The Lions suffered their first setback after previously beating the Philadelphia Union, though big-name signing Alexandre Pato scored during his first preseason match with the club, equalizing at 2-2 in the 65th minute. The Brazilian striker arrived in February on a one-year deal as a free agent, last playing for Sao Paulo FC, and could strengthen what’s already one of the league’s stronger attacks.
NYCFC were led by forward Valentin Castellanos, who scored from a 7th-minute penalty kick and got a 67th-minute game-winner via service from outside back Gudmundur Thorarinsson. They also got a first-half penalty-kick goal from Jesus Medina, with homegrown winger Andres Jasson drawing both spot kicks.
Castellanos, after NYCFC dropped a 2-1 match to Chicago Fire FC earlier this preseason, is rounding into form upon scoring a team-leading six goals a season ago. Jasson signed last November, with the US youth international proving lively and dangerous ahead of his first professional season.
Orlando City also got a goal from center back Robin Jansson, who partnered with Antonio Carlos during the 2020 campaign. Otherwise, club-shared photos showed winger Chris Mueller and midfielder Oriol Rosell featuring for the Lions.
A season ago, NYCFC and Orlando City met in Round One of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. The Lions won a memorable penalty-kick shootout, 6-5, after a 1-1 draw. The clubs are respectively entering their second years with Ronny Deila and Oscar Pareja as head coach.
- 7' – NYC – Valentin Castellanos
- 39' – NYC – Jesus Medina
- 43' – ORL – Robin Jansson
- 65' – ORL – Alexandre Pato
- 67' – NYC – Valentin Castellanos
New York City FC (4-2-3-1): Luis Barraza (Cody Mizell) – Tayvon Gray (Ben Di Rosa), Maxime Chanot (Vuk Latinovich), Vuk Latinovich (Sebastien Ibeagha), Gudmundur Thorarinsson (Dren Dobruna) – James Sands (Keaton Parks), Tony Rocha – Jesus Medina (Diego Rossi), Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (Nicolas Acevedo), Andres Jasson (Cooper Flax) – Valentin Castellanos (Mark Cajamarca)
Orlando City SC: No lineup details were immediately available from the closed-door match