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Orlando City vs. Toronto FC: Final Score 2-1 as Lions Pick up Road Win in Canada

The Lions fell behind early again but were able to grind out a road win in Toronto.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC

The Lions conceded in the opening minutes yet again, but this time Orlando City (6-9-6, 24 points) was able to come from behind and take all three points. Martin Ojeda and an own goal forced by Facundo Torres brought the Lions back just before halftime in a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC (7-12-3, 24 points) at BMO Field. Derrick Etienne Jr. had given the hosts the lead just minutes after the opening kick, but the Lions held firm despite several nervy moments in the second half.

“We want to dedicate this game to Mason (Stajduhar), who has suffered this tremendous injury. And I know he’s happy to see us winning, but we want to share this joy with him. So, this is for Mason. We’re all talking about it in the lockerroom,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “I want to congratulate the players for such an important resolve in this moment that we need to win games. Today they demonstrated the commitment that they have with the club. So, we’re very proud of this result and the effort that they had on the pitch.”

Pareja’s lineup featured the return of Pedro Gallese in goal behind a back line of Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. Wilder Cartagena was also back in the starting XI, joining Cesar Araujo in central midfield behind an attacking line of Ivan Angulo, Ojeda, and Torres, with Duncan McGuire up top.

Toronto scored on its first shot, as Orlando’s defensive inattentiveness continued. Federico Bernardeschi sent in a cross from the right that Raoul Petretta easily won over Thorhallsson at the back post. He headed it down into the middle of the area where absolutely no Lions were concerned with Etienne Jr., who smashed it past Gallese from point-blank range to open the scoring. It was a ridiculously easy goal for the hosts just five minutes in, and it was the 10th goal conceded by Orlando in the first 15 minutes of an MLS match this season — the 16th in all competitions.

“I think it was a couple of distractions that we had,” Pareja said about the early goal. “It’s something that I need to work on and help them. That’s probably a lack of sharpness or concentration, because after that we just engaged in the game in such a way that we looked as we wanted. But these things cannot happen. It’s something that we have been working on but it seems like it is not enough yet. We all collectively need to be aware that this can’t happen.”

Bernardeschi didn’t miss by much in an attempt to double the lead four minutes later. Marked by Angulo, the Italian made one quick fake and easily cleared himself for a left-footed shot that fizzed just off target.

After a dreadful effort from distance by Cartagena came nowhere near the goal, Orlando fashioned its first decent scoring chance in the 15th minute. Ojeda took the ball away in the attacking third, worked his way from right to left across the top of the box to free himself, and fired a shot on goal. The Argentine couldn’t generate much power on the effort, however, and it was an easy save for Sean Johnson.

Angulo had a couple of crosses blocked in the following minutes, with one getting knocked behind for a corner in the 24th minute. The initial cross was cleared but Orlando nearly created something with the two recycled attacks through Cartagena. The first was fizzed dangerously in front with the Peruvian’s right foot, but Johnson did well to get down and get a hand to it to keep it from getting through, allowing his defense to clear. Another ball came in to Cartagena, and this time he headed it across the box but it didn’t reach the intended target.

Three minutes after that flurry, the Lions equalized. Angulo got his cross through this time and it was a perfect ball for Ojeda to smash home with his head after being left unmarked in front. His second goal of the season tied the match in the 27th minute.

“Of course, I’m happy about the the goal that I was able to convert, but I think more so just overall about this victory that the team needed to get tonight and that we’ve been working so hard to get,” Ojeda said through a club interpreter. “When I saw Facu turn to the other side of the field, the opposite side of where I was, I knew I had to get into the box. That was what I was trying to do to make sure Duncan wasn’t alone in the box. And then, once I saw Ivan out wide in space and Facu played the ball to him, I knew that if I could get into the center, I’d be in a really good spot to make a play on the ball. And thankfully the cross from Ivan was fantastic, and he put it right on my head, where all I had to do was just make the movement towards the ball, and thankfully it went in.”

The Lions continued to control the match for several minutes after the tying goal, winning some set pieces but doing little with them. Thorhallsson scorched a free kick from the left toward goal in the 33rd minute but it hit the wall and deflected out for a corner. On the ensuing set piece, Araujo got a foot to it and knocked it to the left of the goal, where Jansson tried to redirect it but he missed just wide.

Toronto got back on the front foot after that series of chances. A free kick conceded by Araujo near the left sideline was sent in front and headed toward the back post, forcing Gallese to get over and punch it away. The second ball in was cleared out by Jansson’s head, but Toronto maintained possession. Lorenzo Insigne got a step on Thorhallsson moving inside from the left and sent a curling shot just wide of the right post in the 39th minute.

Orlando took the lead on the brink of halftime. A well-worked play starting in the midfield ended up with Torres on the right. The Uruguayan tried to cross in with his right foot. Toronto defender Gomis got a foot on it but only deflected it toward the back post. Johnson couldn’t react in time and the ball bounced in to make it 2-1 Lions in the 45th minute. It was just the second own goal to Orlando’s benefit in 2024.

“It means a lot for the group to see Facu at this level,” Pareja said about his star setting up the winner with his seldom-used right foot. “Today he threatened not just (with) his left cutting inside, but his right, and I think it’s going to give him a lot of confidence because he could do that much more often on receiving the ball and pushing the ball forward on his right. That’s very difficult to mark, and today he tried. He decided to do it, and look at what happened — a cross that was dangerous.”

The three minutes of stoppage time played out without incident and Orlando took its lead into the lockerroom.

The Reds had the halftime advantage in possession (51.7%-48.3%) and passing accuracy (88.3%-87.3%). Orlando finished the half with more shots (8-5), shots on target (2-1), and corners (4-0). The half was evenly played, but the own goal was the difference.

“The first half I liked it a lot,” Pareja said. “I thought we played very well. This is pretty much where we are and we scored goals. And despite that first goal in the first minutes that shouldn’t happen, the reaction was outstanding from the players.”

Neither team was able to find a goal in the second half, although Toronto came closest and fashioned by far the most chances. Orlando struggled to maintain possession and eventually gave up doing anything but trying to stay organized and hit on the counter — something Luis Muriel had two golden opportunities to do but could not.

When the Lions did have chances to get the ball forward, McGuire struggled to win the initial ball or maintain possession, as the striker fought with his first touch most of the evening.

Orlando created the first good chance of the second half just three minutes after the restart as Torres got in on the right and received the ball, but he slipped as he was cutting back to shoot it and ended up getting his attempt blocked as a result of the delay. A minute later, the Lions were in good shape on another transition opportunity but Angulo became indecisive, then made one too many moves, allowing the defense to arrive and dispossess him.

One of McGuire’s turnovers led to a Toronto chance in the 53rd minute as a cross from the left was just inches over Prince Owusu’s head. Three minutes later, Insigne switched play from left to right to Bernardeschi, who sent a dangerous cross through the area but it skipped out the other side for a goal kick.

From that point on, it was primarily about Orlando keeping Toronto from breaking down the door. Jansson did well in the 70th minute to clear the box after Owusu knocked down a dangerous ball to the middle of the penalty area. Gallese caught a high deflection moments later as the Reds continued to rain crosses into the penalty area and the Lions’ block got pushed lower and lower.

Orlando survived a poor header from center back Aime Mabika in the 76th minute when Jansson tripped in the area.

As time wound down, the Lions finally created some opportunities in transition to put the game away. The first came in the 86th minute when Gallese punched the ball out of his area and it was sent up the field for second-half sub Muriel. He had two defenders closing on him, but seeing Johnson off his line, he went for goal from midfield and missed wide to the right. He would have done better to play in fellow sub Ramiro Enrique, who would have been all alone, but perhaps he didn’t see the Argentine.

Kobe Franklin nearly tied the match in the 90th minute. He took a layoff at the top of the area and smashed a shot off Gallese’s crossbar.

Muriel got down the field in the 93rd minute and beat Johnson with his shot but missed inches wide of the left post. Three minutes later, he found himself in a similar situation and missed inches wide of the right post, failing again to seal the deal.

After a few more nervous minutes, the final whistle blew and Orlando had its road win.

Toronto finished with the advantage in possession (56.6%-43.4%), passing accuracy (87.3%-85%), and corners (6-4), while each team finished with 13 shot attempts and Orlando put more on frame (2-1).

“Second half, we defended in the last period of the game very low,” Pareja said. “We couldn’t contain the numbers and the volume of the players that Toronto sent, but we had also some opportunities to put the game (to) 3-1. So, again, we’re happy. This is a good step for us in this moment. Now we’re looking forward to going back home and winning there.”

The Lions won their third straight match at BMO Field and improved to 9-9-3 in the all-time series and 4-4-3 on the road against Toronto, although one of those “road” games came on Orlando’s home field during the Canadian pandemic travel restrictions.

The Reds’ winless skid reached eight matches (0-6-2) after a bright start to the season.


The Lions return home with another quick turnaround as D.C. United visits Inter&Co Stadium on Saturday.

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Nashville SC: Final Score 3-0 as Lions’ Offense Continues to Roar

The Lions climbed to .500 on the season with their fourth consecutive victory and picked up their fourth straight shutout win over Nashville.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Orlando City scored two first-half goals on set pieces and added an insurance goal late, beating Nashville SC 3-0 at Geodis Park in Nashville, TN. Cesar Araujo and Ramiro Enrique scored for the Lions (9-9-6, 33 points), who also got an own goal off Alex Muyl’s face in the first half, as Orlando won its fourth straight match overall and its fourth consecutive game — all via shutout — against Nashville SC (6-10-8, 26 points).

The Lions improved to 6-4-3 on the road this season, remain unbeaten on the road against Nashville in the regular season (2-0-3), and also kept their second clean sheet in three matches.

“We are really happy indeed with the results, but most importantly with the seriousness of the team, the discipline, the responsibility that the boys have had in bouncing back from those difficult moments,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “I thought we played a very serious game.”

Pareja made just one change from the starting lineup that beat the New England Revolution on Saturday. Pedro Gallese started in goal behind a back line of Rafael Santos — replacing Kyle Smith at left back — Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. The central midfield pairing of Araujo and Wilder Cartagena lined up behind an attacking midfield line of Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, and Facundo Torres, with Enrique up top.

The opening moments were sloppy for both teams, but Nashville handled it better, getting a couple of early shots away. Helping the hosts out a bit with that was Santos’ two early turnovers. Araujo blocked Teal Bunbury’s effort in the third minute and Hany Mukhtar sent a blast right at Gallese from outside the box a minute later.

Orlando’s first promising attack came in the 11th minute, with Ojeda finding Torres in the box. The Uruguayan got onto it but got under it and sent it over the bar. Five minutes later, Thorhallsson sent a good ball across the field outside the box for Cartagena to run onto, however, the Peruvian got well under his effort and sent it high into the stands.

The Lions found the opener on a set piece won when Alex Muyl pulled back Enrique on a promising attack and the Nashville winger picked up a yellow card. Ojeda delivered a great ball to the back post, where both Teal Bunbury and Sean Davis expected the other to track Araujo’s run. Neither did, and Araujo headed the ball down and past Joe Willis to score his first goal of the season in the 19th minute.

“It’s always great to be able to score, but when you go into a game, the first thing you want is to help your team win in any way possible,” Araujo said. “With Martin, I knew very clearly the type of touch that he has, especially when he hits the ball like that. So, I just ran to the area that they always ask me to run to, and when I saw the ball coming to me, I just tried to get my head to it, and thankfully it went in.”

Following the goal, Nashville had a spell of attacking pressure, winning a few set pieces. The hosts should perhaps have leveled the game when Jack Maher was left unmarked on a pick play during a corner kick cross. The big defender had a free header but sent it wide to the left of goal in the 25th minute.

Angulo showed off his wheels in the 29th minute, blazing past defender Josh Bauer down the left channel Bauer reached out and grabbed him, picking up a yellow card, but this time Nashville was able to clear Ojeda’s service.

Ojeda made a great move in the corner to discard Shaq Moore in the 31st minute before crossing the ball into the box for Torres. The Uruguayan got his shot on target but couldn’t get much on it and Willis was able to save it.

Orlando doubled the lead in the 40th minute. Ojeda did well to shield the ball and win a free kick on the left. The Argentine then sent in a beautiful cross for Torres. Before it could reach Torres, the ball hit off the head of Maher, bounced off the face of Muyl, and ricocheted past Willis to make it 2-0. Own goal or not, it was Ojeda’s cross that created problems for Nashville.

“What’s happening with Martin now is that he’s performing with consistency,” Pareja said. “And the dedication that he has for his work and for his team is bringing those results. I have to recognize that Martin has helped us a lot in this part of the season that we needed to bounce back, and he has been a protagonist.”

The goal was a historic one for Orlando City, as it gave the club a seventh consecutive match scoring multiple goals — the longest such streak in club history. Orlando City has scored an incredible 21 goals in its last seven matches, averaging three per game since starting the multi-goal-game streak at Charlotte June 19.

Neither side got a clear-cut look for the rest of the opening period, and the Lions took their two-goal advantage to the lockerroom.

The Lions held the advantage at the break in possession (52.6%-47.4%), passing accuracy (87.4%-86.2%), and shots on target (2-1). Nashville won more corners (3-0), and both teams attempted four shots in the half.

The teams played a disjointed first 15 minutes of the second half. Orlando City looked to be intentional in its attack with the lead on the road, waiting for counterattacking opportunities. At the least sign of resistance, the Lions recycled the ball backward and probed for a cleaner opportunity. However, Orlando did well during that spell to limit Nashville’s attack as well. Neither side was able to register a shot.

Shortly after the hour mark, both teams got chances. Bunbury sent a volley attempt over the bar on a Nashville long throw in the 67th minute. Moments later, Angulo won a ball and sent in Torres on the right but Willis was able to smother his shot in the 69th.

Each team got another chance in the 72nd minute. Off a corner kick, the Lions cleared the ball to the top of the box. Amar Sejdic got to it and fired a shot between Schlegel’s legs, but Gallese caught it and ignited the break with a long outlet to Angulo. The Colombian found second-half sub Nico Lodeiro breaking but again Willis got big and couldn’t be beaten.

Enrique sealed the deal in the 81st minute. Angulo did well to get forward and played a ball for Muriel at the top of the area. Muriel’s shot was blocked by the defense, but Angulo picked up the rebound and poked it through traffic to Enrique on the right. The Argentine smoked a shot past Willis, off the bottom of the crossbar, and in from a tight angle to make it 3-0. It was the third straight match with a goal for Enrique.

“Enrique had a very rocky season so far, because first he got hurt. He had some physical problems with injuries. After that he had to go and receive his green card and it took a little bit of a time longer than we wanted,” Pareja said. “But his attitutde in the training ground and, similar to Martin (Ojeda), his dedication to the group is fantastic. So, I’m so happy to finally see the player that we brought here —the player that has instincts to score goals, but the player that is working for his teammates all the time. And that’s the characteristic of our team. That’s the culture that we had seen in this club, and he’s representing it well.”

Bunbury did well to take in a hot cross from Shaq Moore in the 86th minute, held off Jansson, and fired a shot, but it was off line and hit teammate Mukhtar.

It was a quiet night for Mukhtar, who managed only two shot attempts, putting one on frame, but he failed to threaten goal as he has done against Orlando so often prior to the Lions’ current four-game streak in the series.

“We know that Hany Mukhtar is a great player. He’s certainly one of the best players in the league, and we know how dangerous he can be,” Araujo said. “So, whenever we go to play him, we know that between Wilder and myself, one of us always has to be on him when they have the ball. And if it’s me, then I know Wilder is behind me, ready to take him. If Wilder’s there, I’m ready, moving into position to help defend. If he’s able to get by both of us, we know the defense is ready to step in and cut the ball away from him and really take him out of the game as much as possible.”

Defensive substitutions Jeorgio Kocevski and David Brekalo came on to help Orlando City see out the match.

Nashville had more misfortune than the loss, as second-half substitutions Dru Yearwood and Tyler Boyd each had to leave the game with injuries in the second half. Boyd was stretchered off in stoppage time and Nashville was out of subs. The hosts had to finish the match with 10 men.

It appeared that Forster Ajago pulled one back late in stoppage time, but he was clearly offside. The flag came up immediately after the ball went in and it was confirmed on review by the video assistant referee. That was about the last action of the match and the Lions had their fourth consecutive victory and fifth in six games.

Nashville turned around the possession advantage by the end of the game (50.3%-49.7%) as the hosts were chasing the match throughout the second period. The hosts also had more corners (6-1). Orlando City finished with more shots (9-8) and shots on target (5-2). Both teams passed at the same 85.5% success rate.

“We knew we had to come into this game continuing to put the work in and continuing to elevate the level that we have been playing,” Araujo said. “We started off the game really well, and we continue to raise the level of what we had been, and this team has never stopped working hard, even when the results weren’t falling for us. We continue to work hard and really just continue to push as one group.”


The Lions have another short week as they return home to host New York City FC on Saturday.

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Orlando City

Orlando City vs. Nashville SC: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Lions close out a two-game road trip with a visit to Tennessee.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to your match thread for a Wednesday night matchup between Orlando City (8-9-6, 30 points) and Nashville SC (6-9-8, 26 points) at Geodis Park in Nashville, TN (8:30 p.m., FS1, free on Apple TV+). It’s the first of two scheduled meetings between the teams this season, with Nashville set to make the return trip to Orlando on Aug. 31.

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

History

The Lions are 2-2-4 against Nashville in MLS regular-season matches and 4-3-5 in all competitions. Orlando is 1-0-3 on the road in the series in league play and 2-1-3 away in all competitions.

Orlando City last met Nashville SC at Geodis Park on Nov. 7, 2023 in the second game of a best-of-three, first-round playoff series. The Lions got an early goal from Ivan Angulo in a 1-0 win to sweep the series. Orlando City drew first blood in the series by beating Nashville 1-0 on Oct. 30, 2023 at Exploria Stadium. Wilder Cartagena’s blast from outside the area hit the underside of the crossbar near the right corner and bounced in for the game’s only score.

The teams last met in the regular season on Oct. 4, 2023 with Orlando City stealing a 1-0 win in Music City on Duncan McGuire’s goal just before halftime. That was one of only two shot attempts by the Lions all night and the only one on target. Orlando played well defensively and Pedro Gallese didn’t have to make a save as the hosts didn’t put any shots on frame.

Nashville visited Orlando back on April 1 of last year at Exploria Stadium and it was the visitors who made fools of the Lions, as Nashville won, 2-0. Fafa Picault and Hany Mukhtar did the damage for Nashville.

The teams did not face each other in regular-season play the year before, meeting only in the U.S. Open Cup in Orlando on June 29, 2022. Mukhtar scored in the second half, and that looked like it would be enough until Rodrigo Schlegel equalized deep in stoppage time. After a scoreless 30 minutes of extra time, the Lions won the ensuing penalty shootout, 6-4.

These sides met in the 2021 postseason in Tennessee, with Orlando scoring first through Daryl Dike’s early goal, but Nashville won 3-1 on Nov. 23, 2021 to knock the Lions out of the playoffs. Mukhtar tied it up before halftime on a fluky deflected goal off of Antonio Carlos and then put his team up in the 74th minute on a counterattack. Jhonder Cadiz put things away deep in stoppage time.

The teams met in Orlando on Oct. 31, 2021 and ended in a 1-1 draw after referee Allen Chapman’s Halloween Heist chalked off Andres Perea’s apparent stoppage-time winner. The referee’s excuse for overturning the goal was an imagined foul on Dike, who, if anything, was the fouled party. The decision cost the Lions a valuable home playoff match, which instead sent Orlando to Nashville. Mukhtar scored for Nashville to equalize in the second half after Dike’s first-half goal.

The teams met in Nashville on Sept. 29, 2021 with a late rally by the Lions earning the team a 2-2 road draw at Nissan Stadium. The hosts had taken a 2-0 lead on goals by Mukhtar — scoring off the rebound of his own saved penalty — and Randall Leal, but a penalty by Dike and a stoppage-time own goal by Brian Anunga turned the game around. On Aug. 18 of that season, the teams finished in another 1-1 draw. C.J. Sapong put the hosts ahead in the first half and Carlos leveled the score in the second half. The Lions, who played poorly in the opening 45, were the better team throughout the second half and Tesho Akindele’s shot off the crossbar was inches from providing a winner for Orlando.

The teams met on Decision Day of 2020 at Exploria Stadium, with Orlando melting down late, allowing two goals from the 88th minute on, and falling 3-2 at home on Nov. 8, 2020 — the team’s only home loss on the season. Dike and Nani goals sandwiched a strike by Daniel Lovitz, giving the Lions a lead until late. Headers by Mukhtar (in the 88th minute) and Cadiz (in the 93rd minute) turned the game on its head.

In the Lions’ first trip to Nissan Stadium, the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 2, 2020. Benji Michel put the Lions ahead with a stunner of a goal, but Leal knotted things up and that’s the way the match ended.

That 1-1 draw came a week after a 3-1 Orlando City win on Aug. 26 at Exploria Stadium. Dave Romney had opened the scoring for Nashville with a header off a free kick but Orlando scored the last three. Dike took a star turn for Orlando City, scoring a brace, and Chris Mueller also scored for the Lions.

Overview

The Lions are coming off a 3-1 win Saturday at New England. That was Orlando City’s first win over the Revolution at Gillette Stadium in club history. Facundo Torres’ brace put him on the MLS Team of the Matchday and gave him four goal contributions in his last five matches. Ramiro Enrique also scored, filling in for McGuire, who is away with the U.S. Olympic team. The Lions have won three straight games and four of their last five, and have a 5-4-3 road record on the season.

Tonight’s hosts are coming off a 2-1 away loss to D.C. United. Nashville is 4-3-5 at home, but has lost its last four games, but the three most recent losses have come on the road. The last home match was a 2-1 loss to Inter Miami. Mukhtar leads Nashville in goal contributions with 12 (five goals, seven assists), and has four goals and five assists against the Lions in his career. You should never bet your house on anything, but if you did, betting on Mukhtar to have a goal contribution against the Lions seems a near certainty. Meanwhile, forward Sam Surridge paces the Tennessee side with eight goals in 2024.

As it usually is, this matchup should be a tightly contested battle to the end.

“Every game has its own context, whether we have memory of, or feelings of, what happened in the prior games. In this case, with Nashville SC, we have had good experiences, and last year, we succeeded on the things that we wanted and our gameplan,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said ahead of the match. “But we always say that every game brings different challenges and different things that we need to prepare (for), because the game is dynamic, it moves, and they have changed their coach. All those things add up in preparation, but most important is that we can continue our line of improvement. That’s what we’re focusing on now.”

In addition to McGuire, Orlando City will be without Michael Halliday (knee) and Mason Stajduhar (lower leg). Nashville will be without Walker Zimmerman (Olympic duty), Julian Gaines (ankle), Anibal Godoy (lower body), Randall Leal (hip), and Lukas McNaughton (ankle), while Surridge (ankle) is listed as questionable.

Match Content


Official Lineups:

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

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

Defensive Midfielders: Wilder Cartagena, Cesar Araujo.

Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, Facundo Torres.

Forward: Ramiro Enrique.

Bench: Javier Otero, Kyle Smith, Alex Freeman, David Brekalo, Felipe, Jeorgio Kocevski, Nico Lodeiro, Luis Muriel, Jack Lynn.

Nashville SC (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Joe Willis.

Defenders: Daniel Lovitz, Jack Maher, Josh Bauer, Shaq Moore.

Defensive Midfielders: Sean Davis, Brian Anunga.

Attacking Midfielders: Jacob Shaffelburg, Hany Mukhtar, Alex Muyl.

Forward: Teal Bunbury.

Bench: Elliot Panicco, Brent Kallman, Taylor Washington, Dru Yearwood, Amar Sejdic, Tyler Boyd, Joseph Skinner, Isaiah Jones, Forster Ajago.

Referees

REF: Pierre-Luc Lauziere.
AR1: Jeffrey Greeson.
AR2: Ben Pilgrim.
4TH: Matt Thompson.
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic.
AVAR: Jozef Batko.


How to Watch

Match Time: 8:30 p.m.

Venue: Geodis Park — Nashville, TN.

TV/Streaming: FS1, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+ (free).

Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Mega 97.1 FM (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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Lion Links

Lion Links: 7/17/24

Orlando City’s attendance is up, Viviana Villacorta signs new contract, USWNT draws Costa Rica, and more.

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Dan MacDonald, The Mane land

Welcome to Wednesday, Mane Landers. It’s match day for Orlando City as the Lions hit the road once again for a match against Eastern Conference foe Nashville SC. We will have your preview and full coverage of the match later today. To pass the time until then, please enjoy these links.

Orlando City Attendance on the Rise

So far in 2024, attendance at Orlando City matches has averaged 22,632, which is more than last season’s 20,804 average. That total is good enough to put the Lions at 11th best in MLS attendance this season. Attendance is up across the league this season, with some citing the Lionel Messi effect, but I’m partial to the idea that more people are simply finding out about the beautiful game. I also think that the last few successful seasons for Orlando City have much more to do with the increase at home.

Villacorta Signs New Contract

Haley Carter and the Orlando Pride front office continued their trend of locking down current players by extending Viviana Villacorta’s time in purple with a new contract through the 2025 season with an option for 2026. Villacorta has had a rough go of it due to injuries, but the talent is there for her to contribute to the project Seb Hines is building.

Pride Top the Olympic List

The NWSL will send 56 players to the Olympics, setting a record for most players from any women’s league in the world. The Orlando Pride tied NJ/NJ Gotham FC for the most players participating on the women’s side, with seven. The Pride players making the trip are Barbra Banda and Grace Chanda with Zambia, Emily Sams for the USWNT (as an alternate), and four of the Pride’s Brazilians — Marta, Adriana, Rafaelle, and Angelina (as an alternate). If seeing all of those excellent players compete against each other in the Olympics doesn’t get you excited, you should probably see a doctor.

Orlando City/Pride to Host Olympics Watch Parties

If you were wondering where to watch the Orlando City and the Orlando Pride players representing their individual nations, then wonder no more. Orlando City and the Orlando Pride are hosting watch parties in Orlando. If you want to support the club’s internationals, like Duncan McGuire for the USMNT U-23s, and all of the Pride players, you can do so with your fellow Orlando City and Orlando Pride supporters. There will be four watch parties in total. Check out the schedule and venues here.

USWNT Draws, U-20 USWNT Wins

The United States Women’s National Team played its final friendly before the start of the Olympics against a stubborn Costa Rica side at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. Despite having 80% possession and taking 26 shots — with 12 shots on target — the wasteful Yanks were unable to find the net, playing to a scoreless draw. Costa Rica’s low block was effective, as was goalkeeper Noelia Bermúdez, but the U.S. simply squandered too many opportunities. The USWNT will next play against Banda’s Zambian squad in the Olympics.

The U-20 USWNT defeated the U-20 Mexico Women’s National Team 3-0 at the Jack Turner Soccer Complex at the University of Georgia in Athens. Ally Sentnor provided a brace, and Riley Jackson added the third. The Pride’s Ally Lemos got the start in this match and played just over an hour after subbing on in the team’s most recent match on July 13.

Free Kicks

  • Gareth Southgate will torment England supporters no longer as he has stepped down, having failed to “bring football home.”

That will do it for today. Don’t forget to follow @themaneland on Twitter for updates during the match tonight. Vamos Orlando!

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