Connect with us

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Final Score 2-0 as Lions Finish Season with Loss in Canada



Orlando City’s 2022 MLS season opened at home with a 2-0 win over CF Montreal, but tonight it ended with a 2-0 loss to the same team at Stade Saputo in the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs. The seventh-seeded Lions went to Canada with the mentality of being difficult to break down and looking for opportunities to score in transition against No. 2 seed Montreal — and had the better of the few chances for much of the game — but in the end, the hosts found a breakthrough in the late stages of the second half and flattered their winning margin with a penalty deep in stoppage time.

Ismael Kone and Djordje Mihailovic provided the offense for CF Montreal as the home team won each of the three meetings between the teams this season.

“First of all, congratulations to Montreal,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “We had our chances, especially in the first half. These kinds of games, you have to be decisive. You have to finish.”

Pareja’s lineup included Pedro Gallese in goal behind a back line of Joao Moutinho, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, and Ruan. Cesar Araujo took up his central midfield position with Junior Urso, behind an attacking line of Ivan Angulo, Mauricio Pereyra, and Facundo Torres — with Pereyra and Urso swapping as has been common this year — with Ercan Kara up top.

The first half was incredibly nervy, with Montreal keeping the bulk of the possession and trying to pull the Lions’ shape apart. Orlando had to keep Angulo deep to prevent switches down the right to Alistair Johnston and Mihailovic and, although it worked from a defensive standpoint, the Lions could get little going the other way as a result.

Orlando had to wait patiently for opportunities to counter and managed to get the best shot opportunities of the opening half but could not maintain enough composure to hit the target behind goalkeeper James Pantemis.

The first attacking movement that resulted in an attempt for either side came eight minutes in when former Lion Kamal Miller sent in a cross from the midfield and Kei Kamara got a head to it but could do nothing with it, popping it up well out of play. A minute later, Lassi Lappalainen beat Ruan on the left wing and cut inside but his cross/shot was blocked away. Montreal’s best attack in transition came in the 10th minute and Carlos did just enough to get his backheel to a cross from Johnston to keep it from finding Kamara in front.

Montreal players tried to bait referee Ismail Elfath into a couple of penalty kicks in the first half. Kone went down softly after contact with Ruan in the 18th minute but Elfath immediately waved off the penalty shouts and the video assistant referee upheld the no-call.

Orlando should have scored against the run of play in the 25th minute. Kara got in behind on the left and had Ruan breaking for the net to his right. The Austrian chose to go for goal himself, but his attempt fizzed agonizingly just over the bar.

Ten minutes later, it was Pereyra unlocking the defense with a filthy pass through the back line for Angulo to run onto. Angulo had options to his right but cut inside his defender and fired his right-footed shot over the crossbar.

In the 45th minute, Lappalainen went down easily, looking for a penalty after beating Ruan and feeling pressure from Araujo. There was minor contact between the two while Araujo was pulling his leg out of the way but Lappalainen was already going down. Again, Elfath waved off penalty shouts and the VAR check upstairs upheld the no-call.

Orlando got one more look in first-half stoppage time off a free kick near midfield. The Lions worked the kick to the right and then fired a cross into the box. Carlos chested it down and then blasted a shot — you guessed it — over the bar. The center back may have been offside anyway, but with the shot going out for a goal kick, there was no need for a review.

The half ended all even on the scoreboard despite Montreal dominating possession and preventing the Lions from finding any kind of rhythm. Montreal led in possession (62.7%-37.3%), passing accuracy (89%-80.8%), and corners (1-0). Both teams attempted three shots and neither put one on target.

Rudy Camacho headed wide on a corner early in the second half for Montreal as the hosts looked to keep the pressure on Orlando.

But the Lions again fashioned a decent look at goal in the 51st minute when Torres got free at the top of the area. However, like everyone else on the night, Torres missed the target with his shot.

“We have to convert those chances and take those opportunities, and in those moments, the details slipped from us,” Torres said. “They had chances on their side that they were able to take and convert.”

Kamara got his best opportunitiy of the game in the 59th minute on a transition opportunity but he hit his effort into the outside netting. A few minutes later, Urso did well to jump and block a Mihailovic set piece shot.

Orlando had a promising counter attack in the 65th minute, but it broke down when Angulo sent an errant pass forward that was easily picked off. That loss of possession was costly.

Montreal came the other way and scored in the 68th minute. Passing around their right side, the hosts worked the ball from the wing to the top of the box, and eventually to Mihailovic outside the top of the area. Pereyra was late getting to Mihailovic, who slipped it to Kone, who had crept in the back side without any attention from Ruan, while Carlos had drifted left to provide coverage in case Kamara turned on Schlegel. However, the veteran striker quickly played back for Mihailovic instead, which opened up the defense. Kone slotted past Gallese to open the scoring.

“We were defending in that particular moment in the lower blocks,” Pareja said. “They were moving the ball. We didn’t close our gaps on the right side and then (Mihailovic) just finds Kone on that connection. We were separated from our defenders in that moment. It was a moment that we couldn’t control.”

Pareja brought on Benji Michel and Jake Mulraney for Urso and Angulo to try to add something to the attack but neither made much of a mark at all on the match. The duo combined for just 10 touches — only three by Mulraney — over the game’s final 13 minutes of normal time and about 10 minutes of added time.

Moutinho knocked down Mihailovic near the edge of the box late in stoppage time, trying to recover possession. Elfath gave the foul as a free kick, but after reviewing the replay, he awarded a penalty, as the initial contact was just inside the box. The unnecessary foul was costly as Mihailovic slotted his spot kick inside the right post to double the lead and put the game away.

Montreal finished with more possession (59%-41%), shots (11-5), shots on target (2-0), corners (2-1), and passing accuracy (87.6%-81.8%). Despite the hosts having all of those statistical advantages, it simply came down to one team finishing two chances and the other not putting its own opportunities on target.

“The way (Montreal) played and they used the spaces, I thought we did a great job on that, but it is what it is,” Pareja said. “I’m very proud of this group, very grateful for the effort of the boys. They made us feel very proud. They took this club to a different level and people should be proud about the season.”

“Everyone’s very sad with not being able to get the victory and move on to the next round,” Torres said through a club interpreter. “Just hurting from a very painful loss, but now we regroup and get better in the off-season for next year.”

That’s it for the season, and each year the finality of that is always painful for fans of every team except the one hoisting MLS Cup. The Lions were not supposed to win this match but still put themselves in a position to do so against the league’s hottest team down the stretch — and did so on the road.

While the result may sting, it’s easy to forget that this is a team that had to completely rebuild the attack from last year, played without a starting central defender. and lost Alexandre Pato to injury months ago.

Still, Orlando made the playoffs for a third straight year, had a double-digit goal scorer for the eighth consecutive year — the first team in MLS history to do it in its first eight years consecutively — and won the U.S. Open Cup.

It’s not an MLS Cup-winning season, but it wasn’t a bad run in 2022.

Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/24/24

Orlando City and Orlando Pride power rankings, USMNT player news, USWNT will host Costa Rica, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. It’s that time of the week for some tasty links. Two seven-point weekends for Orlando’s soccer teams is nothing to sneeze at, unlike the pollen that coats my hometown of Tallahassee. It’s the time of the year that I make my money back with the unlimited car wash next to my work. Enough with my weather-related car issues, let’s get to the links.

Lions Move Up (and Down) in Power Rankings

There’s nothing that shows the value of “power rankings” better than when you can compare two different ranking lists for the same week for any given club. We all know Orlando City is undefeated in its last four matches thanks to the late heroics of Ivan Angulo to draw CF Montreal over the weekend. But, did you know that was both good and bad?

In ESPN‘s MLS power rankings, Orlando City dropped a spot from 16th to 17th despite “treading water” with a point on the road in Montreal. Meanwhile, the Lions roared ahead three spots from 21st to 18th in’s power rankings. So, do you like that Orlando is 17th in the ESPN piece despite the drop? Or do you prefer the positivity of a three-spot jump to 18th in the rankings?

Orlando Pride Rise in Power Rankings

Forget everything I wrote up there regarding power rankings — at least as far as the Orlando Pride are concerned. After starting the season with three draws, the Pride now have two wins in a row. As such, ESPN moved the Pride up three spots from eighth to fifth in its NWSL power rankings. Their move up the list is entirely deserved and the writer was correct in their assessment. Of course, I’m kidding but it’s still nice to see the Pride get recognized for their results. Now, we just need the Pride to continue the winning streak.

Keeping Up With USMNT Players Abroad

As we shared yesterday, Sergino Dest will likely miss this summer’s Copa America thanks to a knee injury suffered during PSV Eindhoven training. That means the USMNT has a right back situation to address and there are quite a few well known candidates to step in for Dest.

Meanwhile, Weston McKennie has reportedly rejected Juventus’ latest extension offer. I can understand his decision given it doesn’t include any additional salary. McKennie has been very good for Juve, with 10 assists on the season. He’s not the only American making a difference, as Tim Weah provided the assist on Arkadiusz Milik’s goal to send Juventus to the Coppa Italia final.

USWNT Olympic Send-Off Match

The United States Women’s National Team will play a match against Costa Rica at Audi Field on July 16. It will be the final match for the USWNT prior to the Olympics that start nine days later against Zambia. New coach Emma Hayes will join the team on June 1, which isn’t a ton of time before the Olympics start, but she has been a part of the process for months.

Free Kicks

  • The New England Revolution have acquired veteran defender Xavier Arreaga from the Seattle Sounders for a 2025 international roster slot, and up to $75,000 in General Allocation Money depending on performance.
  • Inter Miami’s Jordi Alba will be out for several weeks due to a hamstring injury. Fortunately, he is expected to be back in time for the match against Orlando City on May 15. Where did I put the sarcasm font?

That will do it for today. Check back as we get you ready for the Pride’s match against the Washington Spirit this Friday, and Orlando City’s match against Toronto FC on Saturday. Vamos Orlando!

Continue Reading

Lion Links

Lion Links: 4/23/24

Ivan Angulo makes Team of the Matchday bench, Americans in action, Sergino Dest to miss Copa America, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It was an excellent weekend for Orlando’s soccer teams, as the three sides took seven of the nine points on offer. There’s no rest for the wicked this week as the Orlando Pride travel to play the Washington Spirit on Friday, Orlando City hosts Toronto FC on Saturday, and Orlando City B finishes things up at home against Toronto FC II on Sunday. Let’s take a look at today’s links.

Ivan Angulo Earns Recognition

Ivan Angulo has been named to the bench of the latest edition of the MLS Team of the Matchday. The Colombian got the start on Saturday up in Montreal, and had a good game, going the distance and completing 82% of his passes and putting one of his two shots on target. That shot was an important one, as it gave the Lions a late equalizer and helped them salvage a valuable point on the road. Sean Rollins gave him a grade of 6 in his player grades from the match, a rating that likely would have been higher had Martin Ojeda’s pass been accurate enough to allow Angulo to grab a possible winner just a few minutes after he equalized. Here’s hoping he keeps up the good work!

Americans in Midweek Action

There are a number of Americans taking part in big games this week, and the good people over at Stars and Stripes FC have you covered with the whole rundown. First up, Weston McKennie, Tim Weah, and Juventus will try to advance to the Coppa Italia final this afternoon, as they enter the second leg of the semifinal against Lazio with a 2-0 lead on aggregate. Tomorrow sees Monaco and Folarin Balogun meet Lille in Ligue 1 action, while Chris Richards and Crystal Palace host Newcastle United in the Premier League. Things wrap up on Friday in Serie B when Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessman, and third-place Venezia face Cremonese as they try to overtake Como and finish in one of Serie B’s two guaranteed promotion places.

Sergino Dest Sidelined Long Term

Following up on a story from yesterday’s Lion Links, The Athletic is reporting that the knee injury suffered by Sergino Dest will keep him out of Copa America, and sideline him for the rest of the year. That would be a big blow for the United States Men’s National Team, as Dest has been the nailed-on starter at right back since winning a place in the team during the qualifying cycle for the 2022 World Cup. The Yanks aren’t without options at the position, as Joe Scally could step in for Dest, or Gregg Berhalter could try deploying Weah there, but neither of the two possesses Dest’s level of offensive threat.

Inter Milan Wins Serie A

Inter Milan dispatched rival AC Milan 2-1 guaranteed that Inter will win its 20th Serie A title in club history. Fikayo Tomori’s goal in the 80th minute was the closest Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah’s club could get to leveling the score, and Inter is now a whopping 17 points clear of AC Milan with five games left to play. Inter has been imperious on its way to a 20th Scudetto, scoring the most goals in the league while also conceding the fewest and losing only once this season.

Free Kicks

  • The Orlando Pride and Orlando City hosted a clean-up effort in honor of Earth Day on Monday.

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

Continue Reading

Orlando City

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

How did your favorite Lions perform in Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal?



Image courtesy of Orlando City / Mark Thor

Orlando City scored in second-half injury time for the second consecutive weekend to claim points. However, this time it was an equalizer as the Lions drew CF Montreal 2-2 north of the border. The Lions ended their two-game road trip with four points and extended their points streak to four games after dropping three straight. It’s an improvement as they look to climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

Here’s how I saw the individual performances in the draw.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 5.5 — Gallese conceded a pair of goals in this game, though neither were necessarily his fault. The first was a breakaway after Robin Jansson kept Mason Toye onside and the second was blocked wide, but Kyle Smith was caught flat-footed. However, he did concede twice while saving three of Montreal’s five shots on target. Additionally, the Lions’ goalkeeper completed 55.6% of his 27 passes, including eight of his 20 long balls.

D, Kyle Smith, 5.5 — Smith had a solid game other than one specific play. The left back had a team-high 86 touches and completed 78.3% of his 60 passes, including five of his 12 long balls. Defensively, he recorded two tackles, two clearances, an interception, and a blocked shot. Unfortunately, his most impactful play was getting caught watching on a Gallese block while Ariel Lassiter beat him to the rebound to give the hosts a late lead. That play lowers his grade for this otherwise quality performance.

D, Robin Jansson, 5.5 — Similar to Smith, Jansson had a solid game apart from one play. He had 72 touches and completed 79.7% of his 59 passes, including a key pass and three of his 14 long balls. He added a tackle, an interception, a blocked shot, and a team-high seven clearances to his stat sheet. But his failure to step up in the 16th minute enabled Toye to get behind the back line and score the opening goal, lowering his grade.

D, David Brekalo, 6 — Brekalo has proven himself to be the first-choice partner for Jansson and he was arguably the better center back in Montreal. The Slovenian international had 53 touches and completed 85.1% of his 47 passes, including two of his five long balls. The defender recorded two tackles, an interception, and three clearances defensively in a strong performance.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — Thorhallsson was in his usual right back position for this game, playing 90 minutes and recording 44 touches. He completed 82.8% of his 29 passes, but only one of his four long balls and neither of his two crosses. He cleared the ball twice and didn’t really get into the attack, but was solid in his defensive duties.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 6.5 (MotM) — This was possibly Cartagena’s best performance of the season. His 85 touches were second-most on the team and he completed 76.5% of his team-high 68 passes, including a key pass and two of his six long balls. It was his shielding of Nathan Saliba and strong pass forward for Duncan McGuire that started the last goal, though he didn’t get an assist. The defensive midfielder was also active defensively with five tackles and three interceptions, and he won a pair of aerial duels. His overall performance earns him my Man of the Match.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6.5 — Araujo had a similar performance to Cartagena, but fewer touches and more accurate passing. He recorded 55 touches and completed 93.9% of his 49 passes, including a key pass. He was less active than his partner defensively, recording three tackles, and was booked in the 63rd minute.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 6 — Angulo had one of his better performances in this one, recording 48 touches and completing 82.1% of his 39 passes. His biggest impact on the game came two minutes into second-half stoppage time, when he connected with an excellent Martin Ojeda cross to even the game at 2-2. He nearly scored a winner five minutes later, but the pass from Ojeda was just a bit too far for him. His goal was one of his two shots and the only one on target.

MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6 — Lodeiro’s 45 touches were the fewest of the Orlando City midfield, but he did the most with them. The playmaker completed 91.4% of his 35 passes, including a key pass, but couldn’t connect on his long ball or either of his two crosses. He was also caught offside and dispossessed twice before being replaced by Ojeda in the 77th minute.

MF, Facundo Torres, 6 — Torres’ 65 touches were the most in the Lions’ midfield and the fourth most on the team. He completed 83.7% of his 49 passes, but didn’t connect on his two crosses or four long balls. The attacker took three shots and put one on target. In the 22nd minute, the midfielder stepped up and buried his second penalty of the season and ninth as a Lion, continuing her perfect record from the spot.

F, Luis Muriel, 6 — While Oscar Pareja had previously been starting Muriel behind McGuire, the forward got the start alone up top for the second consecutive game. He had 34 touches and completed 68.4% of his 19 passes, including his lone long ball but neither of his two crosses. His biggest impact on the game came in the 20th minute, when he tipped the ball past Montreal goalkeeper Jonathan Sirois, drawing the penalty that resulted in the first equalizer. He also had a shot of his own, but it was off target.


F, Duncan McGuire (63’), 6 — McGuire came on in the 63rd minute for Muriel. He had 16 touches in 27 minutes, completing eight of his 10 passes (80%) with a key pass. His lone shot came in the 90th minute, when Jansson headed the ball over to him and he probably should’ve equalized, but his volley was just wide. The striker also won three aerial duels.

MF, Martin Ojeda (77’), 6.5 — Ojeda came on in the 77th minute for Lodeiro and, similar to Lodeiro last week, made a big difference. He had 15 touches and completed four of his six passes (66.7%), including a key pass. Two minutes into second-half injury time, his excellent cross found Angulo, who touched it in for the equalizer. Five minutes later, he had another great cross that nearly found Angulo for the winner, but was just out of his reach.

D, Rafael Santos (85’), 6 — Santos came on in the 85th minute for Torres as the Lions looked to see out a point. He had nine touches and completed two of his three passes (66.7%), but didn’t connect on his cross or long ball. Coming on to assure the defense, Santos did his job as he recorded a tackle, an interception, and two clearances.

This is how I saw Orlando City’s 2-2 draw with CF Montreal. Let us know how you saw the game and don’t forget to vote for your Man of the Match.

Continue Reading