Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the MLS match between Orlando City
and New York City FC
It's a historic moment in the MLS as these two new franchises will get their careers in the league underway at the Citrus Bowl tonight.
Orlando have been promoted from the USL after three years of playing in the division, and are managed by former Everton player Adrian Heath
who will be looking to guide his team to the perfect start to their life in the MLS.
The headline maker for Orlando is none other than the Ballon d'Or winner of 2007 Kaka, who has joined the club for the 2015 as their designated player. He still has exceptional ability and it will be very interesting to see if he can match the success of players such as David Beckham and Thierry Henry in the league.
New York have their own star in the form of David Villa
, who joined the club last year after a successful career in La Lia. He captains the team and will be looking to form their identity in the league, which begins in just moments.
ORLANDO STARTING XI: Ricketts, Hines, Collin, Ramos, Kaka, Neal, Shea, Molino, Okugo, Higuita, Rivas
Subs: St Ledger, Cascio, Avila, Boden, Ceren, Rochez, Edwards
NEW YORK STARTING XI: Saunders, Hernandez, Wingert, Williams, Brovsky, Grabavoy, Ballouchy, Jacobsen, Diskerud, Villam, Nemec
Subs: Fitzgerald, Watson-Siriboe, Mullins, Shelton, Velasquez, Calle, Poku
We're so close to kickoff now as both sets of players are going through their respective warm-ups, and the atmosphere in the Citrus Bowl is rife with anticipation.
KICKOFF! We're underway in the Citrus Bowl.
Orlando threaten with their first attack as they win a free kick just inside the New York half. Kaka whips a dangerous cross into the box for the head of Seb Hines, but the defender just guided his header wide of the post. Promising start for the home side.
Kaka breaks forward with menace at the New York defence and he gets to the edge of the box before sliding a through ball into the feet of Rivas. The striker turns his man and fires an effort towards goal, but he is flagged for offside as he puts the ball wide. A bright start for Heath's men.
First moment of action for Villa as a New York player as he is fouled by Collin as he tries to turn upfield. However, the free kick comes to nothing for the visitors as Ricketts gathers the ball.
CHANCE! A huge chance is spurned by Nemec as he puts a free header from 10 yards wide of the post for the visitors. The striker had gone unnoticed in the box and was picked out by an excellent cross from Ballouchy, but Nemec failed to take advantage as he failed to guide his effort on target.
A scary moment for Orlando as Okugo tries to clear the ball in his own box, but fails to connect with the ball. Fortunately for the home side the ball clear of the area, while Grabavoy can't control it, allowing them to hoof the ball away.
CHANCE! Ramos raids down the right for the home side and lifts the ball into the box. The New York defence clear the ball but only as far as Kaka on the edge, who decides to fire a first-time shot on his left foot, which goes just wide of the target.
A nasty injury for Saunders as he tries to claim a free kick from Neil from the left. The keeper tries to catch the ball under pressure from Hines, and is able to corral the ball, but on his way down his head collides with the post. Hines then decides to put the ball into the net, but the referee had already blown his whistle. Saunders will have to be evaluated by the medical staff for a concussion, but he appears to be ok.
Saunders is on his feet and is ready to go once more as he clears the ball downfield to restart the match.
The tempo of the game has suffered because of the stoppage in play as both sides are struggling to inject pace into their passing. It's a bit ponderous at the moment, and someone needs to take the initiative.
Some pressure from the home side as they win a corner down the left a decent move involving Kaka and Molino. The Brazilian takes the corner, but his delivery is poor as his cross fails to beat the first man. An injection of quality is need in the Citrus Bowl.
New York break upfield with pace and the ball is played to Grabavoy down the right flank. The midfielder has Villa in support, who peels off the back post, but Grabavoy scuffs his cross straight into the legs of Hines, who clears the ball.
CHANCE! Kaka plays the ball into the feet of Rivas on the edge of the area, who shows quick feet to turns his man. The forward unleashes a powerful strike at goal, which takes a deflection off Wingert and flies just over the bar.
YELLOW CARD! Poor from Brek Shea as he breaks into the box and then takes a tumble without any contact from Jacobson. The midfielder is consequently booked for simulation as he is surrounded by furious New York defenders.
Grabavoy releases the run of Diskerud on the edge of the box for the visitors. The midfielder has space for the shot, but decides to carry on, and on, and on before he deliberates too long on the ball and is dispossessed.
The tempo of the game has dropped off again as both sides appear to be at pre-season pace. It's understandable that it will take some time for them to get into the rhythm of the regular season.
CHANCE! Kaka shoots with power from the edge of the box as he is teed up by Molino, but Saunders is able to stick out a hand and palm the ball away from goal. A good reaction stop from the keeper as the Brazilian hit that with real venom from 20 yards out.
YELLOW CARD! Another booking for simulation for the home side as this time Molino is yellow carded as he falls to the ground, claiming he was tripped by Brovsky. The referee disagrees and replays show that it was definite dive.
YELLOW CARD! Ballouchy is the first New York player to go into the book as he brings down Higuita down the left flank.
Jacobson surges forward from the back for the visitors and he is allowed to continue by Orlando until he decides to rifle an effort at goal from 30 yards, and although his strike has power, it sails well over the crossbar.
Kaka tries to weave his way past several New York defenders on the edge of the box, but loses the ball. Rivas picks it up and drives into the penalty area and fires a left-footed strike at goal, only to see his strike fly over the crossbar.
HALF-TIME: Orlando City 0-0 New York City FC
It is goalless at the break at the Citrus Bowl as neither team has been able to break the deadlock. To no-one's surprise Kaka has been the best player on show and came close to firing his side ahead with a powerful strike that was well saved by Josh Saunders
. The quality of the game has been mixed as both teams appear to be adjusting to life in the regular season.
New York have been on the back foot for the majority of the half, but did have one good opportunity early in the game when Adam Nemec put his free header wide of the target. Skipper David Villa has barely been involved for the visitors and Jason Kreis
's first objective for the second half will be to ensure his side supply the striker with a lot more ammunition than they did in the first 45 minutes.
The players are making their way out for the second half so we should be underway shortly. There appear to be no changes for Orlando at least as New York slowly make their way out in the middle.
We're back underway in the Citrus Bowl.
The ball breaks to Rivas in the box as Orlando surge forward from the kickoff, but for the fourth time in the game he is flagged offside as he attempted to shoot at goal.
Orlando catch the visitors out with a quick free kick as Kaka is able to raid down the left flank. The forward tries to pick out a teammate in the middle, but Hernandez diverts the ball out for a corner. Kaka appeals for a penalty, but the referee is having none of it as he points for a corner.
SAVE! Orlando's rapid start to the half continues as Rivas knocks the ball into the path of Molino on the edge of the box, and the midfielder tries to bend the ball into the bottom corner. The strike looks to be heading into the net until Saunders sticks out a hand to divert it past the post.
OFF THE LINE! From the resulting corner, Kaka whips the ball into the box for the head of Okugo who powers a header at goal, but Wingert is well positioned on the post and clears the ball.
A disaster nearly occurs in the Orlando backline as Hines gives the ball away straight into Nemec on the edge of his own box. However, the striker's touch is poor as he allows Collin to nip in and clear the ball to safety. Action packed start to the half!
YELLOW CARD! Hernandez is booked as he drags back Rivas as the striker tried to wrestle himself free of the defender.
Kaka lifts the ball into the box from the free kick for Hines to leap in the air to head at goal, but his effort lacks power and direction from just inside the penalty area as Saunders is able to watch the ball past his post.
Solid defending from Hernandez as he makes an inch-perfect tackle in his own box to prevent Rivas from firing an effort at goal after Orlando had worked the ball well down the left through Higuita and Shea.
Higuita raids forward with menace and Brovsky tries to end his attacking run with a tackle on the edge of the box, which he mistimes, handing Orlando a free kick in a dangerous area. Brovsky also goes into the book for his troubles.
CHANCE! Kaka backheels the ball to Rivas on the edge who drills a left-footed strike towards the near post, but his attempt crashes into the side-netting, while Saunders would have probably had the effort covered if it was on target anyway.
SUBSTITUTION: Khiry Shelton replaces Mehdi Ballouchy for the visitors in the first change of the game.
Rivas is played through on goal with Saunders and is brought down as he knocks the ball past the keeper. Surely it's a penalty and red card for the keeper, but yet again the striker is to be haunted by the offside flag, which denies the home side the spot kick. Saunders also takes a nasty whack to the head and is bleeding as Rivas appeared to catch his head with his boot as he went over the top of him.
CHANCE! New York break in numbers after the home side were lose the cheaply in midfield. Villa raids to the edge of the box before sliding a through ball into the feet of Shelton, who fires a shot across the face of goal, but his shot goes agonisingly wide.
CHANCE! Another huge opportunity for the visitors as Nemec manages to find space in the box and has time to fire at goal. However, he gets his left-footed strike all wrong as he blazes his effort over the bar. It's not been a good day for the striker.
After the flurry of chances for both teams the tempo of the game has dipped quite significantly in the last few minutes. There appear to be a few tired legs out there now, which is understandable for the first game of the season.
A long ball over the top of the Orlando defence causes problems as Shelton and Shea are in a tussle for the ball. Shea sticks with the forward all the way and does well to stop the strike at goal, although his side concede a corner.
GOAL! Orlando City 0-1 New York City FC (Diskerud)
New York take the lead and Mix Diskerud
has put himself in the history books of the franchise as he nets the first goal in their history. From the corner the ball was played short to Villa, who picked out the run of Diskerud on the edge of the box and the midfielder displayed composure to curl the ball past Ricketts into the bottom corner.
PENALTY SHOUT! Orlando are furious as Higuita goes down in the box under the challenge of Brovsky. The home side want a penalty as the referee blows his whistle, but he books Higuita for simulation, the third Orlando player of the game to receive the infraction. Replays show that the midfielder was brought down under contact from Brovsky, which should have been a spot kick and a red card for the defender as he has already been booked.
Another chance to threaten for the home side as Jacobson brings down Okugo on the edge of the box and Kaka will stand over the ball.
Kaka drills his free kick straight into the wall, but the home side manage to win a corner to keep the pressure on New York. However, it comes to nothing as Saunders collects the ball from the cross from the left.
RED CARD! Collin is sent off for Orlando as their situation goes from bad to worse as he brings down Villa on the edge of the area. His boot was high, but he didn't make contact with the leading foot as the forward crumpled to the ground. You can see why the referee has given it, but try telling that to Collin as he is in disbelief.
CHANCE! Villa curls the ball towards the net from the resulting free kick and the flight of the ball troubles Ricketts enough to force him into a full-length dive to his left, but the ball goes past the post.
Orlando are throwing caution to the winds by throwing everyone forward. They aren't with this match just yet.
Another chance for Kaka to hit a set piece to get his side back into the match as Molino is brought down by Grabavoy on the edge of the box.
GOAL! Orlando City 1-1 New York City (Kaka)
Kaka delivers a debut goal for Orlando as he strikes his free kick with venom and the ball takes a huge deflection and wrong foots Saunders before rolling into the back of the net. It's a huge moment for the Brazilian and the franchise as he nets his first goal for the club and gets them off the mark in the MLS.
FULL-TIME: Orlando City 1-1 New York City FC
It's honours even then in the first MLS match in the histories of Orlando City and New York City FC. Mix Diskerud looked to have given the visitors all three points and a historic victory at the Citrus Bowl with a splendid curling effort. However, Kaka popped up and delivered on his debut in the MLS to hand his side a point as his free kick was deflected into the net to send 60,000 spectators into raptures.
Both Adrian Heath and Jason Kreis
will have learned a lot about their teams this evening in good contest for the opening games of their respective campaigns. However, both managers will want to improvement across the board as they adjust to life in the MLS.
Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Be sure to stick with Sports Mole for our continued coverage of the MLS this evening. But from me, it's goodbye.