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

How did your favorite Lions perform in the 2-2 draw with the Columbus Crew on the road?



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City’s road trip continued with a visit to Eastern Conference foe Columbus Crew. Unlike the last two matches, the Lions were able to earn a point on the road, thanks to a two-goal second half comeback with goals from Ercan Kara and Duncan McGuire.  Let’s look at how each individual Lion did in the come-from-behind 2-2 draw.


GK, Pedro Gallese, 6.5 — Orlando City once again conceded two goals, but neither was Gallese’s fault. Gallese came up with some good saves — five to be exact. He knocked the ball down in the 55th minute and secured it before anyone could cause trouble. He got a little cheeky with the ball at his feet in the 58th minute with a defender in his face. Gallese made a huge instinctive save in the 94th minute, slapping the ball with his right hand and salvaging the point for Orlando City.

D, Rodrigo Schlegel, 5.5 — With Oscar Pareja returning to the three-man back line, Schlegel got the start. He had some good plays, like his great interception in the 17th minute, however he wasn’t able to close down Alexandru Matan on the first goal, and got beat by Mohamed Farsi on the second goal. He passed at an 87.5% rate on 16 passes, with two tackles, four clearances, and one foul. He came off in the 57th minute for Kyle Smith.

D, Robin Jansson, 6.5 — Jansson put in an excellent shift on the back line. While he didn’t make much noise on offense, defensively he was solid. He showed his deceptive speed tracking back in the 38th minute to take the ball off the foot of an attacker. He completed just 62.9% of his 35 passes, and wasn’t his normal accurate self on his long balls either, completing only two of 11. On defense, Jansson made two tackles, two interceptions, three clearances, four blocked shots, and committed one foul. Still, he was the best of the center backs.

D, Antonio Carlos, 6 — Carlos earned a yellow card in the 14th minute fouling Cucho Hernandez from behind. Getting the card so early meant he had to be careful He got beat by Jacen Russell-Rowe on the Crew’s second goal. Carlos wasn’t all bad, as he completed 76.9% of his 26 passes, with one successful long ball on two attempts. Carlos did take one shot but it was not on target. Defensively, he blocked two shots, had one interception, and made six clearances. He only committed one foul but it resulted in the yellow card.

WB, Gaston Gonzalez, 5.5 — Gonzalez played a different role for Orlando City sliding back into the left wingback position. He finished with two tackles, one interception, and two clearances in his deeper position. He did commit one foul along Orlando’s touchline, that fortunately amounted to nothing on the resulting free kick. He made one key pass and completed 65.4% of his 26 passes, but he struggled on crosses, with only one accurate cross on his five attempts. 

MF, Cesar Araujo, 6 — It was a typical night for Araujo as he quietly went about the business of being Orlando City’s first line of defense. He did have a bad giveaway in the 95th minute but the Crew weren’t able to capitalize on it. Even though I think he’s been a little quick to look for a foul lately, Araujo did draw four fouls on the night. Defensively, he made two tackles, one interception, and two clearances. He passed at an 81.6% rate on 38 passes. Araujo was excellent on his long balls, completing six of seven.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 5.5 — Cartagena attempted to chip the keeper in the third minute but it went wide of goal as so many of the Lions’ shots did. He disappeared at times while Orlando City absorbed the Crew’s attack. He did, however, commit two fouls, one of which earned him a yellow card in the 73rd minute. He contributed two tackles and one clearance and completed 81.8% of 22 passes, with one of three long balls finding his target. He subbed off for Dagur Dan Thorhallsson in the 75th minute.

WB, Ivan Angulo, 5.5 — Angulo slotted in as the right wingback to start the match. As such, he played a deeper defensive position and on the right rather than his usual position on the left. He didn’t do poorly, making three tackles, one clearance, and one interception. He should have been covering the back post on the Crew’s first goal, but then he wasn’t the only one. After a personnel change, he was back on the left wimg, where he was more comfortable. Angulo was quiet compared to normal, taking no shots, and none of his three crosses found the target. He completed 72.2% of his 18 passes, including one successful long ball on three attempts. 

MF, Facundo Torres, 7 (MOTM) — Torres looked much sharper this match. His excellent pass to Kara earned him an assist on Orlando City’s first goal. It was his free kick (which he won) in the 92nd minute that dropped for McGuire to get the equalizer. He made four key passes on the night, passing at an 84.9% rate on 33 attempts and was successful on four of his five long balls. He was effective in making space for himself in the opponent’s half with four dribbles, and drawing five fouls. He even contributed two tackles on defense. It was a good night for the Young Designated Player, and his involvement in both goals earns him our Man of the Match.

MF, Martin Ojeda, 5.5 — Ojeda was a bit sloppy on the night with bad giveaways in the 11th and 54th minutes. He almost made something of his corner in the third minute, but the shot curved outside the near post. Ojeda made one key pass in the match, completing 61.9% of his 21 passes. He completed one of his three long balls, and put in two crosses — one of them accurate. 

F, Ercan Kara, 6.5 — Kara made good runs all night, getting behind the Crew’s defense time and time again while only being called offside twice. He took four shots, but only managed to get one on target. His header in the fourth minute and his shot in the 21st minute both went high, but Kara finally broke through in the 49th minute on a give-and-go with Torres. The striker continued his run, sliding past the defense as Torres’ pass found his feet. Kara did well to get control of the ball, pick up his head and calmly put it past Patrick Schulte into the right hand side of the goal. He almost got a second goal just minutes later but the shot went just wide right of the far post. Kara only made 10 passes on the night, but completed nine (90%) of them. Defensively, he made one tackle, one interception, and one clearance. Kara came off in the 75th minute for McGuire.


D, Kyle Smith (57′), 6 — Smith came on for Schlegel, assuming the left center back role. He put in his typical reliable performance off the bench. He was steady in defense as the Lions pushed for the result. He made two tackles, two interceptions, and one clearance, while committing one foul. He connected on one of his four long balls, completing 66.7% of his 15 passes.

WB, Michael Halliday (57′), 5.5 — Halliday came on for Ojeda to shore up the defense and he only managed nine touches. He completed 80% of his five passes and made one tackle. It was a quiet night for the youngster, but he didn’t give the ball away which was an improvement from the last match. He had a chance to score his first goal on a great opportunity but missed the target.

MF, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson (75′), 5.5 — Thorhallsson came on for Cartegena following his yellow card in the 73rd minute. He managed to do nearly as much as Halliday despite fewer minutes. Thorhallsson had seven touches, completing 80% of his five passes, adding a clearance on defense. 

F, Duncan McGuire (75′), 6.5 — Orlando City’s leading scorer added to his total in typical McGuire fashion. His fortunate positioning and nose for goal gave the Lions the point on the road thanks to his 92nd-minute goal. He was his typical energetic self, harassing the defense and looking for opportunities. He only made three passes but completed them all. It was another good performance from the rookie.

MF, Ramiro Enrique (85′), N/A — Enrique came on for Angulo as Orlando City was looking for the equalizer. He took one shot, and it was on target, but he wasn’t able to put it in the back of the net. He only attempted four passes, completing one. Enrique didn’t have much time to impact the match.

That’s how I saw each performance from the Lions in their 2-2 draw at Field against the Columbus Crew. The Lions got (partially) back on track following two losses with this result. Who was your Man of the Match? Make sure to vote in our poll and let us know what you think in the comments!

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Inter Miami: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, and More

The Lions return home hoping to bounce back from another rough night on the baseball diamond.



Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night Tropic Thunder matchup between Orlando City and the team’s Publix Enemies, Inter Miami CF at Exploria Stadium (7:30 p.m., FS1, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+). It’s the third meeting between the sides this season and the second time in regular-season play. It is the only scheduled meeting in Orlando.

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


Orlando City is 5-4-3 in the series in all competitions, 2-0-3 in all contests at Exploria Stadium (2-0-2 in regular-season play and 0-0-1 with a shootout win in the U.S. Open Cup), and 3-0-3 in all games played in the Orlando area (adding the win in the MLS is Back Tournament at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in 2020).

The most recent meeting took place at DRV PNK Stadium on Aug. 2. The Herons were fortunate to not see Lionel Messi sent off with a second yellow late in the first half and even more fortunate to get a soft penalty call on Antonio Carlos as they won, 3-1 in Leagues Cup action. Messi opened the scoring after being ignored in the box early. Cesar Araujo made up for the defensive lapse by scoring 10 minutes later. Josef Martinez put Miami back on top with the Downy soft penalty just after halftime and Messi sunk in the dagger in the final 20 minutes.

The teams also met in Fort Lauderdale in MLS play on May 20, with Orlando City winning, 3-1. Ercan Kara’s early goal was canceled out by Leonardo Campana shortly before the hour mark, but Martin Ojeda and Rafael Santos found the net in the second half to power the Lions.

Inter Miami won at home, 4-1, on Oct. 5, 2022. Campana scored in the game’s first minute and Orlando City never settled in. Gonzalo Higuain added two goals — one from the spot — and Ariel Lassiter also scored before Kara pulled one back to spoil the shutout.

The first regular-season meeting of 2022 resulted in a 1-0 Orlando City win at Exploria Stadium on July 9, as a stoppage-time own goal by Damion Lowe was the difference between the Lions earning just one point or all three. The ball was sent into the box by Jake Mulraney.

The teams also met at Exploria Stadium on May 25, 2022 in U.S. Open Cup action, with the two sides needing extra time after a scoreless 90 minutes. In extra time, Miami got a goal from Jean Mota against the run of play, but Facundo Torres quickly equalized for Orlando. The match ended 1-1 and Orlando won the ensuing penalty shootout, 4-2. Bryce Duke was denied by Mason Stajduhar and DeAndre Yedlin missed the net during the spot kicks, while all four Orlando shooters scored.

The intrastate rivals played to a scoreless draw in Orlando on Aug. 27, 2021. Tesho Akindele missed a penalty in the match, but the Lions had several other good opportunities to score (but didn’t) in a wasteful performance. Orlando and Miami battled to a 1-1 draw at Exploria Stadium on Aug. 4, 2021. Carlos scored in first-half stoppage time but was knocked into concussion protocol on the play by Kelvin Leerdam. Kieran Gibbs equalized in the 66th minute on a header in front of a less-than-attentive Ruan. Akindele had a goal called back after video review for being offside and the teams split the points. Earlier in the season, the Lions came from behind in Fort Lauderdale to win 2-1 on a pair of brilliant goals by Chris Mueller and Nani on June 25, 2021.

In the final meeting of 2020, the Lions saw their 12-match unbeaten streak end on Oct. 24 in a 2-1 road loss in Fort Lauderdale. Miami defender Leandro Gonzalez Pirez’s header in the 89th minute was the difference after a Daryl Dike goal and an own goal off Robin Jansson saw the game tied up at halftime. The teams met in Orlando on Sept. 12 of 2020 with Orlando battling to a 2-1 win on Mauricio Pereyra’s goal. The Lions had taken the lead on an own goal by Andres Reyes. Former Lion Brek Shea tied things up in the 65th, before Pereyra answered with a nice goal off the left post in the 69th minute.

The first meeting in Fort Lauderdale opened Phase 1 of Major League Soccer’s return to regular-season play after the MLS is Back Tournament. That one was an uncharacteristically sloppy match for the Lions, who fell 3-2 in Inter Miami’s first-ever home match. It was Miami’s first franchise win after an 0-5-0 start. Orlando trailed by more than one goal for the first time all season in that game. Dike and Nani provided the offense for Orlando but Julian Carranza’s brace and Rodolfo Pizarro’s insurance goal were enough to lift the Herons.

The first Tropic Thunder match went Orlando City’s way, with Nani scoring late to lift the Lions to a 2-1 win over the upstarts from South Florida in the opening match of the MLS is Back Tournament. Despite it being a tournament match, it was also a league game. Juan Agudelo opened the scoring for the Herons, but Mueller equalized, setting the stage for Nani’s 97th-minute winner.


The Lions are coming off their first loss since getting knocked out of Leagues Cup with Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at New York City FC in a match they never settled into. Clinching a playoff spot that night likely took a little of the sting out of the loss, but it will be interesting to see how the team responds. Orlando City is 7-3-4 at home this season in MLS play and will look to extend an unbeaten run of 7-0-4 in all competitions at Exploria Stadium.

Inter Miami is coming off a 4-0 home destruction of Toronto FC in the midweek. The Herons are just 3-10-1 on the road in MLS play this season but much of that record was compiled prior to the league and its major sponsors helping Miami’s ownership bring Messi to MLS and Messi getting his buddies to take less money than they could get elsewhere to come help his new project in Fort Lauderdale, while fitting within the league’s roster rules. Inter Miami is 2-1-0 on the road since Leagues Cup ended.

Tonight’s visitors may or may not have Messi and Jordi Alba for this match. Miami coach Gerardo Martino declared they would miss the game after Wednesday’s match but neither are on the MLS availability report. Did the Herons intentionally leave injured guys off the report to keep them eligible for the U.S. Open Cup final or will the visitors’ stars play?

Regardless, the rest of Inter Miami has played better and more confidently since the arrival of Martino, as well as Messi and friends. An Orlando City defense that leaked badly despite the modest scoreline Wednesday will have to deal with the likes of Campana, Martinez, Robert Taylor, and others tonight, while trying to beat one of the best young goalkeepers in MLS in Drake Callender. They will also have to press high to keep Sergio Busquets from picking out forward runs from deeper positions.

It’s a rivalry game, so anything can happen. History suggests it’ll be tight.

“We returned from New York and (have been) trying to get some corrections from the game, but we are still looking at the better things we did in that match also and keep going,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “I have to evaluate it, but the team has been playing very well and we have to keep going in that direction. Now we have a rival, we have Miami in a very important game, not just because it is a derby but because those points will get us closer to the objective that is to keep fighting for that first position or at least qualify in that first four. The team is good, the boys are recovering from the trip, and we are good.”

The Lions will be without reserve players Adam Grinwis (thigh) and Favian Loyola (arm), but defender Antonio Carlos has been upgraded to questionable. Miami will not have Ian Fray (ACL), Gregore (Lisfranc), Franco Negri (ACL), or Corentin Jean (ACL). Will the Herons have Messi and Alba? Their coach said no, but their availability report says yes.

Match Content

Here’s your match content for this one:

Projected Lineups:

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson.

Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Wilder Cartagena.

Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres.

Forward: Duncan McGuire.

Inter Miami (5-3-2)

Goalkeeper: Drake Callender.

Defenders: Noah Allen, Kamal Miller, Sergii Kryvstov, Tomas, Aviles, DeAndre Yedlin.

Midfielders: Fadundo Farias, Sergio Busquets, Benjamin Cremaschi.

Forwards: Robert Taylor, Leonardo Campana.


REF: Armando Villarreal.
AR1: Jeremy Kieso.
AR2: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt.
4TH: Lukasz Szpala.
VAR: Carol Anne Chenard.
AVAR: Fabio Tovar.

How to Watch

Match Time: 7:30 p.m.

Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.

TV/Live Stream: FS1, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.

Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), Acción 97.9 FM, 810 AM (Spanish).

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

Enjoy the game. Go City!

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Orlando City

Orlando City Enjoyed the Best Summer Stretch in Team History

Orlando City climbed the table in the club’s best summer since joining MLS.



Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

June, July, August (plus, most of September), and the dog days of summer are officially in the rearview mirror and Orlando City is set to put a cherry on top of what was the best summer stretch in team history when they face Inter Miami tomorrow night at Exploria Stadium. As the season starts to wind down, I felt it was only necessary to take some time to examine the what we all just witnessed…the best summer in team history.

A quick Google search says that the season of summer in the U.S. traditionally starts June 21 on the summer solstice, which we will use as the starting point. I looked historically at the team’s performance from that point in time through the end of summer each season, a.k.a. today, Sept. 23. As a new expansion team in Major League Soccer, Orlando City dealt with the summer heat fairly well and earned 15 and 17 points in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The next two seasons, on the other hand, were much darker times to be a city fan, as Orlando City racked up seven and 10 losses in 2017 and 2018, respectively, during those two seasons. It does not take Sherlock Holmes-level detection skills to know that those summer stretches did not lead to postseason playoff berths. In 2019, the team amassed a decent 18 points during the summer, but only tallied 37 on the season overall.

It should not come as a surprise to any OCSC fan that the team’s best years of success have all come while Oscar Pareja has been at the helm. Prior to this season, the best summer stretch that the team had enjoyed was back in 2021 — also under Pareja’s reign — when the boys put up 23 points, setting a summer team record with six wins. Despite their great summer success, the 2021 Lions were unfortunately not able to keep their strong summer momentum going as they dropped four straight matches after Labor Day that year. Enter 2022, or as I like to call it “the summer of the trophy.” Technically speaking, in the MLS regular season, it was the team’s second best summer, with 20 points to their name. Orlando also happened to lift the U.S. Open Cup during that span last year, so there is an argument to be made that without the additional fixtures, the Lions may have been able to commit more resources to the regular season and would have wound up with more points. I will take the hardware!

This summer it has seemed as though Papi has pulled all the right strings at the right times. Orlando currently not only sits in second place in the Eastern Conference, but second overall in the Supporters’ Shield race and has only dropped two matches from June 21 to Sept. 23 while sporting a +6 goal differential. The Lions amassed 24 points during the summer this year.

Orlando City finding the back of the net more often than conceding makes for quite fun matches to enjoy. The two losses OCSC has picked up throughout the summer this season both have come on the road (at Real Salt Lake and at NYCFC), despite Orlando City earning an MLS-best 25 points away from Central Florida this year.

Orlando City did a great job getting through the hottest part of the calendar while locking up results left and right. Orlando has already secured a spot in the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year in no small part due to the amazing summer the team just enjoyed. As fall comes barreling at us and the MLS playoff home-field advantage race begins to heat up, the performance of the squad this summer should not be taken for granted as championships might not be won in June, July, or August, but poor performances can certainly ensure that they are lost.

Did you have a favorite moment or match from this summer? My favorite moment was what I am calling the Hail Ojeda Mary goal in Charlotte, and my favorite match was the electrifying 4-3 come-from-behind victory against the Columbus Crew. Let us know in the comments below your favorites, and as always, vamos Orlando.

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Lion Links

Lion Links: 9/23/22

Lions and Herons meet again, Carly Nelson is writing a book, NWSL free agency opens, and more.



Image courtesy of Orlando Pride / Mark Thor

Happy Founder’s Day, Mane Landers! It was on this day in 2014 that our fearless leader and Managing Editor Michael Citro started our first ever WordPress website. It’s safe to say that I’m sure The Mane Land has impacted your life as much as it has mine over the years, whether that be through daily reading or weekly podcasts. Cheers to Michael and all those who have come before me.

In my own personal news, I have been grinding away on the new EA FC 24 (the franchise formerly known as EA’s FIFA.) So far, the gameplay and updates have been great in my initial 15+ hours of play, and my online Ultimate Team is starting to really take its shape. I’m sure in a couple weeks that I’ll transition to a traditional Career Mode and take the Lions all the way to an MLS Cup and beyond.

Before we dive into today’s links, let’s all wish a very happy birthday to everyone’s favorite defensive midfielder, Wilder Cartagena!

Third Bout for Orlando City and Inter Miami

Orlando City and Inter Miami have already met twice this campaign. Sunday’s match will look to break the deadlock between the two rivals as both clubs have a victory to their name in this year’s series. In May, the Lions grabbed a 3-1 victory over the Fort Lauderdale-based club. The two sides met for a second time in the knockout round of Leagues Cup 2023 with Inter Miami taking the 3-1 result at DRV PNK Stadium. No matter the result this time around, Orlando City has already clinched a playoff spot, however, the Herons need every point they can get to attempt to do the same.

Carly Nelson, Goalkeeper and Author

It isn’t unheard of to learn that an athlete might have tried another sport before finding soccer, Orlando Pride goalkeeper Carly Nelson came from a background of gymnastics, tennis, basketball, and baseball before her father started a club soccer team with her in mind. While Nelson might have idolized USWNT legend Hope Solo as a child, she started her playing days as a forward, winger, and midfielder. Outside of protecting the Pride’s net, Nelson is spending time writing a book about her life growing up in Utah and the issues her family faced to hopefully help others that might find themselves in similar situations.

NWSL Opens 2024 Free Agency

The National Women’s Soccer League has officially opened the league’s unrestricted and restricted free agency periods. In accordance with the NWSL Players’ Association’s collective bargaining agreement, eligible free agents can begin negotiations for their 2024 Standard Player Agreements. Players eligible for unrestricted free agency include all who have at least five years of service within the NWSL and contracts expiring in 2023, while players eligible for restricted free agency include those who have at least three years of service. For the Orlando Pride, defender Kylie Strom is set to be an unrestricted free agent and midfielder Jordyn Listro is under restricted terms. Any club that currently holds the rights of a restricted free agent has a seven-day period to match an incoming offer from another club or else the player may sign with the new club under the terms of the offer.

USMNT’s Tyler Adams Nearing Return

Tyler Adams will not make his Bournemouth debut this weekend, but he could return as early as next week. Bournemouth’s manager, Andoni Iraola, provided a positive update on the U.S. Men’s National Team captain as he finishes up rehabbing a long-term hamstring injury.

“He has started this week at least to train partially with the group, so probably we can have a chance of having him next week or two weeks, something like this. Tyler is really close because once you start training partially with the group, it’s a matter of sensations, and if you are physically good enough. He has a very good physical base. So I think it will take not a long time to see Tyler with the team.”

Adams has not played since March after having a hamstring surgery. Even with a known injury, the 24-year-old still completed a move from Leeds United to Bournemouth following Leeds’ relegation to keep him in the top flight.

MLS Weekend Preview

Aside from the Florida derby, there are plenty of matches to be excited about around the league this weekend. Personally, I’m looking forward to catching a bit of the D.C. United and New York Red Bulls match. Manager Wayne Rooney’s club is right on the bubble in a tight Eastern Conference race while the Red Bulls can do themselves a huge service and come back into the playoff picture with a win. Out in the Western Conference, there is a real buzz around a Portland Timbers squad after a manager sacking. It could be a huge win for the Timbers and likely push them above the play-in round should they find a result against the Colorado Rapids.

Free Kicks

That’s all I have for you today, Mane Landers. I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday. Be safe on Sunday at the match. Stay hydrated and look out for those around you. Vamos Orlando!

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