CITRUS BOWL — Orlando City’s preseason finale was dubbed as a dress rehearsal ahead of the club’s season-opener.
In it, the Lions found an unlikely hero.
That hero goes by the name of Sebastian Hines, whose four-goal performance lifted the Lions to a 6-1 victory over Brazilian side Esporte Clube Bahia Saturday in front of 18,619 fans in the Orlando Citrus Bowl.
After equalizing the score in the 11th minute, Hines scored three more goals in the second half (58th, 71st and 86th), which were all behind Ricardo Kaká’s orchestrated set pieces.
“It’s very unlikely to score four [goals] in one game, but to score four, I’m very proud and happy,” said Hines on his performance. “Lucky for me, it went in the back of the net, but I would liked to save some for the league, but you can’t pick and choose when you score a goal.”
Pedro Ribeiro also found the net in the 78th minute, while Darwin Cerén scored in the 88th minute.
Bahia’s only goal came in the opening seconds of the game after a collapse of the Orlando City backline resulted in the Brazilian club taking the early lead.
“Obviously delighted with the scoreline,” Lions head coach Adrian Heath said. “I think it was a lot of good stuff, a lot of stuff we need to work on. After the first 30 seconds when they scored, I was thinking it was going to be a long night. As it turned out, we got a goal at the right time.”
Kevin Molino, who played 60 minutes, was very active in the midfield and looked as if he never missed a beat. The Trinidad and Tobago international shot two laser passes that found Kaká and Cerén in the first half.
“The most important thing is to get Kevin [Molino] back on plastic surface,” Heath added. “I just thought there was some really good moments for him.”
Cyle Larin, who did not score in the preseason, missed three clear chances, twice in the first half and once in the second.
The game may have only been a preseason friendly, but Hines’ performance Saturday night made Orlando City history. The Englishman is the first player to record four goals during Orlando’s Major League Soccer era, with fellow countryman Dom Dwyer being the last Orlando City player to score the same amount of goals during the team’s United Soccer League era.
Orlando City starting XI (4-3-2-1): Joe Bendik; Brek Shea, David Mateos, Hines, Rafael Ramos; Ribeiro, Servando Carrasco, Cerén; Kaká, Molino; Larin.