minutes of play Nocerino completed 84.1 percent of his passes.
“He did what we think he can do,” said Heath about his newest midfielder. “He’s a good footballer and he’s going to be really good in possession, he started quite well in the back with Brek and Kevin. Obviously he has not played football for a long time so my thought is he’ll only get better as we progress.”
Chicago tied the game with a goal by David Accam which came off of a John Goossens long ball following a Nocerino turnover on the Orlando attacking side of the field. Accam was able to spring past the Orlando City backline and then beat defender Seb Hines before tucking the ball past Joe Bendik to tie the game at 1-1.
The Lions had their chances to win the game late in the second half with a sequence that featured Pedro Ribeiro skimming the post with a shot in the 78th minute and then Larin hit the post with another shot a minute later.
With the draw Orlando City are now 0-2-0 for the season with two point sin the standings. The Lions will now prepare for their first road game when they take on New York City FC at Yankee Stadium on Friday, March 18.