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Orlando City vs. Houston Dynamo, Leagues Cup: Photo Gallery

An album of images from Orlando City’s 1-1 draw and 5-4 shootout win against the Houston Dynamo.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

Well, it wasn’t the three points that the Lions were hoping for, but Orlando City bested the Houston Dynamo in penalty kicks, 5-4, after playing to a 1-1 draw to take two points in the quirky scoring system of Leagues Cup. Orlando (0-0-1, 2 points) and Houston (0-0-1, 1 point) largely kept each other at bay for most of the night, each scoring on a gift – Houston’s in the form of a raspberry-award quality dive that was given as a penalty to close the first half, and Orlando’s as a howler of a pass from Houston `keeper Andrew Tarbell to a hustling Duncan McGuire to start the second half.

The Lions appear to have found a new right back in Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, who was brought on at halftime for Kyle Smith and filled the role well. Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said in the press availability after the game that this was something Thorhallsson had been working on, so it will be interesting to see how many minutes the versatile Icelandic player gets there in the future. Juninho made a cameo at the end — one of the four OCB players on the bench — continuing the play-your-kids trends we’ve seen of late.

While spot kicks as a game resolution are not a great way to determine games, they are a lot of fun as a photographer. We hope you enjoy the photos of the first two-point game in Orlando City (and Leagues Cup) history.

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Orlando City vs. Cavalry FC, Concacaf Champions Cup: Photo Gallery

An album of images from Orlando City’s 3-1 home win in Concacaf Champions Cup action.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land


Orlando City continued its Concacaf Champions Cup run on Tuesday where it left off last week by playing slightly sloppy but still overmatching soccer against Calgary’s Cavalry FC. The Lions beat Cavalry 3-1, advancing 6-1 on aggregate. Cavalry played the ‘just happy to be here’ role well, clearly relishing the non-competitive tie and taking home a road goal as its only trophy.

Personnel-wise, Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja went deep into the roster due to the grueling schedule, rotating nine of 11 starters from Saturday. You will notice a few new faces in the gallery, as Shakur Mohammed (start) and Abdi Salim (64th-minute substitute) got substantial run-outs. Luis Muriel also made his debut, starting and playing 79 minutes, so it may not take that long for him to achieve 90-minute match fitness.

Being down three goals in the tie, Cavalry came out with the slightly baffling strategy of playing a well-organized team against the Lions’ highly rotated side. The scrambled personnel mix, such as the Rodrigo Schlegel-Kyle Smith center back pairing, and nerves all likely contribued as well, leading to a scoreless (and fairly slow) first half played largely in the midfield.

Orlando continued rotating personnel in the second half, with substitutes Nico Lodeiro and Facundo Torres contributing to Orlando’s three goals on the evening. Lodeiro notched a goal and an assist, while Torres set up a late insurance goal by Smith, who moved from center back to left back when Salim came off the bench. Ramiro Enrique took advantage of his extended minutes, playing the full game and leading the team in shots (5), putting three of them on target. He looked dangerous all game but it took a while to get dialed in. He was eventually rewarded with a stunner of a goal in the 71st minute.

We hope you enjoy these images from a memorable home match that saw the Lions advance to the Round of 16, where they’ll have a rematch against Liga MX giants Tigres, starting Tuesday night at Inter&Co Stadium.

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Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: Photo Gallery

An album of images from Orlando City’s scoreless home draw against CF Montreal.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

You’ve heard the saying, “Good work is rewarded with more work”? Well, Orlando City’s excellent season last year was rewarded by having to open its Concacaf Champions Cup (CCC) run at the furthest reaches of the continent soccer-wise, and then three days later, opening its regular season in Florida. Unsurprisingly, the on-pitch product showed the travel wear a bit and Orlando (0-0-1, 1 point) had to settle for a draw against CF Montreal (0-0-1, 1 point). In the end, this is a point happily taken to start the season, given the scheduling circumstances.

Martín Ojeda and Nico Lodeiro showed signs of starting to get on the same page, and Dagur Dan Thórhallsson and Iván Angulo had their same fearsome ground-covering dynamics of last year. They just could not find Duncan McGuire with a final ball, however, despite his normal chaos-inducing runs, and Thórhallsson and César Araújo both failed to finish good looks. I personally thought — and the game stats tend to agree — that the Lions were the better team for the majority of the game and deserved more, but you have to put the ball in the net to win.

The fans were raring to go, with the sold-out Wall in full voice, harassing the opposition (and the substitute refereeing crew) and generally continuing to provide the environment that Orlando is (in)famous for throughout the league. In the end, the Lions remained unbeaten on opening night (3-0-7) and still haven’t conceded in their MLS opener under Oscar Pareja. The downside is that three of the last five openers have been scoreless draws.

We hope you enjoy these images from a great night at the stadium, even if the result wasn’t quite the one for which you were hoping. Your next opportunity to come out and experience the atmosphere will be tonight at 6 p.m. when the Lions host Cavalry FC in the second leg of the CCC series. It’s a bit early, but with the Lions already up three goals on aggregate in the tie, they are well positioned to advance.

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Orlando Pride vs. Houston Dash: Photo Gallery

An album of images from the Pride’s 2023 season finale at Exploria Stadium.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane Land

The Orlando Pride got the win they needed on Sunday, but with other results around the NWSL going against them, the team’s playoff dream ended after a 1-0 home win over the Houston Dash. Despite having the second-most wins in the league this season, the Pride are the only Orlando City team out of the postseason in 2023 — due solely to the goal differential tiebreaker, which placed Orlando just behind both Angel City and NJ/NY Gotham FC.

It was a hard-fought victory, with the season-high announced crowd of 8,504 driving the team forward to the end. The Pride generated most of the better of the scoring chances on the night, but sent several or those straight at Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell. Eventually, Marta made the game’s decisive play, beating Dash defender Katie Lind to a ball in the box in the 85th minute. Lind clipped Marta’s heel in the process, drawing a deserved penalty, which the Pride captain calmly dispatched in the 87th minute.

Knowing that the three other games around the league weren’t going their way, the Pride pushed hard for more goals as time wound down. Summer Yates fired over the bar on the best of those opportunities, and a poor header at the back post by Mikayla Cluff also could have helped the cause, but neither found the back of the net and the Pride were bounced from postseason contention.

Because the season is now over for the Pride, these will unfortunately be the last images of the team for a while, and may possibly be the last photos in an Orlando uniform for some of these players. We hope you enjoy them and that you can revisit our Pride galleries throughout the off-season until next season rolls around.

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