Philadelphia Union lost their first preseason match in 2011 as the club fell to USL-Pro club Orlando City S.C. 1-0 at the Florida Citrus Bowl. A straight red card handed to Carlos Valdes in the 19th minute left the Union a man down, and Lewis Neal capitalized on the ensuing free kick for the match’s lone goal.
Playing with ten men, the Union were left searching for an equalizer the remainder of the match. In the 31st minute, Danny Mwanga stole a ball in the midfield and managed to slice through Orlando’s defense, but the striker’s shot from the top of the box was wide of the near post.
Mwanga continued to challenge the Lions in the 43rd minute after Roger Torres found the youngster to the left of the goal, but Mwanga’s attempt missed the far post.
The Union came out refreshed in the second half, creating chances throughout the final 45 minutes of the match. Kyle Nakazawa had several scoring opportunities, but the midfielder was unable to convert.
The 1-0 result closes out the Union’s first leg of preseason training, presented by Bimbo Bakeries USA. The club will head back to Philadelphia on Sunday morning. On Wednesday, February 23, Nowak’s squad will leave to complete its 2011 preseason training in Heraklion, Crete, sponsored by Colonial Marble & Granite. The final leg of preseason will feature matches against Greek Third Division team Hersonisos F.C. and Super League team Ergotelis F.C.