Tag Archives: Chris Mueller

Orlando City breaks Club’s win streak record with match against RSL

Shae Beaudoin - Orlando City SC/mlsfemale
Official Orlando City Reporter

By Shae Beaudoin // @ShaeEliz

Sunday, May 6: 3-1 Win

This past Sunday, Orlando City broke the Club’s win streak record with a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake. This marks 6 consecutive wins for the Lions, breaking the Club’s record of 5 straight wins which was set in the 2017 season. Most notably, this win streak includes two away matches, which used to cause us quite some trouble.

If you recall a few weeks back, I brought up the concern about the depth of our defense line. This concern rose again for this match against Real Salt Lake, as City went into this game without captain Jonathan Spector (still on concussion protocol), Scott Sutter (knee injury), and Amro Tarek (broken nose and lower body injury). Instead, the offseason addition, Chris Schuler made his City debut and got a full 90 minutes at that.

I wish you all could have been at the Orlando City Soccer Stadium for this game and stood on The Wall with me. The energy was unreal with fans buzzing from the first kick, urging our team towards the 6th straight win. 

The first half saw Orlando City dominating on possession and having way too many close shots, which, unfortunately, none of them made it in. That didn’t matter to The Wall, though. Every attempt seemed to rile them up even more.

Chris Mueller performed some nice little footwork tricks to trap up Salt Lake’s defense and Justin Meram was more alive and on the ball than I’ve seen him all season. Sacha Kljestan also made quite a few attempts of his own. The team wanted those goals, they just kept misstepping or overshooting.

Maybe they were getting a little too overeager, who knows? Corey Baird of Real Salt Lake tried to diminish spirits in the 12th minute when he managed to slip one past goalkeeper Joe Bendik, but that didn’t put too much of a damper on things. We ended the first half 0-1 and with The Wall as loud as ever.

Second half, the Lions came back with a vengeance, just as we were hoping they would. It took a few minutes to get warmed up, but Dom Dwyer started the fire in the 60th minute. Three minutes later, Lamine Sané got his first goal in purple. Honestly, I think part of the stadium got comfortable with two, but Yoshimar Yotún wanted to be extra safe and tucked away a third goal in the 78th minute.

There were also several great saves by Joe Bendik during this match, or we may have been singing a different tune in this report. (Bendik also got himself a pretty little yellow card, but hey).

Stefano Pinho subbed in for Chris Mueller who went down for injury but don’t worry. He was up walking around again by the end of the game so hopefully, it was just a strained muscle and he’ll be back with us next week. I’d love for him to score on Atlanta. Thankfully, no other new injuries to report this game, our remaining two subs were RJ Allen and Uri Rosell, who replaced Justin Meram and Yoshimar Yotún.

Orlando City is back home again next week where they face off against Atlanta United. City will be pushing for their 7th straight win, Atlanta will be pushing for their 8th. There’s sure to be a whole lot of tension and 90 minutes of pure energy. Will you be there?

Featured image courtesy: Shae Beaudoin

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @ShaeEliz

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Orlando City Gets Fourth Straight Win

Shae Beaudoin - Orlando City/mlsfemale
Official Orlando City Reporter

By Shae Beaudoin // @ShaeEliz

Saturday, April 21: 3-2 Win

This weekend Orlando City faced off against San Jose Earthquakes at home. After an action-packed 90 minutes, the Lions walked away with a fresh three points. 

This win brings Orlando to 4 consecutive victories in a row, a much-needed morale boost after a rocky start to the season. For now, Orlando is sitting pretty in the #3 spot of the Eastern Conference standings. Fingers crossed we see the playoffs this year. Keep reading for the full game recap!

I’ve got two words for you. Chris Mueller. If you’re not familiar with this name yet, you’re snoozing. The rookie was our 2018 Super Draft pick and since scoring his first MLS goal during the intense 3-2 comeback victory over Portland Timbers, he hasn’t stopped making moves. Just two minutes into the game against the Quakes, Mueller put one on the scoreboard for Orlando.

Later in the first half, Sacha Kljestan gave Orlando it’s second goal of the night, which also happened to be Mueller’s first career assist. And just to keep things even more interesting, midway through the second half, Dom Dwyer scored his 100th career goal, and Orlando City led the game with 3 goals, San Jose 0.

Not sure if the team got a little overconfident or if they just started getting tired, but Orlando City game up two goals at the end of the second half, scored by Quakes’ Florian Jungwirth. Without Captain Jonathan Spector (out on concussion protocol) and defender Scott Sutter (out on injury) available to play, it’s impressive to me that the defense held off the Quakes so long this game. While allowing 2 goals is definitely disappointing, it’s becoming more and more clear that the depth in our team is there and it’s getting better as the season goes on.

Last week against Philadelphia Union was the first time this season that Orlando City got the first goal of the match, making Mueller’s goal this game the first at home. It’s also the fastest first goal in Orlando City’s MLS history. So yeah, Saturday was a busy day in Orlando.

Let’s talk next game. City goes on the road and faces the Colorado Rapids on April 29th. It is unclear yet if we will have Spector and Sutter available to play again, but it’s my hope that we will. If they are cleared to play, we’ve finally got a full roster available to play with no one out on injuries and fingers crossed that it lasts.

This winning streak feels really nice, let’s keep it up, yeah? Although, the games against Real Salt Lake and Atlanta United coming up on the horizon certainly have me nervous… But we’ll worry about those later. For now, Rapids, you’re next!

Featured image courtesy: @OrlandoCitySC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @ShaeEliz

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Mueller Sparks the Fire to Bring Lion’s 3-2 Comeback

Shae Beaudoin - Orlando City/mlsfemale
Official Orlando City Reporter

By Shae Beaudoin // @ShaeEliz

Sunday, April 8: 3-2 Win

Not to say I told you so or anything but I’ve been saying since the home opener that good things would happen if we could just get MLS SuperDraft pick Chris Mueller on the field at the same time as Dom Dwyer. Sunday’s game against the Portland Timbers proved just that.

At first, spirits were low. Three minutes in, Portland had a shot on goal that slipped through goalkeeper Joe Bendik’s fingers, but luckily the return of our captain Jonathan Spector meant great saves by the defense. Samuel Armenteros was almost sent off with a red for a second yellow card, however, VAR overturned the penalty and awarded Portland the penalty kick. And thus, Orlando City found themselves down 0-1 at the half.

The start of the second half pushed spirits even further as Portland landed another shot to bring the score to 0-2. You could hear the disappointment in the stands. The Wall was unusually quiet and antsy. And Orlando City looked to be asleep out on the field.

Our saving grace came in the form of our 21-year-old SuperDraft pick. Chris Mueller came on as a sub in the 67th minute and turned the game around for us. Not sure if it was just having a fresh pair of legs or if it was the hunger of Mueller to get his first MLS goal, but whatever it was worked.

After a few missed attempts, the first goal came in the 80th minute when Mueller landed a header and officially put his name in the books for the first time. This was all it took to reignite the Wall and lift the spirits across the stadium. Just two minutes later, Orlando City was awarded a penalty kick, taken by Sacha Kljestan, and tying up the score. The most intense ten minutes of Orlando City history came when Dom Dwyer scored the winning shot, bringing the score to 3-2 in favor of Orlando.

I hope this team, from the 80th to 87th minute, is the team we see all season. This is what Orlando City is capable of. The remaining 80 minutes of this game was disappointing at best and I know we’re capable of so much more. So yes, we can celebrate this win and we can celebrate our 3 points, but let’s not get any false hope that we’re now invincible and a solid team.

We’ve got a lot of work to put in if we wish to keep the victories going. If we play like we played most of this game, we won’t be seeing 3 points all that often. If we play like we played in that ten-minute window, yeah. We’ll have a great season ahead of us.

Our next game is this Friday, we head to Philadelphia to face the Union for the first time this season. Check back here for match coverage!

Featured image courtesy: Shae Beaudoin

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @ShaeEliz

Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale

ORL vs DC post game

Shae Beaudoin - Orlando City/mlsfemale
Official Orlando City Reporter

By Shae Beaudoin // @ShaeEliz

Saturday, March 3, 2018: 1-1 Draw

Orlando City SC’s home opener was just as intense as I would expect from this team. Saturday night we opened our season at home against DC United. Being the first game of the season, of course the fans came loaded with so much energy. The chants started in the streets of downtown Orlando two hours before the gates to the stadium even opened.

Along with the energy, the fan supporter groups hung a huge TIFO at the start of the match reading “Grow your passion, show your pride, create your legacy, legends never die” as a tribute to a fan who passed away last season. 

Last night’s lineups were:

DC United

Ousted (GK), Fisher (D), Birnbaum (D), Brilliant (D), DeLeon (D), Moreno (M), Asad (M), Segura (M), Stieber (M), Arriola (M), Mattocks (F)

Subs: Clark, Durkin*, Harkes*, Miranda, Mullins*, Odoi-Atsem, Opare

Orlando City

Bendik (G), El-Munir (D), Tarek (D), Spector (D), Sutter (D), Lindley (M), PC (M), Johnson (M), Yotun (M), Mueller (F), Miram (F)

Subs: Edwards, Laryea*, Rocha, Sane, Toia, Allen*, Pinho*

*subbed in

Right out of the gate, DC found themselves in promising positions inside the box twice in just the first two minutes. At 18’ minutes, VAR awarded DC a penalty kick, which was miraculously saved by Joe Bendik and knocked out of play by captain Jonathan Spector. By the 31st minute, DC had a point in the board and by 40 minutes, Orlando was down to 10 players with Victor PC sent off with a red (initially a yellow until VAR said eh, no). By halftime, tensions were so high between the two teams a fight nearly broke out on the field.

Second half was just as intense, but at least less tension between the teams. More or less. There were still several cards handed out and free kicks awarded, including one free kick awarded to Orlando that was quickly stolen by DC and almost a dangerous breakaway if Mohammed El-Munir hadn’t chased 11 down to knock the ball out of play.

And, as City is oh so good at pulling off, a pass from Spector allowed Pinho to land an equalizer in added time of his first MLS appearance. The Wall exploded. Hey, it’s not a win but it’s better than a loss. Plus we need to commend the effort here.

City held DC to just one goal with a man down for the majority of the match. Even more than that, City was without some key players from the roster, with Dwyer, Sacha, Colman, Powers and Rosell unavailable to play.

I know, personally, I had accepted the loss at about the 80th minute, thinking the cards were just stacked against us being a man down and without those players. I was gladly proven wrong when Pinho subbed in for Mueller to take some shots. We also need to applaud Mueller. This was the 2018 draft pick’s professional debut and he did awesome, getting several attempts of his own in there.

This game was tough, I will admit. This is definitely not the same DC team we’re used to facing. Controversial calls—or lack thereof, rather—made the match even more challenging for both sides. Overall, a great game by City and I’m excited to see how dangerous we are with our full roster available.

City faces off against Minnesota United next Saturday, back at the Orlando City Stadium. Check back here for my pre-game breakdown next week and I’ll try to contain my love for Adrian and Harrison Heath and Kevin Molino. Maybe.

Featured image courtesy: @OrlandoCitySC

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @ShaeEliz

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