Orlando City SC 4, DC United 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
For hosts Orlando City SC and visitors D.C. United, there was little drama but plenty of action on Decision Day.
On the final day of the 2016 MLS regular season, the host Lions, eliminated from playoff contention weeks ago, had nothing substantive to play for other than closing out their time at Camping World Stadium (formerly known as the Citrus Bowl) with a crowd-pleasing display in a 4-2 win. Next season, Orlando City will move into a new, 25,500-seat stadium in downtown Orlando.
And while United knew they could seal home-field advantage for the Knockout Round of the Audi 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs with a victory, head coach Ben Olsen opted to rest his starters (10 changes from last week's starting XI) and still secured a midweek playoff match at RFK Stadium thanks to results in other matches.
Led by the work of midfielders Kaká and Kevin Molino, Orlando City jumped out to an early two-goal lead before D.C. got on the board after a bad giveaway by Orlando defender Seb Hines ended up with substitute Alvaro Saborio scoring in the 43rd minute.
An apparent Lamar Neagle goal in the final seconds of first-half stoppage time was waved off for offside, and Orlando City regained its two-goal lead shortly after halftime when Cristian Higuita took a pass from Kaká and scored his first goal of the season in the 50th minute.
- 13’ – ORL – Kevin Molino (Rafael Ramos, Kaka)
- 21' – ORL – Kaká (Kevin Molino)
- 43' – DCU – Alvaro Saborio (Julian Buescher)
- 50' – ORL – Cristian Higuita (Kaká)
- 78' – DCU – Kennedy Igboananike (Julian Buescher)
- 89' – ORL – Julio Baptista (Cristian Higuita)
- Full box score
- RESTING UP: Ben Olsen had a decision to make: A win Sunday would have sewn up home field advantage for D.C. United's midweek knockout round playoff match, but with a game Sunday, a game in midweek and potentially a game next weekend, if United were to win the knockout match, that would be three games in eight days. So Olsen rested his starters, and at the same time, got minutes for backups who needed them. And in the end, Montreal lost and United got their home field advantage anyway.
- HE SURE LOOKED LIKE HE HAD FUN: Kaká is one of the of the best players in MLS, and having him play against a second XI is almost unfair. The Brazilian had his way with United throughout the game, dancing through his opponents at will and zipping precise passes all over the field. He had a goal and two assists and, realistically, D.C. was fortunate the margin of victory wasn't bigger. For City fans, at least the season ended on a high note.
- TOUGH ENDING FOR HIM: United forward Alhaji Kamara hadn't played since July 16, due to a bad hamstring injury. He would have benefited from getting some minutes before the season ended to help him get ready to perhaps come off the bench in the playoffs. But he left the game in the 40th minute with an injury.
- DC: Thursday vs. Montreal Impact (7:30 pm ET; UniMás, TSN1&5, RDS2)