Orlando City plays to 1-1 draw at DC United. Remains unbeaten

WASHINGTON D.C. – Orlando City SC (1-0-2, 5 points) battled to a 1-1 draw against DC United (1-1-1, 4 points) on Saturday night at Audi Stadium.

It was another strong match for Pedro Gallese, holding the Black and Red scoreless through to the 80th minute.

Mar 11, 2023; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Orlando City SC goalkeeper Pedro Gallese (1) makes a save on D.C. United forward Christian Benteke (20) in the first half at Audi Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The match was Orlando’s third effort in the league, and though it’s their second draw, the team still has yet to tally a loss.

In the 53rd minute, Kyle Smith sent in a cross from the right flank to the head of Dagur Dan Thórhallsson. His header crossed the face of the goal to the foot of Duncan McGuire for Orlando’s first goal in play of the season.

The goal by McGuire is his wrist professional goal in only is second professional match. McGuire becomes the first draft pick by the Lions in Club history to score in his professional debut and the first 2023 SuperDraft selection to find the back of the net across MLS. 

After four saves from Pedro Gallese, DC managed to do some damage in the 80th minute when Pedro Santos finding Chris Durkin at the edge of the area, who cut it back to his left foot before firing a shot inside the far post for the equalizer.

Orlando conceding the goal marks the end of a new Club-record by going 394 minutes without conceding a goal to start a season. It also ended a Lions Club-record shutout streak to start a campaign came to an end on Saturday night at 349 minutes.  

Oscar Pareja explained the Lion’s strategy in the second half of the match.

“We did expect the game in the second half to have more volume and more action in front of the net.” Said Pareja. “We knew the defense from the first half would reveal some possibilities because we played with one more defender and one less attacker, but we wanted to have solidness.”

“In the second half when we made the change of the model and we made the change of the personnel, we knew that this was going to surprise D.C. When that happened, I thought we looked much better. I think we had a couple more actions, we scored a goal and we accomplished that objective.” 

Orlando City returns to Exploria Stadium on Wednesday, March 15 to host Tigres UANL in Leg 2 of the Round of 16 of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League. Kickoff is set for 8:15 p.m. ET.  

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