By DAN KARELL
For the second time in three seasons, Orlando City Soccer Club has won the USL Pro Championship.
In front of a USL Pro record crowd of 20,886 at the Citrus Bowl, Orlando City ran riot, defeating the Charlotte Eagles, 7-4, thanks to a record four goals from on-loan forward Dom Dwyer. Dwyer also added an assist, while teammate Dennis Chin chipped in with two goals and an assist as well. Eagles forward Christian Ramirez scored a brace in the losing effort.
With a number of injuries to their front line, Orlando City requested for Sporting Kansas City to loan back Dwyer, who had scored 15 goals for the USL side in the first half of the season, a request that Sporting KC happily complied with. The move paid instant dividends, as Dwyer scored twice in the first half, the first of which equalized an Eagles goal in the 20th minute by Fejiro Okiomah.
Just seconds after Dwyer scored his second, Ramirez drew the scoreline level once more with a goal two minutes before halftime and scored again in the 58th minute to put the visitors ahead once more.
Dwyer though picked up his teammates when they were given a penalty, bagging his hat-trick from the spot past Eagles goalkeeper Eric Reed to tie the game in the 61st minute. Eight minutes later, Dwyer added his fourth with Anthony Pulis, son of former Stoke City manage Tony Pulis, providing the assist.
In the 70th minute, just a minute after Dwyers goal, Chin scored the first of his two on the day, and Adama Mbengue made it 6-3 in the 85th minute with the assist going to Dwyer. Eagles substitute Christian Meza cut the deficit to two with a goal two minutes from time, but Chin put the finishing touches on the offensive onslaught with a goal in stoppage-time to ensure victory for Adrian Heath’s side.