(USA Today Sports)
Jason Kreis thought he got a raw deal when he was fired after just one season as coach of New York City Football Club.
Kreis got his revenge on Sunday night, as his new club, Orlando City SC beat NYCFC, 2-1.
Kreis took the focus off of himself after the game, as he said, “The importance of the win has nothing to do with the opponent. 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.”
Orlando City got two goals from their star Kaka, while NYCFC’s European stars, David Villa, Frank Lampard, and Andrea Pirlo, were largely kept in check.
Kreis said of the importance of designated players, “In MLS you need your DPs to perform in order for the team to do well, you need those players to do well,”
Kaka’s first goal came in the 32nd minute, when he put the rebound of his own saved shot past Josh Saunders for his fifth goal of the season to make it 1-0 Orlando City.
Steven Mendoza leveled in the 55th minute, knocking in the rebound of Frank Lampard’s saved shot from 12 yards out for his third goal in an NYCFC uniform.
It was Mendoza’s third goal of the season in his first start since June 2.
A short while later, Kaka scored from the penalty spot in the 63rd minute after Maxime Chanot tripped the Brazilian in the box.
The best chance NYCFC had in the first half came off the foot of Andrea Pirlo, who put his 24-yard free kick into the Orlando City wall in the 19th minute. The Lions raced down on a quick counter, but Saunders did well to parry away a lofted ball by Kaka.
Tommy McNamara turned and put a shot on frame from just outside the 18-yard box in the 53rdminute, but Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik made a difficult save.
Orlando City looked to tack on another goal in the 70th minute, but Ronald Matarrita tracked back to make a spectacular sliding save off the line before crashing into the post.
Frank Lampard put a shot on frame in the 81st minute, but Bendik got a touch to force the ball over the end line.
NYCFC had a four-match unbeaten streak snapped and they fell to 11-8-8, 41 points. They remain in second place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Toronto FC, and just one point ahead of the Red Bulls, who beat New England 1-0 on Sunday afternoon.
Orlando City SC improved to 6-7-13, 31 points, and are now one point behind DC United (7-8-11, 32 points) for the final playoff spot.
NYCFC hosts DC United Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.