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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Miami United FC, U.S. Open Cup: Final Score 3-0 as Lions Advance Comfortably

Dillon Powers and PC scored their first goals with the Lions to add to Stefano Pinho’s first-half strike.



Carlos Romero, The Mane Land

Orlando City avoided the upset bug in 2018, decisively defeating NPSL side Miami United FC 3-0 in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Hialeah, FL. Stefano Pinho — a hero in the USOC match for Miami FC last year at Orlando City — scored in the tournament for the Lions to open things up, and Dillon Powers and PC each added their first goals in purple in the second half.

True to his word earlier in the week, Jason Kreis sent a strong lineup out in the U.S. Open Cup opener, with only a few backups sprinkled among the starters. Center back Jonathan Spector got his first action since returning from his second concussion this season.

Both teams began a bit nervy, with Orlando trying to adjust to the artificial turf, leading to several slips and poor passes. Speaking of poor passes, PC stepped in front of one by Miami in the game’s first minute, but his heavy touch allowed goalkeeper Occenat Peterson to collect it. A minute later, Sacha Kljestan tried his luck but missed the net.

Orlando survived a scramble in its own penalty area in the seventh minute, as multiple defenders slipped and slid, but nobody from Miami United could get a solid foot on the ball.

Josué Colmán fizzed a wicked cross into the box in the 12th minute for Pinho, but the defense was there to deflect it away just before the striker could get onto it. Pinho did get onto a PC cross in the 18th but fired over the bar. A minute later, PC fired a rocket from about 25 yards out that was just a bit high.

Nicolás Micoli got his head on a long set piece delivery in 24th minute that went just over Earl Edwards Jr.’s crossbar. Edwards then coughed up the ball with a sloppy pass in the 32nd minute, but the deflection off of Ezequiel Tejera was off target.

Five minutes later, the Lions broke through. Kljestan worked a give-and-go with Colmán in the middle of the park before Sacha sprayed it wide to the right for RJ Allen. The right back hit a curling pass with his first touch that gave Pinho an easy first-time finish to the near post to make it 1-0.

That was about all of the first-half activity, as both teams wasted a pair of corner kicks in the final few minutes of the opening period. Orlando led in shots (5-4), shots on target (1-0), and held 68% of the possession. Orlando City also was the more accurate passing team (79%-62%).

Spector subbed out at halftime for Chris Schuler, getting a good 45 minutes of work in.

The Lions came out after the break and immediately looked to put the game away. Kljestan earned a free kick in the first minute after the restart and the bouncing ball somehow eluded Pinho’s left-footed swing.

Powers finished a great buildup in the 53rd minute to double Orlando’s lead. Mohamed El-Munir drew three defenders toward him and released Kljestan up the left side. Sacha’s cross found the oncoming Powers, who took a touch and then buried his first goal as a Lion.

Three minutes later Colmán should have scored with the goalkeeper well off his line, but the Paraguayan’s chip was just off target. But the Lions kept coming, and Pinho earned a free kick just outside the box in the 59th minute. Orlando took it quickly and didn’t fool Miami as the chance evaporated.

Orlando put the game away in the 62nd minute. A wayward pass from the defense was picked up by Kljestan, who found a wide-open PC running to the top of the box. The Brazilian finished Kljestan’s cross with his first touch and made it 3-0.

Miami nearly pulled a goal right back. A tight-angle shot from the left side near the edge of the area was saved by Edwards, but he left a juicy rebound in front of goal. Luckily, an onrushing Miami attacker couldn’t control the ball and Orlando’s defense cleared.

Kljestan subbed off with his two assists in the 64th minute, as Jose Villarreal came on.

Orlando hung back most of the rest of the second half, as Miami started fouling recklessly all over the pitch, earning several bookings. The emotions weren’t just on the field, but also on the bench, as two Miami assistant coaches were sent off.

Pinho had two outstanding chances to get a brace, but fired the first opportunity just wide in the 82nd minute after a good buildup by Villarreal. The second was saved off the leg of Peterson in the 87th, and Colmán’s follow was also saved by the Miami keeper.

There was hardly any stoppage time and Orlando City came away with the 3-0 win to advance to the fifth round.

The Lions finished with a 13-7 advantage in shots (5-1 on target), 69% of the possession, and an 81%-66% edge in passing accuracy.

The Lions have two more road matches before they return home, starting Saturday night at Vancouver against the Whitecaps at 7 p.m. ET.

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Cavalry FC, Concacaf Champions Cup: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Lions play their first competitive match of 2024 north of the border in the Concacaf Champions Cup.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Welcome to your match thread for a Wednesday night Concacaf Champions Cup matchup between Orlando City and Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League at Starlight Stadium in Langford, British Columbia at 10 p.m. (FOX Sports 2, TUDN). It’s the first meeting ever between the teams and Orlando City’s first ever match against a CPL team.

Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.


There isn’t any. These teams have never met, nor has Orlando City faced anyone in the Canadian Premier League before.

The Lions will be experiencing their fourth international cup competition and their second foray into Concacaf Champions League/Cup, having drawn twice against Tigres UANL last season. Orlando bowed out of last year’s competition due to the away goals tiebreaker. Orlando City has also competed twice in Leagues Cup.


Both teams will be playing their first competitive match of the 2024 season. Orlando City is coming off a 4-0-1 preseason, drawing 1-1 against Flamengo before reeling off four straight wins against Rhode Island FC, the New England Revolution, the Houston Dynamo, and the Colorado Rapids. City reached the Eastern Conference quarterfinals in 2023 and is looking to build on its most successful season to date in MLS.

Cavalry FC is coming off a season in which it finished top of the table in the regular season, but fell 2-1 after extra time in the CPL championship match against Forge FC. As far as CPL teams go, the Lions will be facing one of the league’s best, as you’d expect in a competition called “Champions Cup.”

“We’re very proud and very happy to bring Orlando City to this beautiful city and this excellent competition,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “(We’re) Feeling proud of playing in Champions Cup in Concacaf and obviously aiming for the best prize, and here we are starting the season with obviously a very competitive game.”

Pareja is suspended for tonight due to his red card in the second leg against Tigres in 2023.

Projected Lineups

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Michael Halliday.

Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Wilder Cartagena.

Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Nico Lodeiro, Facundo Torres.

Forward: Duncan McGuire.

Cavalry FC (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Marco Carducci.

Defenders: Bradley Kamdem, Daan Klomp, Eryk Kobza, Fraser Aird.

Defensive Midfielders: Charlie Trafford, Jesse Daley.

Attacking Midfielders: William Akio, Sergio Camargo, Ali Musse.

Forward: Myer Bevan.


REF: Juan Gabriel Calderon (Costa Rica).
AR1: William Arrieta (Costa Rica).
AR2: Henri Pupiro (Nicaragua).
4TH: Keylor Herrera (Costa Rica).
VAR: Oscar Mejia (Mexico).
VAR1: Erick Miranda (Mexico).

How to Watch

Match Time: 10 p.m.

Venue: Starlight Stadium — Langford, British Columbia.

TV: FOX Sports 2, TUDN.

Streaming: The match can be streamed on FOX Sports GO, the FOX Sports app, and the TUDN app.

Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).

Enjoy the match. Go City!

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 2/21/24

Orlando City takes on Cavalry FC tonight, Lions sign Jeorgio Kocevski, USWNT wins in Concacaf W Gold Cup, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you in Florida as we get to watch the Lions in action tonight in the Concacaf Champions Cup. There’s not much new with me this week other than staying busy covering high school basketball and hockey. Let’s also wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride forward Amanda Allen. There is plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links.

Orlando City Takes on Cavalry FC Tonight

Orlando City will be in action tonight in the first round of the Concacaf Champions Cup, as it takes on Cavalry FC at Starlight Stadium at 10 p.m. This matchup will be the Lions’ first competitive match of 2024, with their MLS season opener against CF Montreal set for Saturday. The Lions were knocked out by Tigres due to away goals in last year’s Concacaf Champions League. Cavalry FC will make its debut in this competition tonight and qualified by winning the 2023 Canadian Premier League Shield. The second leg between these two sides will be on Feb. 27 at Inter&Co Stadium.

Orlando City Signs First-Round Draft Pick Jeorgio Kocevski

Orlando City signed 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick Jeorgio Kocevski to a contract through the 2024 season, with club options for 2025, 2026, and 2027. Kocevski scored the game-winning goal in stoppage time in Orlando’s final preseason match against the Colorado Rapids this past weekend. The midfielder was selected 21st overall in the first round of the 2024 MLS SuperDraft by the Lions in December. He played four years for Syracuse, recording seven goals and 18 assists in 71 matches. Kocevski is the only player the club has signed from the Lions’ 2024 draft class and will likely get some minutes with Orlando City B this season.

St. Louis City and Philadelphia Union Win in Champions Cup

Orlando City isn’t the only MLS team kicking off its Concacaf Champions Cup campaign this week. St. Louis City edged out the Houston Dynamo 2-1, with rookie Hosei Kijima scoring the winner in stoppage time. The Philadelphia Union were on the road in Costa Rica to face off against Deportivo Saprissa and won 3-2 thanks to a hat trick from Julian Carranza in the second half. As for other tournament matches this week, the New England Revolution face Independiente in Panama tonight, with Nashville playing Moca FC in the Dominican Republic and FC Cincinnati taking on Jamaica’s Cavalier SC tomorrow.

USWNT Beats the Dominican Republic in W Gold Cup

The United States Women’s National Team got its Concacaf W Gold Cup campaign off to a great start with a 5-0 win against the Dominican Republic in Group A. Olivia Moultrie scored her first USWNT goal to give her team an early lead, with Lynn Williams giving the U.S. another goal before halftime. Moultrie scored another in the second half to earn her brace, and Jenna Nighswonger converted a penalty for her first USWNT goal as well. Former Pride forward Alex Morgan replaced Mia Fishel on the roster due to injury and scored from the penalty spot in stoppage time. The USWNT’s next game will be against Argentina on Friday at 10:15 p.m.

UEFA Champions League Roundup

The UEFA Champions League had plenty of drama as the round of 16 continued. Inter Milan won 1-0 in its first leg against Atletico Madrid at home, with Mark Arnautovic scoring the only goal in the match. In the Netherlands, PSV Eindhoven and Borussia Dortmund played to a thrilling 1-1 draw. The second legs for both matchups will be played on March 13. There is more Champions League action today, as FC Porto hosts Arsenal while Napoli takes on Barcelona.

Free Kicks

  • The latest MLS power rankings are out just before the regular season begins. Orlando City begins the season in the fifth spot.
  • Orlando City and the Orlando Pride announced fan experience upgrades at Inter&Co Stadium featuring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in merchandise shops, stadium Wi-Fi upgrades, and a jersey history experience.
  • The MLS Players Association released a statement on the ongoing referee lockout.
  • Here is the list of MLS Season Pass commentator assignments for opening week.

That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.

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Orlando City

Orlando City Signs First-Round Draft Pick Jeorgio Kocevski

Orlando City signs its first-round draft pick Jeorgio Kocevski to a one-year deal with three option years.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City SC announced the signing of first-round 2024 MLS SuperDraft pick Jeorgio Kocevski today. The deal is through the upcoming 2024 season with club options for 2025, 2026, and 2027. The Lions selected the Syracuse midfielder with the 21st overall pick in the draft in December.

“Jeorgio has had a really strong preseason camp with us, demonstrating everything we saw in him when we were scouting him and analyzing his game in college,” Orlando City Executive Vice President of Soccer Operations and General Manager Luiz Muzzi said in a club press release. “He’s done well working his way into the group, even starting in our friendly against Flamengo and holding his own against some of the best in Brazil, and we’re excited to have him with us this season.”

The box-to-box midfielder made three appearances this preseason, starting against Brazilian club Flamengo and the following scrimmage against USL Championship side Rhode Island FC. He came on at halftime against the Colorado Rapids last weekend, scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute.

Prior to being selected by the Lions, the Liverpool, NY, native made 71 appearances with 65 starts and logged 5,599 minutes for Syracuse in four years. He scored seven goals and recorded 18 assists, putting 33 of his 93 shots on frame. Additionally, he was part of Syracuse’s 2022 NCAA national championship team, playing 90 minutes in the 2-2 draw, but missing in the team’s victorious shootout over Indiana.

Kocevski had a breakout junior year, being named to the United Soccer Coaches’ All-South Region third team, All-ACC third team, NCAA All-Tournament team, and ACC All-Tournament team. During his senior year, he wore the armband for the Orange and was named All-ACC first team and ACC Co-Midfielder of the Year.

What It Means for Orlando City

Kocevski was the most likely pick from this most recent draft to be signed by Orlando City. The departure of club captain Mauricio Pereyra left a spot in the midfield and Head Coach Oscar Pareja seemed to feel the rookie could fill it from early on. His start against Flamengo was in the place of regular starter Cesar Araujo, who was on international duty with the Uruguay U-23 national team. He played against Flamengo’s best lineup and did quite well in almost an hour on the field in his first minutes of play at the professional level.

While a spot was open for the signing of Kocevski, he likely won’t see much of the field for the first team this season. In addition to being behind starters Araujo and Wilder Cartagena, the defensive midfielder will be behind Felipe on the depth chart. In all likelihood, the rookie will slot in with Orlando City B in MLS NEXT Pro to get some minutes, but there is room for him to start regularly with that team.

Kocevski is currently the only player signed by the club from the Lions’ 2024 draft class. West Virginia midfielder Yutaro Tsukada, Pittsburgh midfielder Filip Mirkovic, and Charlotte midfielder Riyon Tori remained unsigned, with the latter opting to return to school for his senior season.

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