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LAMAR HUNT/U.S. OPEN CUP

June 2, 2016
STANDING TALL
Orozco's header seals Cosmos' Open Cup win


Despite being the shortest player on the field, Yohondry Orozco scored a vital header for the Cosmos in their Open Cup win over the Jersey Express.
Despite being the shortest player on the field, Yohondry Orozco scored a vital header for the Cosmos in their Open Cup win over the Jersey Express.
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By JP Guzhnay
BigAppleSoccer.com Writer

QUEENS, N.Y. -- Despite being the shortest player on the field at 5-5, Cosmos forward Yohandry Orozco stood tall for so many reasons Wednesday night.

Not only did he give the team some energy as a second-half substitute, the Venezuelan struck for an insurance goal -- off a header in a 2-0 third-round victory over the Jersey Express in the Lamar Hunt/U.S. Open Cup at Belson Stadium.

Orozco's big moment came in the 72nd when he headed home Hunter Freeman's right-wing cross from four yards past goalkeeper David Greczek.

It was Orozco`s third goal since joining the Cosmos earlier this year.

He said “perhaps this is my second goal" that he scored via a header in his career.

“Its funny. Right before I was [substituted] into the match, I was joking with [teammate Juan] Arango," Orozco said. "I was joking that I was actually going to score a goal with my head and it`s funny that I ended up scoring a goal today as a header.”

While the Cosmos led 1-0 in the second half, it was not until Orozco`s substitution that New York created more goal-scoring chances as they saw to close out the game.

Cosmos head coach Giovanni Savarese praised the Venezuelan international.

“Yohandry has great qualities," he said. "He’s finding spaces and [was] able to take advantage of those spaces and he found that space. He jumped very well to be able to connect."

Savarese added that Orozco "gave us a very important goal because it gave us time to breath. It gave us the possibility to be able to play the ball, to control better the game.

“The fact that we had the beginning controlled wasn’t the fact that we had the result in control," he said. "We had 1-0 and that goal just calmed things down and it was a very important moment for us."

Orozco was just happy to leave the stadium with a win. The Cosmos' next Open Cup foe will be New York City FC at Fordham University June 15.

"It was a great win for us, a great team win," he said. "We hope to move on and get another win in the cup."

Before the Cosmos can do that, they must play the Fort Lauderdale Strikers in their final North American Soccer League game of the spring season. If the Cosmos win, they will clinch the spring season crown and earn a playoff berth and host a semifinal match in November.

"We have to keep the Open Cup different from the NASL tournament," Orozco said. "those are two different things. We will face each one separately but will do our very best in both of them."
 
   
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