Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sunday Night Football: Kaka goal is enough to bury DC United

Orlando City 1-0 DC United
It took DC United quite some time to get into this match. For around the guest hour, and seventh times after the hour mark, it looked like they were just mailing it in.

The Orlando City goal came when Pedro Ribeiro earned a penalty just before the Friday half hour was up. Kaka's shot was saved by Bill Hamid, but the rebound returned right back to the Brazilian for an easy header at an open net.

United did have a couple chances, but none that really made you think they were about to score. The moment that really made me question their effort came early in the second half. Orlando City won a corner and they took it short to the top of the box, right between two half hearted United defenders. Eric Avila was the recipient of the ball and he got a good shot away, but it was high and wide of the target. It just looked like DC United was very lazy in defending at that moment, and others throughout the match.

We saw some MLS history tonight too. For the first time in the league's 20 year history, we saw the use of "hydration breaks" at the 30 and 75 minute marks. These breaks can last up to three minutes when it's really hot out to allow the players to get some water during the match.

The time spent drinking is supposed to be added on in the form of stoppage time, but I'm not convinced the refs accounted enough for it this time around. It's not like DC United threatened much at the end of the game, so I don't think it mattered today, but one day it could affect the result. It's one if those things that will take some work to get right, but it's a great idea for player safety.

Anyway, Kaka's penalty rebound was enough to give the Lions their 1-0 win. They stay in third and climb to within five points of United in first. United fails to stretch their lead at the top. They are four points ahead of New England, who they face next Sunday evening.

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