Brazilian star Kaka made a triumphant return as Orlando City thrashed reigning champions the Portland Timbers 4-0 to maintain their unbeaten start to the Major League Soccer season.
Former world footballer of the year Kaka had missed Orlando’s opening three games due to a thigh injury, depriving Adrian Heath’s team of a vital creative outlet.
However the former AC Milan star wasted no time in reminding a 31,114 crowd at the Citrus Bowl of what they had missed, scoring one goal and creating two others before leaving to a standing ovation in the 80th minute.
The Brazilian set up the opening goal for Orlando after only 13 minutes, when his perfectly flighted free kick found Seb Hines who glanced his header into the top corner past Timbers keeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey.
It got better for Orlando on 32 minutes, when Kaka picked out USA international Brek Shea who produced a stunning angled volley from just inside the penalty area that gave Kwarasey no chance.
Kaka, who had been at the heart of most of Orlando’s attacking work in the first half, then got in on the goalscoring himself, sweeping home a low finish in the 48th minute to make it 3-0.
The 33-year-old might have added a second on 76 minutes after Kevin Molino was bundled over in the box by Portland’s Diego Chara for a penalty.
However instead of electing to take the spot kick, Kaka offered the chance to Molino who duly converted for his first goal of the season and a 4-0 lead.
Portland, winners of last year’s MLS Cup, grabbed a late consolation through second half substitute Jack McInerney in the 89th minute.