Recap: Duncan McGuire’s first MLS goal helps Orlando City claim road draw against DC United


Courtesy of Orlando City SC

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Shifting focus briefly back to league play, Orlando City visited Audi Field in our nation’s capital for a Matchday 3 meeting with D.C. United.

On a chilly evening with temperatures falling into the low 40s, Orlando was able to keep its unbeaten run of form to open the 2023 season with 1-1 draw that featured a debut goal from Duncan McGuire, helping the Lions capture their second draw in three games this season.

Orlando opened the game in a three-back formation with Ivan Angulo and Rafael Santos, who was making his club debut, acting on the wingbacks pushing up the sidelines. Facundo Torres was joined up top by McGuire, one of Orlando’s recent MLS SuperDraft picks who was also making his MLS debut with the club.

β€œWe did expect the game in the second half to have more volume and more action in front of the net,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said, “We knew the defense from the first half would reveal some possibilities because we played with one more defender and one less attacker, but we wanted to have solidness. We wanted to see if we could create more sequences around, in the flanks. I think we did with maybe not as much consistency. In the second half when we made the change of the model and we made the change of the personnel, we knew that this was going to surprise D.C. When that happened, I thought we looked much better. I think we had a couple more actions, we scored a goal and we accomplished that objective.” 

DC collected most of the quality chances throughout the night, testing Gallese handful of on-target shots in the first half, including a huge diving stop on Christian Benteke in the 27th minute, followed up by another effort that forced him to the ground against Ted Ku-DiPietro in the 34th minute.

Gallese finished the night with 4 total saves, capping off yet another overall masterful performance in goal for the Lions on the young season.

For Orlando, looks on goal once again came few and far between. The Lions officially recorded their first shot of the night late in the half on a Torres header in the middle of the penalty area that sailed well off frame.

Oscar Pareja made a handful of both tactical and personnel at halftime, shifting his team away from the three-back setup and shifting Kyle Smith to the right, and bringing on both Robin Jansson (for Abdi Salim) and Martin Ojeda (for Torres), and less than ten minutes into the half, Orlando scored on McGuire’s tap-in, his first MLS goal, to take the 1-0 lead.

β€œIt’s definitely something you dream of as a as a kid,” McGuire said, “So definitely, it’s exactly what I thought it would be. It was an unbelievable experience and I hope it’s the first of many.” 

The chaos ramped up moments later when Benteke took a shot inside the penalty area that bounced off of Wilder Cartagena, prompting an immediate penalty from referee Jon Freemon. After a VAR check, however, the call was overturned after a video replay showed Cartagena’s arms tucked behind his body, not interfering with the play after all.

DC spent the rest of the night knocking on the door and finally found their equalizer when Chris Durkin curled a shot around Gallese in the 80th minute, breaking a streak of more than 350 minutes of soccer Orlando has played without conceding a goal to start the season.

Orlando now heads back home to prepare for their midweek tilt against Tigres in the Concacaf Champions League, which will kick off at 7:30 on FS1.

How the Lions lined up

Orlando City XI: Pedro Gallese; Ivan Angulo(Gaston Gonzalez, 68β€²), Abdi Salim (Robin Jansson, 45β€²), Rodrigo Schlegel, Kyle Smith (Mikey Halliday, 84β€²), Rafael Santos; Wilder Cartagena, Mauricio Pereyra (Cesar Araujo, 64β€²), Dagur Dan Thorhallsson; Facundo Torres(Martin Ojeda, 45β€²); Duncan McGuire

Unused substitutes: Felipe Martins, Ercan Kara, Antonio Carlos, Mason Stajduhar

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