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Orlando City Back to Winning Ways, Facundo Torres Finds First Goal of the Season

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Orlando City got a much-need 3 points after winning against LA Galaxy. Photo: Gary Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES, Ca. (FNN SPORTS) — Orlando City rallied back after a shocking loss to FC Cincinnati last week to secure their first three points away from home. Facundo Torres found his debut goal in the city of Angels after a timely assist by Ercan Kara. This goal marks the first goal contribution for Kara as both designated DP’s have found contributions early in the season.

Selfie Time in La-La Land

After training last week, Facundo Torres claimed that his first goal celebration would be a ‘team selfie’ with the rest of his squad, a trademark celebration he first popularized as a member of Peñarol. Torres made good on his word this weekend as he pounced on a chance at goal after Ercan Kara was able to dispossess LA Galaxy’s Nick DePuy on an attacking press.

The resulting cross and effort at goal led to elation for Orlando City. Facundo Torres finally broke his duck after contributing his first assist last week. With his first goal now out of the way, Orlando City fans are starting to notice the game-deciding potential that Facundo brings to the table.

More important than the offensive break this weekend was the defensive masterclass led by Antonio Carlos. Contrary to prior games, Orlando City was not the protagonist in the final 30 minutes of play. Despite having to hold out at the back, Orlando City kept their form. More importantly, they obtained a clean sheet for Pedro Gallese to crown himself the GK with the most clean sheets in club history.

 

A Worrying Trend?

Despite their monumental win on the west coast — Orlando’s first away win against a Western Conference rival since 2016, there were instances of play in Los Angeles that begin to worry the average Orlando City fan. For one, it’s obvious to see that officiating in the MLS has not been in Orlando’s favor, especially when it comes to fouls against our most prized players.

Facundo Torres and Cesar Araujo are amongst the most fouled players in all of MLS. Cesar Araujo is also starting to don a reputation as a player frequented for yellow cards. With just four games played so far, he has amassed three YC in all appearances and has suffered 15 fouls against him, the most of any Orlando City player so far this season. Pedro Gallese also suffered a worrying hit this weekend that called into question just how much officials are taking care of players in a proactive fashion to avoid hard fouls occurring in the first place.

Through the setbacks, Orlando City is finding ways to flourish and a real team atmosphere is building around them. In their next game, they face a resilient Portland Timbers side who will also look to be the aggressor early. Portland Timbers will surely be licking their wounds after suffering a 4-1 away loss at the hands of FC Dallas. They host a surging Orlando City on March 27 at Providence Park.

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Nicolas Vera is a sports reporter for Florida National News. | sports@floridanationalnews.com

Florida

Scottie Scheffler Wins Second Red Cardigan at 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational

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Photo credit: Mike Brodsky, Florida National News

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN Sports) – Scottie Scheffler wins his second red cardigan at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, today, along with $4 million of the $20 million prize pool. The red cardigan was first awarded in 2017, in memory of Arnold Palmer who passed the year before. Scheffler first won the API in 2022.

Scottie Scheffler wins the Arnold Palmer Invitational. (Photo credit: Mike Brodsky, Florida National News)

The number one ranked golfer in the world, Scheffler finished at 15 under par for the four day tournament, carding a 66 today. Wyndham Clark finished in second place at 10 under par. API defending champion, Kurt Kitayama, did not make the cut, this weekend, finishing 7 over par after the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday.

This coming week, the top golfers head to TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, for the 50th anniversary of The Players Championship. The winner will walk away with $4.5 million of the $25 million up for grabs. This is the PGA Tour’s largest regular season purse. Stay tuned to www.FloridaNationalNews.com for more.

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Golf

Lydia Ko and Jeff McNeil win the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions

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Lydia Ko win the 2024 Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Sunday, January 21, 2024. Photo by Harry Castiblanco / Florida National News

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) – Lake Nona resident, Lydia Ko, has won the 2024 Hilton Grand Vacations LPGA Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, while Mets All-Star Second Baseman, Jeff McNeil, has won the celebrities and amateurs competition. The four day tournament wrapped up Sunday. Ko takes home $225,000 of the $1.5 million prize pool, while baseball player McNeil wins $100,000 of the $500,000 designated for the athletes and entertainers.

 

Lydia Ko and Jeff McNeil win the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, Sunday, January 21, 2024. Photo by Harry Castiblanco / Florida National News

Ko finished at -14, two strokes ahead of Alexa Pano. Defending champion, Brooke Henderson, finished third at ten under par. McNeil ended with 138 points using the Modified Stableford scoring system, in his first time competing in this tournament. Annika Sorenstam finished in second place amongst the celebrity golfers, with 136. Former Major League Baseball pitchers Derek Lowe and Mark Mulder tied for third place at 135.

The Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions also announced today that they have extended their agreement with the LPGA to continue this tournament at Lake Nona for another five years, with a 65% increase in the prize pool money.

Stay tuned to Florida National News for more, and be sure to follow our Florida National News page on Facebook for more photos and videos from the tournament.

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Golf

Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions Returns to Lake Nona

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Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions (Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky, Florida National News)

ORLANDO, Fla. (Florida National News) – The Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions is back at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando Thursday, 1/18 through Sunday, 1/21. This tournament kicks off the LPGA Tour’s 74th season, featuring top women golfers, who have qualified by winning a tournament in 2022 or 2023, playing alongside celebrities from the world of sports, entertainment, and music.

Annika Sorenstam practices on the driving range for the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. (Photo Credit: Mike Brodsky, Florida National News)

 

Comedy fans can watch Larry The Cable Guy entertain the crowd with his one-liners and banter. “Fresh Prince” fans can tune in to Alfonso Ribeiro in hopes of seeing him dance “The Carlton.” Bachelor fans can follow Ben Higgins or Wells Adams to see if they’re passing out any roses.

Sports fans can see some true legends in a different light. Basketball fans can look for Vince Carter, Ray Allen, or Chandler Parsons. Baseball fans can watch for John Smoltz, Albert Pujols, or Roger Clemens. Football fans will find Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen, Brian Urlacher, and Charles Woodson.

You’ll find many other actors, musicians, and champions of various sports. If you’d like to watch some fun golf while also celebrity spotting, be sure to visit the tournament’s website to get your tickets, and to see who else will be playing this year.

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