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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Flamengo, Preseason Friendly: Final Score 1-1 as Ivan Angulo’s Goal Erases 1-0 Deficit

The Lions held against a strong Brazilian side in their first test of the 2024 preseason.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City fell behind early but Ivan Angulo’s goal just before halftime brought the Lions back in a 1-1 preseason draw at home against Brazilian giants CR Flamengo. Pedro opened the scoring for the visitors in front of a crowd of 22,678 that skewed heavily toward fans of the Brazilian side, but the Lions were able to fight back and get a result.

“I thought it was a game that was very rich on soccer and we enjoyed it a lot,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “We’re proud of our boys. Both teams played with a lot of quality.”

Pareja’s lineup was unusual for a preseason friendly, in that most of the expected starters began the game on the pitch. Pedro Gallese started in goal behind a back line of Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. With Cesar Araujo on international duty, draft pick Jeorgio Kocevski started in central midfield with Wilder Cartagena behind an attacking line of Ivan Angulo, Nico Lodeiro, and Facundo Torres, with Duncan McGuire up top.

The first half went back and forth, with each team seeing plenty of the ball and having opportunities to build attacks. The Lions got the first good opportunity of the game when Santos sent McGuire in behind with a fantastic ball but the defense was able to close and knock it out of play from behind before the striker could shoot. McGuire then fired wide off of the set piece, which the Lions played short.

Orlando came within inches of opening the scoring in the seventh minute when Lodeiro fired a shot off the woodwork. Flamengo was able to get to the rebound first and clear the danger.

Flamengo broke the deadlock in the 13th minute. A good cross in from the right wing found Flamengo forward Pedro slicing left to right through the box. Jansson was playing the passing lane and no midfielder tracked Pedro’s run. Pedro’s finish just inside the far post left Gallese no chance to stop it, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.

Five minutes after the goal, Orlando nearly pulled level from an unlikely source. City took a long-range set piece near midfield after sending the defense forward into the box. A cross in from the left found the foot of Schlegel, who redirected it on target but Flamengo goalkeeper Augustin Rossi made a diving save to deny the shot and force a corner in the 18th minute.

Flamengo’s defense cleared the corner kick cross but it came back to Torres on the left. He gave off to Santos, who sent a cross fizzing into the area but McGuire couldn’t quite get onto it. McGuire headed over moments later after another Orlando corner.

Cartagena was booked for a dangerous challenge on Nicolas de la Cruz, giving Flamengo a free kick just outside the area on the left side. Rather than go for goal, the visitors sent a cross to the back post for Fabricio Bruno, who tried to head it back in front of goal, but Gallese was there to catch it in the 28th minute.

Flamengo had a golden opportunity to double the lead in the 40th minute when Kocevski turned the ball over in his own defensive third. The ball found its way to Pedro again but this time he sent his shot just wide of the left post. It was a costly miss, as the Lions tied the game moments later.

Santos had the ball out on the left side and played it into the box to Angulo. The Colombian turned and worked a quick give-and-go with Lodeiro, accelerating past the defense and taking the ball back from Orlando’s new playmaker. All alone in front of goal, Angulo calmly slotted past Rossi to make it 1-1 in the 42nd minute. Lodeiro got the assist on the goal.

“I’m very happy with the goal, and especially for helping the team,” Angulo said. “We trained that with Nico, that combination, and we made it this time. Nico is a great player. He’s helping us a lot, so I’m very happy overall with the result.”

“We trained a lot last week, especially with Ivan, Facu, Duncan and the forwards for this type of play,” Lodeiro said. “We are lucky we (could) do that in the game and I’m happy for Ivan because he played really well and he trained this play.”

Orlando nearly slipped in behind the defense again right after the goal. Torres got behind his man down the left flank and was taken down from behind. Guillermo Varela was booked and the Lions had a set piece a yard outside the left side of the penalty area. Lodeiro played it to the top of the box for Torres, but City’s Designated Player got under the shot, sending it over the bar. There was a lot of contact just after he released the shot but no foul was given and Flamengo was awarded a goal kick.

The last good look of the half fell to Kocevski, who found himself on the ball at the top of the box in space. The rookie tried to pick out the top left corner but missed just wide of the target. After five minutes of stoppage time, the teams went into the locker room knotted up at 1-1.

The second half wasn’t nearly as fluid as the first as both teams subbed liberally throughout, although Orlando City started the second half with the same lineup that started.

Flamengo got the first look of the second half as Gallese fought off a shot from Giorgian de Arrascaeta less than a minute after the restart.

The Lions then got on the front foot for a bit as Angulo sent a shot from outside the box that Rossi saved in the 51st minute, and Lodeiro went for goal on a free kick two minutes later but it was comfortably saved.

Jansson made a sparkling defensive play to track back and cut out a cross that would have presented problems in transition. Flamengo had a chance to go 2-v-1 after Schlegel was caught flat-footed on a sudden switch and Jansson’s effort saved the Lions some blushes.

Moments later, Pareja made his first subs of the match, sending Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith, Ramiro Enrique, and Felipe into the fray. That was just the first salvo, as Jack Lynn, Shak Mohammed, and Michael Halliday were introduced. By the end of the second half, Orlando’s lineup looked much closer to an OCB squad than an MLS side.

The next look in the match for either side came in the 67th minute, when Felipe attempted a range from extreme distance but the Brazilian midfielder’s attempt was off target. The Lions looked likely to take the lead two minutes later when Lynn sent a fantastic through ball that sprung Enrique in behind, but defender Fabricio Bruno made a great play to dispossess the Argentine in the penalty area before he could shoot.

Halliday, who was playing on the left side after replacing Santos, made a critical error in the 71st minute, turning the ball over, but the Lions were spared a dangerous counter when the flag came up for offside on Flamengo.

Thorhallsson tried his luck from a tight angle in the 74th minute but Rossi covered his near post and made the save.

OCB defender Zakaria Taifi made his first-team debut and picked up a yellow card with an unnecessary foul eight minutes later.

Luis Olieira got the last opportunity for either side early in stoppage time when he sent a shot over Stajduhar’s crossbar, and that was essentially it for the match.

“Impressed by how fit the boys were,” Pareja said when asked what he liked about his team today. “I was looking for 45 minutes today, just 45 minutes. And we discussed with the group if we see them fit then we will continue. I saw them fresh when we came back from the break. Just left us good sensations about how we are as a team. That part I like a lot. We’re still starting and they have a good understanding of what we want.”

“We showed a good intensity,” Felipe said. “We have only nine days of training but I believe we were a good match against Flamengo and it was a fair result.”


Next up for Orlando City is an out-of-town camp. It was originally supposed to be in Port St. Lucie, but now the team is going to Cancun, Mexico. The preseason match against Florida International University will no longer take place. The next scrimmage on the schedule is against Rhode Island FC.

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 have the advantage heading into tonight’s second leg against Cavalry.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to your match thread for a Tuesday night Concacaf Champions Cup matchup between Orlando City and Cavalry FC of the Canadian Premier League at Inter&Co Stadium at 6 p.m. (FOX Sports 2). It’s the second meeting ever between the teams, who met for the first time just six days ago in Langford, British Columbia.

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

History

There is exactly one game’s worth of history in this not-exactly-storied rivalry. Orlando City won the first match last Wednesday by a 3-0 scoreline at Starlight Stadium. Duncan McGuire put the Lions on the board first and Facundo Torres added a brace in a dominant performance by Orlando City. Those were Orlando’s first three away goals in continental competition and their first win on the road as well.

The Lions are 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.

Overview

Orlando City is coming off a 0-0 draw against CF Montreal on Saturday in its MLS season opener at home. Pedro Gallese kept a clean sheet, keeping alive the club’s 10-year unbeaten streak in MLS openers (3-0-7). The Lions have not conceded a goal in their opener since Oscar Pareja became head coach, with three 0-0 draws, a 1-0 win over New York Red Bulls (2023), and a 2-0 win over CF Montreal (2022).

Cavalry FC hasn’t played since these teams met last week. The Canadian side 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.” Cavalry showed its quality last week, jumping out to the more energetic start in each half and fashioning some good scoring chances in the second half.

The Lions will likely rotate some personnel for this match, given that they’ve played twice in the last six days and enjoy a three-goal advantage entering the second leg. Orlando City would advance with a win, a draw, or a loss by two goals or fewer, but there is a path for Cavalry FC. Here’s how the teams can advance:

“A very important match. The context of it, people may think the job has been done. The message today to the players was the game is not done yet,” Pareja said. “We respect our rival and the competition. We’re going in with full cylinders (tonight) trying to achieve us advancing to the next phase with a lot of responsibility because the tournament requires it.”

Orlando City has everyone available for tonight, including new striker Luis Muriel.


Official Lineups

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Mason Stajduhar.

Defenders: Rafael Santos, Rodrigo Schlegel, Kyle Smith, Michael Halliday.

Defensive Midfielders: Wilder Cartagena, Felipe.

Attacking Midfielders: Ramiro Enrique, Martin Ojeda, Shak Mohammed.

Forward: Luis Muriel.

Bench: Pedro Gallese, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, Abdi Salim, Robin Jansson, David Brekalo, Cesar Araujo, Jeorgio Kocevski, Nico Lodeiro, Ivan Angulo, Facundo Torres, Jack Lynn, Duncan McGuire.

Cavalry FC (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Marco Carducci.

Defenders: Bradley Kamdem, Daan Klomp, Callum Montgomery, Shamit Shome.

Defensive Midfielders: Eryk Kobza, Charlie Trafford.

Attacking Midfielders: William Akio, Sergio Camargo, Fraser Aird.

Forward: Myer Bevan.

Bench: Jack Barrett, Jesse Daley, Tom Field, Diego Gutierrez, Michael Harms, Ali Musse, Lucas Dias, Lleyton Brooks, Tobias Warschewski.

Officials:

REF: Fernando Guerrero (Mexico).
AR1: Christian Espinosa (Mexico).
AR2: Michel Espinoza (Mexico).
4TH: Cesar Ramos (Mexico).
VAR: Adonai Escobedo (Mexico).
VAR1: Benjamin Whitty (Cayman Islands).


How to Watch

Match Time: 6 p.m.

Venue: Inter&Co Stadium — Orlando.

TV: FOX Sports 2.

Streaming: The match can be streamed on FOX Sports GO, and the FOX Sports 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: 2/27/24

Dagur Dan Thorhallsson named to Team of the Matchday, Orlando City hosts Cavalry FC tonight, USWNT loses to Mexico, and more.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

Happy Tuesday, everyone. Orlando City might not have gotten the result we were hoping for to start MLS play, but it’s a long season and it isn’t easy to play on two fronts when coming back from a long layoff. The Lions will get a chance to get back to winning ways tonight when they face Cavalry FC in Concacaf Champions Cup play. As usual, we have a lot to talk about, so let’s get after it.

Dagur Dan Named to MLS Team of the Matchday

Dagur Dan Thorhallsson has been recognized for his efforts in Orlando City’s opening game against CF Montreal with a place in the MLS Team of the Matchday. He got the start at right back and came on strong in the second half, completing three key passes and 88% of his passes on the night. He also completed a cross, a long ball, and took a team-high four shots, although he only put one on target. Sean Rollins gave him a grade of 6 out of 10 on the night, making him one of the highest-rated Lions not named Pedro Gallese.

Orlando City Chases History

Orlando City already made history last week when the team earned its first ever Concacaf Champions Cup victory with a 3-0 win over Cavalry FC. Tonight, the Lions are looking to make a little more history by earning the club’s first home victory in the competition, as well as advancing to the next round for the first time. OCSC put itself in a good position to do exactly that, as a win, draw, or a loss by two goals or fewer will be enough to see the good guys through to the next round. Orlando defender Kyle Smith shared his thoughts on tonight’s match.

The Calgary Herald provided an interesting look at tonight’s game from the view of the visitors as well. After falling at Starlight Stadium, the Canadian club heads to a tough environment in Orlando as the underdog.

USWNT Falls to Mexico

The United States Women’s National Team lost its final game of the Concacaf W Gold Cup group stage, falling 2-0 to Mexico. Lizbeth Ovalle gave Mexico the lead in the first half and Mayra Pelayo put the nail in the coffin with another goal in stoppage time. It was the USWNT’s first time losing at home against a Concacaf team in 23 years, and first time being beaten by Mexico since 2010. It was a rough game for the USWNT, as it struggled on both sides of the ball. As a result of this loss, the U.S. finish second in its group and will play in the quarterfinals this weekend.

Americans in Midweek Action

There are a number of United States Men’s National Team players taking part in games during the working week, so make sure you don’t miss any of the action. Tomorrow sees Gianluca Busio, Tanner Tessmann, and Venezia host Cittadella in Serie B action, while Giovanni Reyna, Matt Turner, and Nottingham Forest host Manchester United in the FA Cup. Things finish up on Friday, with Christian Pulisic, Yunus Musah, and AC Milan facing Lazio in Serie A, and Folarin Balogun and Monaco facing off against Paris Saint-Germain.

Free Kicks

  • Forward Luis Muriel is available for selection tonight and could make his Orlando City debut.
  • Orlando Pride forward Mariana Larroquette started and had an assist in Argentina’s 3-0 win over the Dominican Republic.

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

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Orlando City

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

How did your favorite Lions do in their scoreless draw against CF Montreal?

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City kicked off its 10th MLS season Saturday night, drawing CF Montreal 0-0 in downtown Orlando. The team was poor in the first half, but much better in the second 45 minutes. The Lions had multiple chances to win it late, hitting the woodwork and having a goal disallowed for offside. However, they claim a point to start the season and are in a great position to advance in the Concacaf Champions Cup Tuesday night.

Here’s how the Lions did individually in the scoreless draw.

Starters

GK, Pedro Gallese, 8 (MotM) — The Peruvian number one has been the most dependable Lion over the past few years and this game was no different. He was active in the first half, making four saves, but was bored in the second half until Kwadwo Opoku got in on goal in the second minute of stoppage time. Gallese came out and made a huge stop with his right leg, ensuring Orlando City would get a point. In total, the goalkeeper had five saves and completed 91.7% of his 24 passes, including four of his six long balls, while claiming his 34th clean sheet as a Lion.

D, Rafael Santos, 5.5 — After a rocky first outing in Canada, Santos had a much better game in the league opener with a team-high 108 touches. Defensively, the left back had one tackle, three interceptions, and one clearance in a clean sheet performance. Going forward, he completed 84.2% of his 76 passes, including a key pass. However, he only completed two of his seven crosses, a problem throughout the night for the Lions.

D, Robin Jansson, 6 — It wasn’t a bad game for the Orlando City captain, but he wasn’t as effective as fans have come to expect. The Swede had an interception and block, but no clearances. He completed 90.2% of his 61 pass attempts and four of his eight long balls (50%). 

D, David Brekalo, 7 — Saturday night saw the long-awaited debut of Brekalo, Orlando City’s new starting center back. It was a solid performance for the defender, who recorded two tackles, two clearances, and a team-high four interceptions. Additionally, his three aerial duels were tied for the team high. He completed 86.4% of his 66 pass attempts and two of his three long balls. The new arrival took two dribbles and two shots, putting one on target. Overall, Brekalo was a bright spot in this game for the Lions before being replaced by Kyle Smith in the 77th minute.

D, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, 6 — Thorhallsson was one of several players that were much better in the second half than the first. Most of his passes in the first 45 minutes were left short or long balls too far, but he ended up completing 88.3% of his 60 passes with a team-high three key passes. He completed one of his two crosses and one of his five long balls. He took a team-high four shots, only putting one on target. Additionally, he one clearance defensively, but little else on that end of the field in 90 minutes of action.

MF, Wilder Cartagena, 5.5 — It was a short night for Cartagena, who was taken off at halftime for Martin Ojeda after picking up a yellow in the first half. The Peruvian completed 90.5% of his 42 passes and both of his long balls. However, he did little defensively in this game and only had one dribble going forward. It wasn’t a bad performance overall, but the Lions couldn’t afford to go down a man if he got booked a second time.

MF, Cesar Araujo, 7 — Araujo displayed his usual dependability for the Lions in this game. His 87 touches were third on the team and he completed 89.7% of his 68 passes, including two key passes. He failed to connect on his lone cross, but completed all eight of his long balls. Unfortunately, neither of his two shots were on target. Defensively, the defensive midfielder was active, recording two tackles, two interceptions, and a clearance.

MF, Facundo Torres, 5 — Torres is usually the best attacking player for the Lions, but he had a difficult game Saturday night. The attacking midfielder completed 81.3% of his 48 passes and didn’t connect on any of his five crosses. He had one shot that was on target, and could’ve had a goal when he and Felipe and converged on a late header off the crossbar but they were offside. He also had a tackle defensively, but this will be a game to forget for the Uruguayan.

MF, Nico Lodeiro, 6 — One of two Lions to make their competitive home debuts, Lodeiro started in his natural number 10 position. His 89 touches were second-most on the team and he completed 86.7% of his 75 passes with a key pass. Two of his five crosses were accurate and he completed three of his seven long balls. He took one shot on the night, but it was off target. Lodeiro was somewhat active defensively, recording a tackle, an interception, and a clearance before being replaced by Felipe in the 77th minute.

MF, Ivan Angulo, 5 — Angulo was less active than usual in this game, only recording 42 touches and not taking any shots. He completed 83.9% of his 31 pass attempts and didn’t connect on his only cross. He had two tackles defensively but didn’t do much else before being replaced by Ramiro Enrique in the 68th minute.

F, Duncan McGuire, 5.5 — McGuire scored in his first game back after an uncertain off-season, so there was a lot of excitement heading into the home opener. The young striker took two off-target shots but was solid with his hold-up play, winning a team-high three aerial duels. He wasn’t able to get too involved, with only 26 touches, and he completed 64.3% of his 14 passes. He also had one key pass, one inaccurate cross, and one clearance.

Substitutes

MF, Martin Ojeda (46′), 6.5 — Ojeda came on at halftime for Cartagena and made a big impact on a much better second half. He completed 90.9% of his 22 passes with three key passes, and he was accurate on three of his seven crosses and both long balls. Additionally, one of his two shots was on target. He also helped out defensively, recording a tackle and a clearance.

F, Ramiro Enrique (68’), 5 — Enrique joined the game in the 68th minute, replacing Angulo, but didn’t make much of an impact. He only had 14 touches in 22 minutes while playing in the midfield. The attacker completed 77.8% of his nine passes without any key passes and failed to complete his lone cross. It was his header in the 80th minute that hit the crossbar and was redirected in by Felipe, but it was ruled out for offside.

D, Kyle Smith (77’), 5.5 — Smith came on for Brekalo to help see out the clean sheet alongside Jansson. Defensively, he had one clearance at center back, but no other defensive stats. He completed 78.6% of his 14 passes, including a key pass and completed his one cross.

MF, Felipe (77’), 6 — Felipe played well in the final 13 minutes of the game after replacing Lodeiro, recording an interception and a clearance and completing 90% of his 10 passes with one key pass. His most noteworthy moment came in the 80th minute when Enrique’s header off the crossbar was knocked in, but he was judged to be offside.

F, Jack Lynn (90’), N/A — Lynn came on for the final minutes of the game, replacing McGuire up top. He had four touches and won an aerial duel, a flick-on header near midfield, while completing one of his three passes (33.3%). He also had one accurate cross.


This is how I saw the individual performances of Orlando City’s first game of the 2024 MLS regular season. How did you see the game? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to vote on your Man of the Match.

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