March 09, 2015

62,000 Welcome Orlando City to MLS in Franchise Opener: Kaka scored an equalizer on a free kick in extra time as Orlando City SC played to a 1-1 draw against New York City FC in the Major League Soccer franchise opener for both teams. Mix Diskerud had scored in the 76th minute on a pass from David Villa to put the visitors ahead. A crowd of 62,000 fans packed the Citrus Bowl, the second largest ever for a team's first game in MLS.

posted by rcade to soccer at 11:33 AM - 3 comments

I bought a ticket at the last minute and discovered when I arrived it was on the front row, 20 feet from a corner. Seeing a crowd that huge watch MLS soccer was incredible. It was a sea of purple dying for something good to happen, watching three yellow cards given to Orlando City players who fell in the box. The first by Brek Shea was obviously a dive. The others were both tripped, so seeing them get carded was a shock and a grievious insult to the home crowd.

Then Mix scored on a great curling shot, a red card put Orlando City a man down and it looked like a bummer ending until Kaka scored the franchise's first goal and caused utter pandemonium.

Orlando has Sunrail mass transit now, and the local media was warning people there's nowhere close to enough parking near the Citrus Bowl. I parked at a distant rail station in Sanford.

Don't trust southern cities to do mass transit well. There were so few trains it took three hours to get to the game and 2.5 to get back. But it was fun anyway. I somehow made the kickoff with eight minutes to spare.

There was a security breach that seemed pretty significant to me after the final whistle. A fan in my section jumped onto the field, then walked to midfield and embraced Kaka and other players. The cops didn't get to him until after this happened, even though he sprained an ankle leaping onto the field. I was surprised by the lack of police presence on the sidelines to stop that kind of thing from happening.

posted by rcade at 11:42 AM on March 09

Chicago Fire!!!

posted by StarFucker at 06:17 AM on March 12

I asked the Orlando police whether that fan was arrested. They said he "was trespassed" -- which I guess means he got a trespassing ticket -- and escorted to medical treatment for a broken ankle.

posted by rcade at 10:55 AM on March 12

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