ORLANDO, Fla. – In a Heineken Rivalry Week match-up of last year’s expansion clubs, Orlando City SC defeated New York City FC, 2-1, at Camping World Stadium Sunday night. The win keeps the Lions in the MLS Cup playoff hunt, one point behind D.C. United for the last spot in the Eastern Conference.
Orlando City coach Jason Kreis was pleased with the win and the overall performance, despite still looking for more from his club as they push towards the end of the season.
“It wasn’t a perfect night,” Kreis said. “We are after perfect.”
The underlying story leading up to the game was Kreis’ first meeting with his former club, but it was an angle that Kreis downplayed, even after the win.
“The importance of the win has nothing to do with the opponent,” Kreis said. “It wasn’t about me, it’s about the performance of the team and what the guys are willing to do. So I’m really pleased for the players, they are the ones who deserve the credit.”
Leading those who deserve credit is Kaká, who scored twice for the first time in his MLS career.
“In MLS you need your DPs to perform in order for the team to do well, you need those players to do well,” said Kreis, who added that Kaká has been performing well since the coach has arrived, buying into the system he is working to implement, and leading on the field and in practice.
Kaká gave Orlando City an advantage in the 33rd minute with a solo effort, on a counter-attack. After Steven Mendoza tied the game for NYCFC, it was Kaká who won a penalty and converted it to give the Lions a lead they would not relinquish.
Kaká called the win “a special night,” with the partnership of himself, Kevin Molino and summer transfer window addition Matías Pérez García seeming to be finding their rhythm. Both of Kaká’s goals were aided by Pérez García. The Brazilian former World Player of the Year said the group is coming together “every training, every game, we are trying to set up things.”