Chicago Fire 2, Orlando City SC 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

The Chicago Fire fought back to earn a 2-2 draw with Orlando City on Sunday afternoon, despite an inspired performance from the visitors' attacking tandem of Kaká and Cyle Larin.

The Fire opened the scoring in the sixth minute from a long-range effort by John Goossens, who narrowly beat OCSC 'keeper Joe Bendik at the near post. Orlando would respond within three minutes as Kaká found Larin with an inch-perfect chipped through ball for the Canadian's 12th goal of the season.

Kaká looked to have put the Lions in the driver's seat when he put awaythe rebound after Larin hit the post with a header in the 32nd minute. However, Orlando were unable to capitalize on their further opportunities and the Fire were able to find a 78th-minute equalizer through Razvan Cocis after a quickly-worked corner kick routine.

Box Score

Three Things

  1. DYNAMIC DUO: Orlando will feel like they missed out on three points today, largely because they were only able to get two goals from their in-form duo of Kaká and Larin. In Kaká we saw a player who, as my colleague Matt Doyle pointed out during the game, "doesn't do anything special, just does everything right." He popped up all across Orlando's attacking third to orchestrate the attack, provided a beautiful assist on Larin's opener and was in the right position to score Orlando's second. In Larin's case, the Canadian put in a complete 90 minutes, not only scoring one but displaying excellent instincts as a target man. He was able to take care of the ball, dropping deep to link up with his teammates and effectively shielding the ball from opposition defenders.
  2. THE TINKER MAN: If there's one thing we know about first-year Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic so far, is that it's not afraid to adjust his team's tactics on the fly, be it from game to game or even within one game. Paunovic returned to a 3-4-1-2 formation to start the game, but switched to a 4-5-1 and back to a three-man backline later on. The UniMás broadcast team pointed to this constant switching as part of the reason for Chicago's defensive lapses on the day, but now is the time for Chicago fans to remember that it takes time for these players – many of them young – to learn what is expected of them in a new coach's system.
  3. NEW FACES: As a new head coach is getting settled, it was no surprise to see Jason Kreis ring in a few changes for Orlando City. Recent arrival Matias Perez Garcia picked up his first start after being traded from San Jose and worked a solid shift for the Lions while summer signings Jose Aja and Tony Rocha came as substitutes. We could see more of Rocha, who came up from Orlando City B, in the coming weeks as he replaced an injured Cristian Higuita. There were no debutants on the Fire side, but newly-acquired striker Luis Solignac got another run-out in the second 45 minutes, while Chicago fans can expect to see Armenian striker David Arshakyan make his debut next week at Montreal.

They Said It

Up Next

  • CHI: Saturday at Montreal (7:30 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
  • ORL: Saturday at Colorado (9 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
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