Orlando City 1 – 0 Newcastle United: A dismal performance.

Posted on July 24th, 2011 | 19 Comments |

The Citrus Bowl: Where Newcastle United were schooled.
Newcastle United failed to produce
Heat problems, turf issues and a collection of cartoon characters stood in the way of today’s game. Undeterred, Newcastle United went to watch a game of football – and that’s about all they did.

Immediately after kick off, the lads were forced to defend as Orlando City threw everything they had at us. Misplaced pass after misplaced pass plagued our team who were unable to escape their half of the pitch for the opening 5 minutes. Short of some smart runs and passing play (including a 1-6 between Alan Smith and Cheik Tioté), Orlando controlled the game.

In that time Ryan Taylor, who was playing at left back, managed to pick up a knock and was substituted on the 25th minute for Jose Enrique. Here’s hoping that knock is minor and he was taken off as a precaution.

Just so you have an idea of Orlando’s dominance, we had conceded around 4 or 5 corners at this stage – compared to the 0 Orlando had conceded.

Once the 35 minute mark had hit, Newcastle sprung to life and charged out of their end of the pitch, thanks to Enrique, and tried to keep the play beyond the centre circle. Dinks from Jonas (playing on the right!) was blocked, and as the ball was kicked out wide to Dan Gosling, he promptly ran into an Orlando defender. Canny.

A penalty shout was turned down by the referee as Gosling was pulled down in the area by an Orlando defender.

Despite their best efforts, the lads simply could not unlock the home team and were promptly closed down at all opportunities. The first half ended with 2 shots on target but many more corners as we began to play with more intelligence and effectiveness.

Fluid movements graced the stadium for the first time all game, beautiful young cheerleaders had indeed found themselves on the pitch and were entertaining the fans during the half time break. Dressed in black with socks only having a horizontal black and white trim, they faced the Newcastle support and gave the travelling fans bang for their buck.

For about 5 minutes these teenage girls danced their hearts out, shaking their posteriors in perfect time to the inaudible music and served as a reminder to us why America is such a great nation. A nation where sports fans can endure the most mind numbing game they’re likely to see and suddenly be entertained by a gaggle of women.


Sadly, they walked off and we were treated to three young black girls dancing and singing to what I like to believe was a rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Freebird“.

Things got considerably worse as the young black girls left the pitch to much applause, and the teams walked back on.

The second half started in much the same way as the first half ended, only without Newcastle doing as much. At this point Colocinni was taken by the spirit of old boy Philip Albert and began charging up the pitch as often as he could – to much applause of the travelling fans.

Fraser Forster was left with a yellow card after he tried to remove the red, white and blue streamers from his area and his goal mouth. Or at least I think he did, the camera man wasn’t entirely certain on where he was supposed to point his camera.

Shortly afterwards, the combination of Jonas and Enrique began to work, with some very well defended crosses being knocked back out of the box leaving Orlando free to run up the pitch only to be mopped up by the Newcastle United defence.

Around the hour mark, Orlando began to play with real venom and began throwing everything they had at us. Thanks to Colocinni nothing came of it until the 75th minute, when a Orlando player Dennis Chin had only Colocinni and Steven Taylor to beat, sent Colo the wrong way, passed the ball across the box to Molino who delivered the ball into the top right hand corner.

Minutes later, Orlando almost went 2-0 up as a player broke in from the right and calmly slotted the ball away to the left post, where Forster managed to tip it around to concede a corner.

Then came our moment in the metaphorical sun.

Young starlet James Tavernier had the ball. He looked up and realised he had time. Surging forward now, he knew he had the attention of the Orlando defence but not to be put off, he saw Haris Vuckic to his left and young Tav hit the most perfect pass ever to be seen in the world of football. Vuckic, who was busy sunbathing, saw the pass and knew immediately what to do with it.

At a mere jog he collected the ball, winked at the keeper and calmly slotted the ball into the back of the net! Goal for Newcas— oh wait, offside. Right.

New boy Mehdi Abeid showed his skill from when he came onto the pitch and turned players inside and out, and even had a pop at goal which unfortunately fell wide of the mark.

Overall, if this was difficult to read – it was even harder to watch. Though this is a pre-season friendly, I expected so much more from the lads and was left feeling extremely disappointed and feeling particularly sorry for the Newcastle fans who had travelled out to the US to see the team play in their pre-season games.

Man of the match would have to go to Colocinni with Tavernier and Abeid a respective close second and third. Vuckic definitely impressed me, showing some of his early promise and was up and down the pitch when he was finally brought on for Gosling – expect more of this lad.

Here’s hoping that we can do a lot better in our next game against Columbus Crew. (Who are not a gang, contrary to popular belief.)


Newcastle United: Fraser Forster, Ryan Taylor (25th), Steven Taylor, Fabricio Coloccini (C), James Tavernier. Dan Gosling (70th), Alan Smith (73rd), Cheik Tiote, Jonas Gutierrez. Peter Lovenkrands (73rd), Leon Best (73rd). Subs- Steve Harper, Tim Krul, Jose Enrique (25th), Mehdi Abeid (73rd), Haris Vuckic (70th), Demba Ba (73rd), Shola Ameobi (73rd).

Orlando City: Miguel Gallardo, Jerome Mechalk, Kieron Bernard, Rob Valentino, Jack Traynor. Jamie Watson, Yordany Alarez, Luke Bode, Lewis Neal. Max Griffin, Matt Luzunaris. Subs- Sean Kelley, Wes Allen, Adama Mbengue, Justin Fojo, Kevin Molino, Charlie Campbell, Ian Fuller, Dennis Chin, Devorn Jorsling.

Note: I apologise for the shoddiness of this article but as it stands it’s 3:39 am and I’m all but ready for bed!

NUFCBlog Author: Thump Some say his bones are black and white but that is yet to be medically proven. Currently writes for a few different publications and likes to assert his imaginary authority on nobody in particular. Beware: eats children. Thump has written 36 articles on this blog.

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19 Responses

  1. Cheers for the match report. At least you can enjoy the sun if not the football lol.

  2. You do realize that, if you were an American blog, you would be condemned as a racist for that crack on our dance team, right?

    Not that I particularly care about our dance team. Just saying.

    (BTW: There’s only one black girl on our dance team.)

  3. @Reeves’ Army first off who cares what he says about the dance team (they were completely shite and were about 7-9 years old) and there were three black girls not 1. Hes not talking about the cheerleaders dancing

  4. glad to see vuckic and young abeid do so well and tavernier and colo were fantastic ,should of been 1-1 i thought

  5. Sorry did Ed edit his blog or is Reeves just a sad bastard. Ed is an American first of all and nothing he said had anything to do with race unless you are of the opinion that only black girls have nice “posteriors” in which case you are the racist cause many white girls have an LA face with an Oakland booty!

    Maybe you are a troll but either way you a sad bastard.

  6. Actually Reeves I apologise. You are not a sad bastard. Upon re reading I notice Ed did point out the fact that the singing girls were black and I have to admit there is no real reason to distinguish them from being girls as opposed to ‘black girls”. Ed has never referred to Shola or Tiote as our black players so it is odd that he would choose to make such a statement. Unreserved apology

  7. To be fair, I holiday in Orlando almost every year and as some of you will also know, the weather is energy zapping, this pre-season isn’t about scoring 6 or 7 a game, we’ll be looking to get fit and be able to run for 90 mins. It’s pre- season and results mean nothing, we’ll be fine this season with some good signings, erding hopefully through the door soon and maybe one more player!

  8. Toons, don’t feel to bad, Orl is only third div due to money problems with the Div 2 league. They were in Div 2 last year. They also are atop thier league by 10 points. They stand 2-2 against mls teams this year. Bolton beat us 3-1 last week, but it was the day after a big league game.

    I personally think it was the humidity, it can be unbearable if you arent use to it.


  9. Reeves’ Army said:
    bawww you pointed out the colo(u)r of a persons skin

    There was no ‘racist remark’. If you go back and read it, I mentioned the three young girls who performed after the dance troupe. Would you prefer I stop using such an atrocious word as “black” and refer to them in a much more derogatory manner as “African American”? Or perhaps you’d like me to leave it out completely rather than try and give a full picture of the only worthwhile part of the entire game – the half time entertainment. Even without sound the young lasses did a much better job of entertaining the fans than the footballers did.

    @Charlietoon: I’m Ed? o_o

  10. Herb says:

    “Toons, don’t feel to bad, Orl is only third div due to money problems with the Div 2 league”

    “Bolton beat us 3-1 last week, but it was the day after a big league game”

    “I personally think it was the humidity, it can be unbearable if you arent use to it”

    Unless Pardwho is now known as “Humidity” then what you’ve said above is just bull.

    We were shlte, there was no plan A, B or C and we merely went through the motions. Mainly because we had no creativity anywhere. If you’re gonna pick Tiote then dont pair him, in a 4-4-2, with Smudger as that leads to stagnation.

    FFS we were so shlte yesterday even Orlando Ladies could have beaten us and at least I’d have enjoyed watching them :)

    Pardwho has to work out the differenece between giving everyone a workout and picking a crap team. If he said he wanted to move onto a new formation and style of play for the new season why choose a 4-4-2 against lowly opposition when HBA isnt around, unless you’re just shite at your job ?

    If you have both Best and Ameobi needing a game (with no HBA) then play one in each half and play more skillful midfielders and keep playing the formation you claim will do the biz this year ? The guy’s a terwatt and shouldnt be left in charge of wooden legs at a one legged arse kicking contest !


  11. Thump says:
    July 24, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    “Would you prefer I stop using such an atrocious word as “black” and refer to them in a much more derogatory manner as “African American”?”

    Thump, that really sent my thoughts off on a tangent when I was trying to concentrate on Alan Smith!

  12. I probably did you a favour, worky!

    Edit: I also apologise to everybody for that little rant. I genuinely believe that racism exists solely as long as people look for racism – and he was looking for it. Absolutely ridiculous.

  13. Thump
    I believe no negative or racial intent was implied.
    Simply a case of the difference between PC awareness in the US and UK.
    However “me thinks though protesteth too much” and (only) geese gaggle as do (only) streams meander.

  14. chuck says:
    July 24, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    I believe no negative or racial intent was implied.
    Simply a case of the difference between PC awareness in the US and UK.”

    Chuck, I actually think it’s far more complex than that, and that Thump is right. Some aspects of ‘Political Correctness’ are extremely misguided, and some black Americans do actually dislike the expression ‘African American’ too.