ORLANDO – Orlando City SC fell to 2013-14 Serie A runner up A.S. Roma 0-1 tonight in a friendly at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The lone goal of the match came from Roma legend Francesco Totti at the 20th minute on an absolute rocket from just outside the box on the right side.
The match seemed slower paced than what Lions fans have come to enjoy lately with neither side really challenging each other for the majority of the match. Though our Boys in Purple valiantly kept up the spirit in spurts with quick challenges that usually went just wide or over the posts.
Adama Mbengue provided some exciting moments throughout the night including turning a cross from Luke Boden at the 24th minute that glanced off to the right of the goal. And two apparent goals, one by trialist Kane Hemmings and the other by Corey Hertzog were disallowed on offsides calls.
Though no joy was gained in the goal department for Orlando City, their efforts still served to impress Roma Head Coach Rudi Garcia as he remarked after the match, “I really like the way that Orlando City plays. They play very European with short passes and they try to keep everything on the ground.”
Coach Adrian Heath did give workouts to several trialists during the match, preferring to let them have some minutes in a game that doesn’t officially matter, yet presented an opportunity to play against world class competition. This gave a few regular players some much needed rest after a bruising game this past Wednesday against the Charlotte Eagles.
Roma are in Orlando after their season recently ended on a bit of training vacation and the first half showed they were in a more relaxed style of playing. But even on a less intense level, they were definitely a match for the Lions. Challenge or not, in typical fashion, the team from the City Beautiful turned up the intensity, especially in the last 20 minutes, creating several chances that just didn’t quite pay off.
That intensity earned positive reviews from Totti as he stated afterwards, “Orlando City really surprised us tonight. They have some good attacking players and I think the team has a great future.”
Even the demanding Heath found plenty of good things to say about the team, “That was a monumental effort from our players tonight. I’ve come down on them pretty hard recently, but I’m delighted with every single one of them. I think they did outstandingly well tonight.”
The Lions are back in action this coming Wednesday in an Open Cup match against this alleged team from Tampa that call themselves the Rowdies.
Team 1 2 Final
Orlando City SC 0 0 0
AS Roma 1 0 1
ASR- Francesco Totti (Unassisted) 20’
Orlando City SC- GK Trialist (Carl Woszczynski), D Tyler Turner, Brad Rusin (Bryan Burke), Tommy Redding, Luke Boden, Yordany Alvarez (Anthony Pulis), Darwin Ceren (Aodhan Quinn), Kevin Molino, Adama Mbengue, Brian Span (Mikey Lopez), Trialist (Corey Hertzog)
AS Roma- GK Lucasz Skorupski, D Rafael Toloi, Ribiero Pires, Leandro Castan, Daniel Paredes, Antonio Sanabria, Francesco Totti, Michel Bastos, Alessandro Florenzi, F Dejan Boldor
Time of Match: 8:00 p.m. EST
Weather: — Clear