Cyle Larin is picking up right where he left off in his record-setting 2015 rookie season – and then some.
The Canadian striker scored his third goal in as many games this year, on a seventh-minute header, to give Orlando City SC a 1-0 win over New York City FC on Friday night at Yankee Stadium.
Larin, last year's AT&T MLS Rookie of the Year, nodded home the early winner after speedy right back Rafael Ramos chased a long ball to the end line and chipped a looping cross in front of New York’s goal.
It’s Orlando’s first win of 2016 and it came in a matchup of fellow 2015 expansion sides. The Lions are unbeaten in their first three, while New York suffered their first loss of the year after a win and tie in their first two games of 2016.
- NO KAKA, NO PROBLEM: Orlando remained unbeaten and nabbed their first win of the season without Brazilian superstar Kaka, who is still recovering from a thigh strain picked up in training ahead of the Lions’ season opener. Kevin Molino lined up in the center of the park in his place. Orlando may have come away from the game with more injury concerns as both Larin and Italian midfielder Antonio Nocerino came off early in the second half with apparent knocks.
- MISSED CHANCES: New York City FC were shut out for the first time this season, but it wasn’t for a lack of chances. They outshot Orlando 16-10 (6-5 on goal) and had a number near misses, including one spectacular in nature in the 68th minute when David Villa chested down a nifty Andrea Pirlo feed in the box and fired a bicycle kick that sailed just high.
- KAKA COMMENTARY: The Brazilian may have missed his third game to start the season, but he was certainly engaged as his teammates pulled out a quality road victory. Kaka took to Twitter for live commentary on the match, and he even took his replacement, Molino, to task for a regrettable miss on a golden opportunity in the box in the 62nd minute.
Kevinnnnnnnnnnn !!!! I'll kill you tomorrow bro #NYCvORL— Kaka (@KAKA) March 19, 2016
- NYC: Saturday, March 26, vs. New England Revolution (3 pm ET; MLS LIVE)
- ORL: Sunday, April 3, vs. Portland Timbers (8 pm ET; FS1)