The win, Orlando City coach Jason Kreis’ first against his former club, kept the Lions (6-7-13) in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, while NYCFC (11-8-8) failed to take advantage of Toronto FC’s home loss to the Montreal Impact and move back atop the East table.
Kaka capitalized on a quick counter to put Orlando City in front in the 32nd minute. The Brazilian ran at, and then rounded Jefferson Mena before putting in the rebound of his own saved shot for his fifth goal of the season.
A nifty back-heel layoff from Matias Perez-Garcia to Kaká resulted in a penalty kick for the Designated Player when Maxime Chanot took down the captain just inside the box. Kaká clinically finished from the spot past Josh Saunders, who dove the other way, to put Orlando City back in front, 2-1, in the 63rd minute.
Orlando City looked to tack on another goal in the 70th minute when Kevin Molino put a shot towards the open net, but Ronald Matarrita tracked back to make a spectacular sliding save off the line before crashing into the post.
- 32’ – ORL – Kaká
- 55’ – NYC – Steven Mendoza
- 63’ – ORL – Kaká (PK)
- Full box score
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1. JASON'S REVENGE: No, this isn't a horror movie, although it might be for NYCFC fans. Jason Kreis was vocal about being fired after missing the playoffs in NYCFC's expansion year and he surely had a measure of revenge in pushing his new club, Orlando City SC, closer to their first-ever playoff berth. The win, his second in charge after taking over for Adrian Heath, who left in early July, moves the Lions within a point of the playoff line in the East.
2. NYCFC ROAD FORM SLIPPING?: They still have the best road record in MLS, but results away from Yankee Stadium lately have been hard to come by for NYCFC. They are 6-5-3 away, but just 0-2-2 in their last four games. NYCFC play three of their final seven regular season games on the road.
3. KAKÁ TO THE RESCUE: If Orlando City SC make the playoffs, Kaká's first MLS brace could well be the spark that ignited their push. The Brazilian, who scored the Lions' first-ever goal in a 1-1 draw against NYCFC last March, also matched his season high with four shots. His best single-game scoring output is three points, which came on three assists on Sept. 25, 2015 against the New York Red Bulls in a 5-2 win, and again with one goal and two assists in a 4-1 win against the Portland Timbers on April 3.