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Orlando City & Pride

In a Dominating Performance, Orlando City SC Defeated Toronto FC 4-0.

Kevyn Bryant II

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On Saturday evening, the 13-12-6 Orlando City SC (45 points) defeated the 9-16-7 Toronto FC (34 points) 4-0 at Exploria Stadium. This win marks a season sweep over the Canadian-based squad after Kyle Smith scored a stoppage-time game-winner at BMO Field earlier this season.

With a 9th shutout of the season, Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and the backline set a new Club record. The Lions hold an 8-0-1 record in those nine games, including a shutout win over Toronto FC in their first meeting.  The energy to performance was clearly on the field.

In addition to three Toronto own goals, Facundo Torres, Ercan Kara, and Tesho Akindele each scored once to help City to victory. On the night, Kara tied Torres for the team lead with his 11th goal of the year in all competitions. Orlando City became the first MLS franchise to have a double-digit scorer in each of its first eight regular seasons thanks to Kara’s goal. Akindele’s goal was his third of the season, with all three coming in the second half.

This display of performance was an amazing watch. We expect the game against New York City in October will prove to be a different story as the New York will look for revenge against the Lions for their August defeat corner kicks and yellow cards throughout the ending half of the game.

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Orlando City & Pride

Cavalry Defeated as Orlando City Makes History

Isabella Cerqueira

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The crowd roared as history was made at the Exploria Stadium! A 3-1 score marks Orlando City’s first Champions Cup home victory and first Champion Cup series win.

Even Cavalry celebrated, as Myer Bevan achieved their first Champions Cup goal. Charles Trafford almost scored with a corner kick but missed by mere inches. Never losing hope, Bevan noticed an opening and locked in Willy Akio’s centered pass. Leading to the historic goal that ignited every player to play with new vigor.

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Luis Muriel made the opening for Nicolas Lodeiro to receive his pass and effortlessly score. Ramiro Enriquez and Kyle Smith’s final strikes led to Orlando’s undisputed victory.

Oscar Pareja, the head coach for Orlando City noted, “The way they complicated things was remarkable. Not an easy task to do after the result we got in Canada.” Continued with, “I think we all refreshed today with the group playing and those who have not played and the ones who have been resting. I’m happy now just thinking about the next game and we’ll think about the next steps in Concacaf next week.”

Ending on a 6-1 triumph, Orlando City earned their spot facing the Tigres in the Round of 16. Fans start making their bets, as they face off on March 5th.

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Orlando City & Pride

Can Orlando City Keep Making History Against Cavalry FC?

Isabella Cerqueira

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On February 27th, a lifelong rivalry between nations finally crowns a winner – America or Canada? The Canadian Premier League Cavalry FC debuted on American soil for the first time this season. As they face against none other but Orlando’s own Lions. Scoring 0-3, the first leg marks Orlando City’s first Champion Cup win. 

Although Orlando City remains unbeaten in Champion Cup play, nobody should underestimate Cavalry’s chances. The Lions only have a day to prepare after their match against Montreal, considering a day for recovery. Simultaneously, Cavalry FC utilizes their time by solely focusing on strategizing and preparing since arriving on Saturday. 

Cavalry FC can still send the tie to overtime by scoring 3-0. Even a 4-1 would result in Cavalry’s win. It is a rivalry nobody can miss in the second leg, as tomorrow night can finally determine who will become victorious. 

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Orlando City & Pride

Orlando City vs. CF Montreal: The Ultimate Stalemate

Isabella Cerqueira

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The Orlando City vs.CF Montreal match highlights the strengths and improvements necessary to carry the Lions from second place to first this season. Despite mostly holding the ball for the first half, Orlando City only made one goal within four shots. Turmoil heightened as ten fouls and multiple yellow cards were given to Duncan McGuire and Wilder Cartagena. 

Pedro Gallese earned his position as a star goalkeeper as he made five saves – four of which occurred within the beginning five minutes. Despite concerns, the Lions finished strong during the second half with a 9-1 advantage in corners. Keeping the playing field leveled, Gallese continued to stop Kwadwo Opoku’s attempts to shoot on a breakaway. 

Players and fans held bated breaths as pass after pass remained off by mere centimeters. Allowing Montreal to steal the ball and keep the scoreboard en-passed. The singular deciding factor was a penalty kick from Torres. Although he scored, it was waved off due to Jack Lynn being offside. A decision concluded from reviewing multiple video replays. 

Although heavily anticipated, this stalemate was neither a triumph nor a disappointment – but a buffer until the next match.

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