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Orlando City SC turns the tables and defeats Philadelphia Union

Orlando City SC has had little success against teams that attack in a back three and use three defenders. Since they couldn't beat them, they thought they would join them in the back three for the game against Philadelphia Union.

But this time the opponent didn't play a three-man chain. Although the Orlando team didn't completely eliminate the Philadelphia Union, City left the field with a 3-2 win and three points.

During the week-long drills in preparation for the road trip, head coach Oscar Pareja and his staff implemented a brilliant, unexpected strategy. They knew that the opposing team had figured out their opponent's success with a back three. So Orlando City would attack with the same formation.

The Orlando team brought full energy to the pitch in both halves. They maintained a high level of concentration. They brought back their ugly offense – emphasizing substance over style – and got back into the MLS marathon.

The game got wild. This form allows for some effective attacks from the opponent. For Philadelphia it meant two strong penalty attempts, both from midfielder Daniel Gazdag. In the 66th minute he scored the Union's second and final goal.

But in the 89th minute, City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese fended off another strong attempt and saved for the fifth time in the game.

In the 12th minute, Philadelphia striker Mikael Uhre scored, assisted by defender Nathan Harriel and midfielder Jack McGlynn.

But as long as the two wingers maintain their stamina, Orlando's back three can fend off penalties and almost any other attack.

This is because, by design, the wingers in the back three fall back and can form a defensive line with five defenders if necessary.

But it works best the way the Orlando team played against Philadelphia. It got the scorers going.

As Pareja put it after the game, the players created a lot of chances. This left just enough space in the net for Duncan McGuire, who was able to score in the 21st minute, assisted by midfielder Nico Lodeiro – who received the first assist on all three goals – and a second assist from fellow striker Luis Muriel. Muriel gave the team the lead in the 41st minute with a second assist from midfielder Ivan Angulo.

Then Muriel gave the team the lead for good in the 46th minute, this time with a single assist from Lodeiro.

Muriel has just begun his season as a goalscorer, Pareja said. This is exactly what fans have been waiting for from the Designated Player. His second goal, scored just 18 seconds into the second half, is the fastest second-half goal in City's history.

Pareja adds that this victory is part of a long journey. So it's the MLS marathon. And Orlando City SC is at it again.

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Anna Harden

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