Orlando City's Lamine Sane gives the thumbs-up to fans after scoring a goal against Real Salt Lake during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, May 6, 2018, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
With center back Amro Tarek battling a lower-body injury, Chris Schuler got his first Orlando City minutes Sunday in the club’s 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake.
Schuler spent eight seasons with Real Salt Lake before being signed as a free agent in the offseason by Orlando City. He was signed the day before Orlando City opened its season against D.C. United.
“Really strong,” coach Jason Kreis said of Schuler. “Of course, it wasn’t perfect. There were a few moments where he maybe put a foot or two wrong, but he’s popped up in a lot of really important moments late in the game. Cutting out crosses, making really good 1-v-1 defensive plays, so I think that says a lot.
“It is his first game in a lot of time. He’s had his injuries even through our preseason and the beginning part of the season so I would say he’s not match-fit. So that says a lot that he can perform like that not being 100-percent match fit.”
Schuler and center back Lamine Sané formed Orlando City’s fourth center back pairing this season — fifth if you count when RJ Allen had to sub in at center back against the New York Red Bulls.
“I think [Schuler] did really well,” goalkeeper Joe Bendik said. “I’ve said this before: I think it’s a really positive thing for this team to have so many different pairings. It’s very unlikely that you can go through a whole year and see the same two center backs.”
Colmán left out of Lions’ 18
Young designated player Josué Colmán wasn’t in Orlando City’s 18 for Sunday’s match against Real Salt Lake.
The 19-year-old Paraguayan attacking midfielder has primarily been a bench player since returning from a preseason quad contusion, though he started in the Lions’ 3-2 victory over the Portland Timbers.
After the match, Kreis said Colmán was held out due to a disciplinary matter.
“Broke a rule in the locker room before the match and was brought out of the 18 because of that,” Kreis said.
Sané scores his first MLS goal
Sané’s first goal of the season was his first goal in MLS after coming to Orlando City from Bundesliga side SV Werder Bremen in the offseason.
At 6-foot-3, he’s one of the tallest players on the pitch at any given time.
After he headed home a corner from Yoshi Yotún, he gave the “Wakanda Forever” salute from the movie “Black Panther.”
It was a bit of redemption for Sané — he got beat on the goal that put RSL ahead in the 12th minute of Sunday’s match.
“I’m very happy for the team, for the club,” he said. “First goal and I hope to have another goal in this season.”