[USL PRO] Sean Kelley was the unlikely hero of the first USP PRO final, coming on for Goalie of the Year Miguel Gallardo after the Mexican was red carded and making two saves in the shootout Orlando City won to beat the Harrisburg City Islanders before a boisterous crowd
of 11,220 at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
The wild game saw Lawrence Olum put Orlando City ahead in the 89th minute, Harrisburg send the game into overtime on a goal by J.T. Noone in stoppage time, and Gambian Sainey Touray put Harrisburg ahead in overtime only for Englishman Lewis Neal to equalize from the penalty spot in the 115th minute.
The drama extended to the shootout as Kelley stopped Nelson Becerra and Jose Angulo on Harrisburg's first two shots, but with Orlando leading 2-1 and looking to clinch the victory Charlie Campbell and Luke Boden both hit their shots over the goal.
The score was tied 2-2 in the 5th round of the shootout when Toure put his shot wide of the goal and Trinidadian Devorn Jorsling calmly converted to give Orlando the title.
Jorsling was lucky to escape punishment in overtime with Harrisburg leading 2-1 when he ran over and hurled Harrisburg keeper Chase Harrison to the ground.
Gallardo wasn't so fortunate, being sent off early in the second half for taking down Touray outside the area.
Harrisburg's Geoff Bloes was sent off for a foul on Dennis Chin that resulted in the penalty kick Neal converted.
Kelley, the game's MVP, knew it would take some unusual circumstances to enter the game.
“In a game like that," he said afterward, "if I were to have to come in, something would have had to go wrong."
Kelley starred at George Mason University and was attending a tryout last year when Austin Aztex coach Adrian Heath saw him.
Kelley only played one game for Austin in last year's USSF D-2 Pro League and two this season for Orlando when Heath brought both Gallardo and Kelley with him to Orlando when the Aztex moved.
Orlando won the American Division title with the best record in USL PRO.
Sept. 3 in Orlando, Fla.
Orlando City 2 Harrisburg 2 (Orlando City wins 3-2 on penalties). Goals: Olum 89, Neal (pen.) 115; Noone 90, Touray 95.
Orlando City -- Gallardo, Boden, Jerome, Valentino, Alvarez, Molino (Campbell, 91), Neal, Olum, Watson (Chin, 78), Fuller (Allen, 65), Griffin (Traynor, 51; Jorsling, 110).
Harrisburg -- Harrison, Basso, Bloes, Calvano, Hotchkin (Angulo, 62), Noone, Schofield (Langley, 69), Pelletier (Bernardo, 101), Welker (Thayer, 92), Ackley (Becerra, 75), Touray.
Red Cards: Orlando City -- Gallardo 48; Harrisburg Bloes 113.
Referee: Matt Bazakos.
For a view from the stands during the shootout ...