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Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids: Player Grades and Man of the Match

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Orlando City finally snagged that elusive first home win of 2019 in last night’s 4-3 win over the Colorado Rapids. I’ve never gone whitewater rafting, but they say it’s a fun, wild ride. That’s a pretty good description of last night’s game as well. Ideally the Lions won’t be conceding quite so many goals typically, but since the final score went the right direction, I’m willing to overlook that.

When speaking to reporters after the match, Nani mentioned the team had been pressing and feeling a bit of pressure to deliver a win to the home fans. He said that now that the team has crossed that bit of business off the list, maybe they can play more relaxed and deliver more results. Let’s hope that’s the case, because winning at home >>>> losing or drawing at home.

But enough preamble. Let’s get to the individual player grades from last night’s game.

Starters

GK, Brian Rowe, 6 — While I wouldn’t say any of the three goals were on bad goalkeeping errors per se, Rowe would probably say he should maybe have done better on the first goal. If he couldn’t beat Kei Kamara to the spilled ball in the box on the first goal, he might have at least come off his line and made himself big to pressure the Rapids striker. He went long quite often but his passing percentage should ideally still be better than the 23.8% he produced last night. He also stayed a bit deep in his area a few times when he could possibly have snuffed out some danger before it became a problem. Still, he had a vital punch that could have led to a counter-attack if not for a Colorado foul and he made a couple of nice saves, considering the weather conditions and the wet ball, including a free header thumped low by Kamara in the second half.

D, Robin Jansson, 5.5 — The Swede had a difficult night against Colorado at times. The first goal hit off his head and fell in behind him but I’m sure he was screened by the leaping Lamine Sané on the play. He fell for a fake by Cole Bassett on the third Colorado goal and allowed the midfielder to cut back inside where he had a much better angle. His passing accuracy wasn’t great (74.2%) but he did lump some long balls forward, which contributed to that. His four clearances led the team and he added two interceptions. It wasn’t a terrible performance but he was as much affected by the rotation to a four-man back line as anyone.

D, Lamine Sané, 6 — If Sané had been one inch taller (or able to leap one inch higher), Kamara wouldn’t have opened the scoring nine minutes in. The French-Senegalese center back still had a decent game overall, with a tackle, three interceptions, and three clearances. His 77.5% passing rate led the back line, including the wingbacks. Even his 4/9 accuracy on long balls outshone his fellow defenders. Still, he got pulled out of shape a few times in the game, but he wasn’t alone in that.

D, Carlos Ascues, 5 — It was a short night for the Peruvian, who left the game at half an hour with a hamstring injury after getting tangled up with a Colorado player while running down a loose ball. He touched the ball just 20 times and his passing rate was just 53.8%, which was worst on the team in the first half. He was OK defensively (one blocked shot, two clearances) and helpful in moving the ball, but it wasn’t the best outing of his time in Orlando, nor his worst, but the shape change after his injury hurt the defense.

WB, Joao Moutinho, 6.5 — A somewhat chaotic night in defense prevented this score from being higher, but I thought Joao played well overall. He certainly drifts too far inside on defense sometimes and occasionally gets caught up the pitch too far, but I think that’s because he’s used to playing wingback, which seems a more natural position for his skill set than fullback. Last night he was asked to play fullback after the Ascues injury and there were some shaky moments defending. However, he’s also a good ball winner, leading all players in tackles in the game (7). He contributed two interceptions, notched an assist on his one chance created, and generally helped facilitate the attack. But there were a few bad touches on switches in the first half that broke down attacks, a poor back pass that almost went horribly wrong, and some poor positioning to offset some of the good he did.

MF, Sacha Kljestan, 6.5 — The mustachio’d one doesn’t do a lot of flashy things on the pitch and he may frustrate some fans, but I’ll bet James O’Connor is happy to have him. Kljestan finished second on the team in touches, with his 79 being just one fewer than Ruan’s 80. The ball finds him often and that’s because he puts himself in the right spots and because his teammates rely on him to connect the lines. He attempted one shot (which was blocked) and created two chances on the offensive end. His gorgeous chip pass over the top to spring Ruan started the sequence that led to the penalty on Axel Sjoberg — and ultimately to Nani’s game-winning penalty kick. He hit a pretty decent 80% of his passes and chipped in a tackle and an interception on defense.

MF, Nani, 8.5 (MotM) — With two goals and a hockey assist, it was a big night for Nani and it pushed him over the top for my Man of the Match. The Portuguese star man finally opened his Orlando City account with a nice header in front of goal. It wasn’t the most difficult goal he’s scored in his career, but he made no mistake on the opportunity. He played a great ball to Dwyer in the 43rd but Dom’s shot was blocked. He was calm and collected on his penalty, sending Tim Howard the wrong way. He lulled the defense to sleep at one point and then fizzed a cross through the six but nobody made a run to get onto it, so maybe he also mesmerized his teammates. His 87.5% passing rate was among the best on the team, he created two chances, and he got two of his three shots on goal (scoring on both). He also often tracked back and helped defensively.

MF, Sebas Mendez, 6 — While Mendez’s 94.4% passing accuracy stands out, he also had a couple of bad giveaways in the game. He was dispossessed twice and had two bad touches and seemed a bit late closing down a few times. He finished with two tackles and seemed to have trouble getting on the ball at times. It’s easy to forget how young he is and although he and Moutinho may be inconsistent at times, they’ve got a ton of upside and that showed through for the most part last night.

WB, Ruan, 8 — The highway patrol would like you to know that speed kills and watching Ruan play shows that’s absolutely the case on the soccer pitch. The Brazilian gave Dillon Serna fits throughout the first half, got to the end line repeatedly, and sent several dangerous passes into the area. He figured heavily in three of Orlando’s four goals. On the first, he fizzed a cross through Tesho Akindele’s legs that should have been tapped home, but the ball found Moutinho on the other side and he crossed in for Nani. Ruan roasted the Rapids on a counter attack off a Rapids corner kick to help set up Akindele’s goal. Finally, his cross late in the game led to the handball that Nani converted. He literally played Serna off the pitch by halftime, drew a yellow card on Kamara, and led the team in touches. He needs to improve his passing accuracy (67.5%) and defending, but his pace changes the game and Orlando wouldn’t have won last night without him. Defensively, he had four tackles, two interceptions, and a clearance.

F, Tesho Akindele, 8 — There were a couple of spells where the Canadian seemed to disappear from the proceedings last night but overall he was very good in his return from a hamstring issue. He scored the second goal and assisted on the third, but he was also important on aerial balls, winning a team high six of them. He passed at an 83% clip, which is a high rate for a striker. He created four chances, took three shots (one on frame), and even defended well, making three tackles and an interception. His only true misstep was getting himself nutmegged two yards out by Ruan’s cross on the buildup to the first goal, but at least Moutinho and Nani bailed him out for that miss.

F, Dom Dwyer, 6.5 — Dwyer was active all night but somehow didn’t figure in any of the scoring. He fired seven shots to lead all players and got four of them on frame, forcing two pretty good saves from Tim Howard. But he also knocked a header right at Howard from only a few yards out and completely missed the gaping empty net on the play that ended up as the handball on Sjoberg, so it’s a good thing that was spotted by Jair Marrufo to avoid him the embarrassment of the miss. He had one clearance on the defensive end, hit 70% of his pass attempts, and drew two free kicks.

Substitutes

MF, Oriol Rosell (30’), 6 — Uri came on for Carlos Ascues and O’Connor changed the shape to go four at the back. Rosell had a mixed night. He tied for second on the team in tackles and passed well (85.7%) but he also gambled and lost on a midfield ball that led to Colorado’s second goal and he was left to try to defend Kamara on an aerial attempt at the back somehow as the defense got pulled out of shape and, well, he didn’t do a great job of it. At least Rowe made the save. Mostly Uri had a decent night but there was room for improvement.

F, Chris Mueller (80’), 8.5 — It’s not easy to get a really high grade for essentially 10 minutes of work, but Cash did it. He scored his second goal of the year just a minute after getting on the pitch, and he darted and dashed around with the ball in the offensive end, bending the Colorado defense out of shape. He had 12 touches and eight passes (87.5% accuracy) in his short time on the pitch and he terrorized the Rapids in that time. He created one scoring chance, got his one shot on target, and beat one of the legendary American goalkeepers for a huge game-changing goal.

WB, Kyle Smith (90’+2), N/A — Smith came on for Nani in stoppage time as more of a time-wasting substitution than anything. He didn’t even touch the ball in about two minutes on the pitch so there’s really no way to give him a grade for the appearance.


That’s how I saw the performances on a rainy Saturday night in Orlando against the Rapids. Let me know where you agree and/or disagree in the comments below and be sure to vote for your Orlando City Man of the Match in the poll below.

Polling Closed

PlayerVotes
Ruan26
Nani102
Chris Mueller53
Joao Moutinho7
Tesho Akindele0
Other2

Lion Links

Lion Links: 7/23/24

Duncan McGuire’s road to Paris, MLS transfer happenings, USWNT will play Iceland after the Olympics, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Jeremy Reper

Happy Tuesday, everyone. It was a rather odd weekend as all three of Orlando’s soccer teams recorded 1-1 draws. The games will continue to come thick and fast between the Orlando Pride’s Summer Cup participation, Orlando City’s Leagues Cup opener, Orlando City B’s regularly scheduled programming, and the start of the Olympic tournaments. Before we get into today’s links, let’s all wish a happy birthday to Orlando Pride forward Alex Kerr!

Duncan McGuire’s Path to Olympics

Orlando City’s Duncan McGuire will likely suit up for the United States Olympic team in just one day’s time, and he’s had quite the interesting journey to arrive at this point. After being overshadowed in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft despite the Lions selecting him with the sixth overall pick, McGuire proceeded to have an outstanding rookie season by bagging 13 goals. His family members have long been some of his biggest supporters, and it’s good to hear that they’ll be on hand to cheer him on over in France. As the only traditional striker on the roster, he’ll have a good chance to make an impact. With as odd as his road has been to get here, it won’t be at all surprising if he does.

MLS Transfer Happenings

There are a number of MLS transfer moves that we need to catch up on. We’ll start with something that’s been rumored for awhile, as Atlanta United has officially sold Caleb Wiley to Chelsea for a fee reported to be in the area of $11 million. We stay in the Eastern Conference with Nashville SC, which has used a U22 Initiative spot to sign midfielder Patrick Yazbek from Viking FK. D.C. United has signed Boris Enow from Maccabi Netanya, a move that will add some important depth to the midfield. Shifting to the West, FC Dallas has signed Manuel Cafumana from Maccabi Haifa on a year-long loan deal. He continues the trend of midfield signings, and has experience playing for the Angolan national team. Finally, LAFC has sold defender Mamadou Fall to Barcelona after he spent last season on loan with the Spanish club.

USWNT Will Face Iceland in Friendlies

The United States Women’s National Team has announced that it will play a pair of matches against Iceland in October. They will take place on Oct. 24 in Austin, and Oct. 27 in Nashville, and will be the team’s first games following this summer’s Olympic tournament. Iceland is the 14th ranked team in the world, and should present a good test for the U.S. team. Additionally, a third match will take place on Oct. 30, with an opponent and location still to be announced. The USWNT will begin Olympic play on Thursday against Zambia.

Mexico Names Head Coach

Mexico has named Javier Aguirre as the team’s new head coach, with legendary former defender Rafa Marquez joining the staff as an assistant. This is Aguirre’s third stint as the head coach of the team, but he will only have the job through the 2026 World Cup, after which he will turn the duties over to Marquez ahead of preparations for the 2030 edition of the tournament. Aguirre led Mexico to the round of 16 in the 2002 and 2010 editions of the tournament, and recently spent time coaching Monterrey and Mallorca. Marquez’s playing career needs little introduction, but he recently left his post as manager of Barcelona B in order to join Mexico’s staff.

Free Kicks

  • Make sure to participate in Orlando City’s school supply drive.
  • The Lions held steady at 14th in ESPN‘s MLS power rankings.
  • West Ham United has brought a very striking bus with them on the team’s tour of the United States.

That’s all I have for you this morning. Vamos Orlando!

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. NYCFC: Player Grades and Man of the Match

How did your favorite Lions perform in Orlando City’s 1-1 draw with NYCFC?

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Sometimes a draw can feel like a win and sometimes it can feel like a loss. On Saturday night, the draw felt like a draw, pronounced in a southern drawl to really draw out the effect. Each team had its moments, but in the end neither really felt like they deserved all three points, and as they say, ball don’t lie. So, in the end, the final score was 1-1, and both teams took home one point.

Orlando City probably should feel more disappointed since the Lions were playing at home, but the offense just looked out of sync all evening, and in some ways they are lucky they even earned their one point. That they did though, and now the MLS season takes a break for the Leagues Cup, which starts Friday.

I have my purple pen out, and I am ready to issue some grades, so here we go. Let’s take a look at how Orlando City’s players rated individually in their Eastern Conference matchup.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 6 — NYCFC only managed eight shots on the night, so Pedro was not called on to make a lot of saves, but he did make a few on well-struck balls from NYCFC attackers — in particular, one from Hannes Wolf in the 34th minute that was headed for the lower corner before El Pulpo pushed the ball out wide with his gloves. Unfortunately, Wolf got the better of Gallese later in the match on a shot from close range that left the Peruvian with very little chance to save the ball, though on the angle from inside the goal it did look like he was a little too far to his left when he came out and perhaps had he taken a better line he might have gotten a hand on it. However, I think that goal is tough to pin on Gallese, and aside from that, he was solid in the back, though he did only complete 56% of his passes.

D, Rafael Santos, 5.5 — Saturday night was not one of the Brazilian’s better games, as while he did mix in a few dangerous crosses, I thought on the whole he was lacking some precision offensively, and defensively there were several plays down NYCFC’s attacking right side that were scary and left him scrambling to recover. I do not think the goal was his fault. Though it did happen on his side of the box, it came off a completely unexpected turnover from Wilder Cartagena, and Santos was caught pushing up the field and could not recover in time. He made a huge block on a shot from Santiago Rodriguez in the 75th minute, but that block came because he had given the ball away moments earlier, so he had darn well better have hustled to block the shot that came from his turnover. He also committed an unnecessary foul in a dangerous area late in the match, though thankfully nothing came of the resulting free kick. Santos completed 82.5% of his passes on the night, including three accurate long balls on five attempts. None of his three crosses found their targets and his lone shot was blocked. Defensively, he finished with two tackles, two interceptions, the aforementioned block, and one clearance. He made way for Kyle Smith in stoppage time.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 Orlando City’s captain had a quiet match. Though he was second on the team in completed passes, with 48 (at 87.8%, including completing four of seven long balls), he had zero tackles, which now makes three consecutive games where that has been the case. Just because you make zero tackles does not mean you had a bad game, and Jansson did not, but it does mean that when you are a center back and the other team does not run at you that there are not a lot of highlights to write about in your player grades. The Beefy Swede won one aerial ball and had one interception and one clearance, and he drew three fouls on the opposition. But NYCFC did not have a lot of the ball (45% possession) and did not really tread aggressively near Jansson’s area.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 6.5 — I could copy and paste most of Jansson’s comments and apply them to Schlegel, but of course I will so no such thing. Besides, Rodri was first on the team in completed passes, with 51, and completed them at a 92.7% rate, so that is a differentiator worth noting, and unlike Jansson he did have one tackle to go with two clearances. NYCFC’s heatmap from Saturday night, courtesy of whoscored.com, is instructive in evaluating the performance of both of Orlando City’s center backs, because you can see that NYCFC tried to attack down the sides much more than in the middle. That indent right above the top of the 18 yard box on the left (NYCFC is attacking right to left in this heatmap) is where Jansson and Schlegel patrol, and NYCFC just stops cold and gets very few touches in the middle of the field from about 35 yards out all the way to the goal. Schlegel and Jansson really locked down the center of the field, and while they did not generate a lot of stats on the night I thought both were solid.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — As it always is, Dagur Dan’s work rate was extremely high Saturday night, but the finishing touch just eluded the Icelandic right back during this game. Orlando City struggled to create chances all game long and Thorhallsson was complicit in some of that, as he was unable to open up the defense with one of his trademark cutbacks and he was unable to get on the end of any of the many crosses that came from left to right. He did complete 91.2% of his passes and had one successful take-on, and might have had two had he not been fouled toward the end of the first half. Defensively, he had two interceptions and two clearances, and unlike his counterpart on the other side of the defense, he did not cause me to pound my couch in frustration at any point during the match, which was good for the Lions and good for my upholstery.

MF, César Araujo, 7 — I was a little concerned when Araujo earned a yellow card in the 13th minute, knowing that he was now one foul away from putting Orlando City down a man for the rest of the match, but he played a clean game the rest of the way, and what a strong defensive game it was. He had nine loose ball recoveries, five tackles, four interceptions, three wins on take-on attempts by NYCFC, and he won two aerial balls. On the offensive side, he led the team in touches with 70, completed 46 passes at an 80.7% completion rate (including three of his six long balls) and drew two fouls. Araujo also contributed to the heatmap I shared above, as his presence also helped Orlando City to stop NYCYC from progressing the ball through the middle of the attacking third of the field.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 — If there was a stat for goal culpability then Cartagena would definitely have earned the highest percentage for NYCFC’s one goal on Saturday night, as his misplay of a ball led directly to a counterattack and NYCFC scoring the equalizer. I do not want one misplay to completely overshadow the whole of the match for Wilder though, because aside from that he did contribute throughout the match, and his low rocket from 31 yards out in the 83rd minute nearly beat NYCFC goalkeeper Matt Freese to give the Lions back the lead. He also led the team in tackles with six, made four recoveries of loose balls, and won four of the five take-on attempts tried against him. He completed 34 passes at a 79.1% completion rate and had the aforementioned shot on target, one of only five shots on target for Orlando City. Goals change games, and Wilder definitely cost the Lions with his misplay, but on the whole I thought he played well, though not as well as his midfield partner Araujo did.

MF, Iván Angulo, 6 — Angulo worked hard in the heat on Saturday night, making runs up and down the field and coming achingly close to turning the corner or unlocking the defense with a pass several times but to no avail. He made a darting run in the 35th minute that led to his only shot on target, but he did not get a ton on it, and it was saved rather comfortably at the near post. The Colombian completed 93.5% of his passes, including one key pass, made one tackle, and he went the full 90 on a hot and humid night, running at full acceleration deep into stoppage time as the Lions chased a winner.

MF, Martín Ojeda, 7 — We will never know if Ojeda’s shot in the 52nd minute would have gone in, but we do know that it turned into an unlikely assist by deflecting off Ramiro Enrique and going straight into the back of the net to give Orlando City a 1-0 lead. It was another solid, but not spectacular, offensive performance by Ojeda against NYCFC, as he led the Lions in crosses (11), progressive carries (4) and key passes (3); won both of his take-on attempts on the dribble; and completed 22 passes, though at only a 78.6% completion rate. His work rate was excellent, and he left it all on the field, departing in stoppage time for Jeorgio Kocevski.

MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6 — Lodeiro was the one change from Wednesday night at Nashville, as he started instead of Facundo Torres. Orlando City’s offense did not create a lot of chances in the first half and Nico did play a part in that, but it took Orlando a period of time to figure out NYCFC’s game plan. I did not think it was a poor performance, just more of a quiet one devoid of any major moments. He completed 19 passes at a 82.6% completion rate, with one key pass among those completions. Lodeiro connected on one of two crosses and one of three long balls. Defensively, he chipped in two tackles. He was subbed out at halftime for Torres. 

F, Ramiro Enrique, 7.5 (MotM)— The scoring streak continues, and now there is a dance! Enrique scored in his fourth straight game on a goal that I am not sure if he ever saw, but without his deflection it may not have gone into the net. Whether he saw it or not does not matter. What matters is it gave Orlando City a 1-0 lead and then Ramiro and Angulo participated in a slightly out of sync, but still enjoyable, celebratory dance — one that I look forward to seeing again, hopefully as soon as in the next match. Enrique completed 11 passes, created two chances, and got both of his shots on target, with NYCFC’s Matt Freese making a nice save on his second attempt. He also recorded an interception. I thought it was another solid start for Enrique, as he contributed all over the field, including with some hold up play, before making way for Luis Muriel in the 73rd minute. 

Substitutes

MF, Facundo Torres (46′), 6 — Facu came on at halftime for Lodeiro, and helped to breathe some life into the Orlando City offense. He did not have his best stuff, and he had the benefit of Oscar Pareja’s halftime tactical adjustments, but he was active and engaged throughout the second half and helped to create some chances. During the pregame show the announcers mentioned he had picked up a bit of a knock during the week, which likely contributed to his coming off the bench and for his decent, but not memorable, performance. He took one shot, which was well struck but ended up far off target, and completed 11 passes at a 78.6% rate with one key pass. He tried several passes that were full of flair, but alas none of them connected, and on the whole things just did not click for him.

F, Luis Muriel (73′), 6 — Muriel came on for Enrique and he was looking to make plays from the moment he stepped on the field. He showed tremendous skill on several dribbles, led the team in aerials won (3), and though he only played five passes, he completed them all, including one key pass and one accurate long ball. The defining moment for Muriel though was on the final attack from Orlando City, and he was able to turn and get a shot off on goal, but there just was very little on it, and Freese easily made the save to his left. I expect that he will see some more minutes in Leagues Cup matches to see if he can get himself going, because thus far he just has not contributed enough to justify his role as a Designated Player.

D, David Brekalo, (85’), N/A As he has been doing during the last few matches, Brekalo subbed in late, this time coming in for Schlegel and taking over his role as center back. I thought he looked active and strong during his few minutes, but the only play of his that really stood out was when he was a little too strong on an attempt to get his head onto a ball into the box on a cross from Araujo, committing a foul on the play. Brekalo completed both his pass attempts on the night, but he did not have the opportunity for much else.

D, Kyle Smith (90′ + 3), N/A — Kyle came in on the dying minutes of the game to replace Santos at left back, and in his few minutes he did not have the opportunity to contribute much to the match. He attempted three passes but completed none, and did not have the opportunity to do much else in his few minutes on the field.

MF, Jeorgio Kocevski (90′ +3), N/A — The rookie from Syracuse came on at the same time as Smith, replacing Ojeda, and was able to complete one pass and make one tackle while on the field. That one pass was on the final attack of the game, and it might have earned him a secondary assist had Muriel been able to get a little more on his shot or place it in the corner in the final minute, but alas he did not and the final whistle blew moments later.


That’s how I saw the individual performances on Saturday night. What did you think? Be sure to let us know in the comments, and vote in the poll below for your Orlando City Man of the Match.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 7/22/24

All three Orlando squads finish with 1-1 draws over the weekend, and much more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Jeremy Reper

Hello, Mane Landers! I hope all is well with you down in Florida. I’ve just been busy at Under Armour and working the Def Leppard concert and Cubs baseball games at Wrigley Field within the past week. All of our teams, Orlando City, the Orlando Pride, and OCB, picked up 1-1 draws in their matches. It’s not often that all three teams pick up the same exact result. We’ve got plenty to cover today, so let’s get to the links. 

Orlando City Trades Goals in 1-1 Draw vs. NYCFC

Orlando City and New York City FC split the points in a 1-1 draw at Inter&Co Stadium on Saturday. After a scoreless first half, the Lions struck first with a goal from Ramiro Enrique — his fourth consecutive game finding the net. New York City FC got an equalizer five minutes later to tie the match, and neither side could find a winner. Orlando’s four-game winning streak ends but its unbeaten run now stands at five matches. New York City FC is fifth in the Eastern Conference with 38 points, while Orlando City stays seventh with 34 points. There will be a break in league play as the Leagues Cup kicks off this week after Tuesday’s MLS All-Star Skills Competition and Wednesday’s MLS All-Star Game, and the Lions’ next match is at home against CF Montreal on Friday.

Lions Acquire 2025 MLS SuperDraft Pick

Orlando City has acquired the higher 2025 second-round MLS SuperDraft pick and $50,000 in 2026 General Allocation Money in exchange for the right of first refusal to sign former Orlando City forward Benji Michel. Real Salt Lake announced the club had added Michel last week. Following his departure from Orlando, Michel was with FC Arouca in Portugal. Michel played 118 matches across all competitions as a Lion, scoring 19 goals and adding nine assists.

Pride Draw North Carolina Courage Away

The Orlando Pride came from behind to snatch a 1-1 draw against the North Carolina Courage in their NWSL x Liga MX Femenil Summer Cup opening match Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Courage struck just before halftime to take a 1-0 lead, but Celia scored the equalizer for the Pride late to earn Orlando its second point at North Carolina this season and its first-ever Summer Cup result. The Courage won 5-4 in the ensuing penalty shootout to claim a second point. The draw extends the Pride’s unbeaten run to 17 matches across all competitions. Orlando sits third in their group after the first round of games in the Summer Cup and will face Monterrey at Inter&Co Stadium on Saturday.

OCB Picks Up Late 1-1 Road Draw at New York Red Bulls II

Orlando City B and New York Red Bulls II also battled to a 1-1 draw at Montclair State University Soccer Park. After a scoreless first half, New York Red Bulls II took the lead early in the second half, but Justin Ellis scored a stoppage-time equalizer for the Young Lions. The Baby Red Bulls won 8-7 in the shootout to secure the extra point. OCB remains 10th in the Eastern Conference with 24 points, and its next match will be on the road Saturday at Finley Stadium against Chattanooga FC.

Free Kicks

  • Orlando City studio host Gabrielle Amado announced over the weekend she was leaving the club after four seasons and will be moving to Spain to work for LaLiga TV.

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

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