1-0, min. 34, Carrasco.
Orlando City remain unbeaten at home as they top New York Red Bulls
Servando Carrasco celebrates the only goal of the match. | Photo: Major League Soccer

Orlando City remain unbeaten at home as they top New York Red Bulls

Servando Carrasco goal in the first half proves to be the winner in hard fought battle in Orlando.

Jay Stucchio
Orlando City SCBendik; Toia, Spector, Redding, Sutter; Nocerino (Carrasco, min. 17), Higuita (Barnes, min. 69), Johnson, Perez Garcia (Gil, min 84); Rivas, Larin
New York Red BullsRobles; Lawrence, Long, Collin, Zizzo; Adams (Gulbrandsen, min. 75), Felipe; Kljestan, Royer; Wright-Phillips, Etienne Jr. (Muyl, min. 70)

Orlando City SC fought to hang on against a persistent New York Red Bull side on Sunday evening.

Orlando's defense stands tall

In a game with Cyle Larin and Bradley Wright-Phillips leading each team's respective side, goals were expected. This was only the assumption of those who have yet to see Orlando play at home this season. The home side continues to impress at the back in the 2017 MLS season.

A signing which seems to have gone under the radar in the 2017 MLS offseason is Jonathan Spector. The American native spent fourteen years bouncing around English sides including the likes of Manchester United and West Ham United before returning to America to join Orlando. Along with the rest of his defensive unit, they proved to be flawless yet again on Sunday.

Is Orlando City Stadium becoming a fortress?

Orlando have welcomed three of last years six Eastern Conference playoff teams to their new stadium. New York City FC, Philadelphia Union, and now the New York Red Bulls have struggled for goals in Orlando. Amongst those three sides, the lions have kept two clean sheets and only conceded one goal. Red Bulls and New York City FC both ranked amongst the leagues best in goals scored last season and both left Orlando with no goals to celebrate.

Orlando scores the only goal

Servando Carrasco was substitued onto the pitch in the seventeenth minute as recently rejuvenated Antonio Nocerino was forced off with an injury. Carrasco originally lined up on top of Luis Robles in hopes to crowd the Red Bulls keeper.

After seeing where Will Johnson's corner kick was delivered, Carrasco peeled off of Robles and buried a header home into the gap between the keeper and the near post. New York usually prides themself on aerial duels and will be kicking themsleves after conceding that goal in the thirty-fourth minute.

Orlando City celebrating goal. | Photo: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Orlando City celebrating goal. | Photo: Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Time for Red Bull fans to worry?

Red Bulls fans are used to succes at their club and rightfully so. The club has finsihed top of the Eastern Conference in three of the last four MLS seasons. In both 2013 and 2015 they lifted the Supporters' Shield which is awareded to the club with the most points in the entirety of the MLS in the regular season. After failing to beat Vancouver Whitecaps in the CONCACAF Champions League early in 2017, they looked to turn things around early in the MLS season.

Traveling to Atlanta to beat new expansion side Atlanta United and winning their first home match of the season vs Colorado Rapids they began the MLS season with a perfect 6 points. Since then they have only gathered 1 point from their most recent 4 games which they gained in a fortunate draw vs Real Salt Lake.

What's next?

New York will return home where they have not lost in the current MLS season so far and face rival club D.C United. Orlando will also have another home game as they hope to remain flawless as they host Romain Alessandrini and the rest of the LA Galaxy squad.