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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Player Grades and Man of the Match



Orlando City claimed its second MLS is Back Tournament win on Tuesday as the Lions defeated New York City FC 3-1 at Disney. The win, coupled with Philadelphia’s win over Inter Miami, means Orlando will move on to the knockout round of the competition that marks the return of soccer in the country.

Unlike the debut against Inter Miami, the Lions built an early two-goal lead within the first 10 minutes with a brace by Chris Mueller. Orlando withstood NYCFC’s pressure to get all three points after substitute Tesho Akindele scored the third goal with just nine minutes to the final whistle.

Here’s how each of the players performed:


GK, Pedro Gallese, 7.5 — The goalkeeper had the upper hand on his personal battle with Valentin Castellanos as he denied the Argentinean forward at least three clear opportunities during the match, including an impressive one in a point-blank finish right before the halftime whistle. There was nothing he could do on Jesus Medina’s goal, though.

D, Joao Moutinho, 6 — The Portuguese provided great service for Mueller to score the first goal with an inch-perfect cross from a free kick early in the match. He continued pushing forward and was more active than usual, but he struggled to get to the end line and crossed the ball way too early at times. On NYCFC’s goal, it seemed he was a few steps too many from Jesus Medina.

D, Robin Jansson, 6 — The center back did a good job in containing Castellanos and even drew a yellow card on him in the first half. On the flip side, he got a caution himself in an absolutely unnecessary way when he got into a little scuffle with the Argentinean with the ball out of play. Replays showed Castellanos should perhaps have been sent off with a second yellow for simulation.

D, Antonio Carlos, 6.5 —The Brazilian was not bothered for most of the match and had a quiet night overall. He contributed defensively with a few clearances in the box and was calm and efficient in building out of the back.

D, Ruan, 6.5 — The right back found plenty of space to explore behind Ronald Matarrita’s back and wasn’t shy in taking advantage of it. He had a couple of dangerous crosses, including one that found Dwyer to set up the second goal and one that Mueller headed onto the crossbar. In the second half, he had to deal with the Costa Rican in his defensive half, but he did a fine job.

MF, Uri Rosell, 5.5 —The Spaniard had a decent performance. He distributed the ball well in the center of the field and helped protect Orlando’s back line with simple, but important actions. He also helped with some clearances inside the penalty box

MF, Junior Urso, 6 — The Brazilian covered a lot of ground in the midfield and helped Rosell in protecting the team’s defense with his energy. With the ball on his feet, he managed to find some good passes in the offensive end, including the one that helped set up the third goal.

MF, Mauricio Pereyra, 6.5 —The Uruguayan seems to have found his spot on the field as he’s connecting a lot better with his teammates. He found Ruan in good spots on the right side quite a few times and combined well with Nani too.

MF, Nani, 6 — The captain was very dynamic roaming around the opposition’s penalty box, but he wasn’t really dangerous in the first half. He should have done better with his 36th-minute shot inside the area, but leaned back a bit and fired it over the bar. In the second part of the game, with Orlando more focused on counter attacking, he found more space to operate and had a dangerous run down the left flank. His pass to Benji Michel helped lead to the third Orlando goal.

MF, Chris Mueller, 8 (MotM) — The winger started the match on fire and scored twice within the first 10 minutes. While Mueller showed his typical energy to attack the ball after a free kick on the first goal, on the second he displayed impressive composure in front of the goal. He almost got a first-half hat trick, but his header ricocheted off the crossbar. His production fell in the second half, as did his energy, but he got four of his team-high five shots on frame and also drew a free kick and yellow card on Alexander Ring.

F, Dom Dwyer, 5 —The striker indicated he would bounce back from a subpar performance in the tournament’s first match when he fed Mueller with a fantastic headed assist. He had a good chance to score at the 35th minute but couldn’t send Mueller’s low cross in the goal’s direction. He wasn’t very involved in the second half and was subbed off at the 60th minute after sustaining a knock.


F, Tesho Akindele (60’), 7 – The forward came off the bench and sealed Orlando’s victory with a goal in the 81st minute in which he fought for a loose ball and sprinted to the penalty box to follow up on Michel’s shot.

MF, Sebas Menzez (64’), 5.5 – The Ecuador international helped keep Orlando’s midfield cohesion and intensity during his time on the field. He didn’t do anything remarkably positive or negative, which is probably what head coach Oscar Pareja expected from him.

MF, Andres Perea (78’), 5.5 – The Colombian brought good energy with limited time to affect the game. He did help the defense fend off NYCFC’s last ditch efforts, and he looked to break on the counter whenever he had the opportunity.

F, Benji Michel (78’), 6.5 – The forward entered the match with just over 10 minutes to play but still found the time to have an impact as he was directly involved in Orlando’s third goal.


Be sure to vote for who you thought was the Man of the Match below.


Polling Closed

Pedro Gallese24
Joao Moutinho1
Chris Mueller82
Tesho Akindele1
Other (comment below)0

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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