It was late on Sunday, very late in fact. 90 minutes had ticked by and Orlando City were trailing fellow expansion club New York City FC 1-0 with ten men at the Citrus Bowl in Florida.
Kevin Molino was brought down just outside the box and the Lions were awarded a late free-kick to try and rescue a point. A moment of insurmountable pressure. One most would crumble under. But not Kaka.
The Brazilian playmaker stepped up and his deflected deflected shot found its way into the back of the net, sending over 60,000 Orlando fans into raptures.
WATCH: Kaka’s late free-kick earns Orlando a draw in inaugural MLS game (via MLS on YouTube):
It was a special moment. Orlando’s superstar had delivered when it mattered most in the club’s first ever MLS game and scoring the club’s first-ever goal was a special moment for Kaka.
“I’ve scored a lot of goals in my career,” the former Real Madrid and AC Milan star said after the game. “I have to say this is one of the most emotional. When I saw the ball go inside the goal, it was amazing.
“We are building something special. The response from the people of Orlando was fantastic. For there to be 62,000 people here for a club that has one game in the [MLS] is phenomenal. Now, little by little, we have to maintain this [excitement].”
Orlando travel to Houston to take on Owen Coyle and the Dynamo on Friday night in the expansion sides’ first away game in MLS and although they won’t have the voices of 62,510 supporters cheering them on, they will hope for a first victory.
How important is Kaka to Orlando City in their first MLS season?