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Orlando City & Pride

A Farwell to 2022 for Orlando City, Hello 2023

Kevyn Bryant II

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Strength, Disappointments, and Future

Orlando City SC was one of the most surprising and upcoming teams in the season 2022 MLS. Even though they were not able to compete for the top position in the league and barely made it to the championship, that too on the last match day. Orlando City SC did manage to win the 2022 US Open Cup Title. For this feat alone we are proud of our home team’s year in football.

The coaches’ performance with this team was amazing. He ensured that a low-tier team of 2019 would do better. Some fans of Orlando City SC were disappointed with a few performances of the club in some of the matches. However, they need to be assured that nothing happens overnight. Winning a title and getting a place in the playoffs is more than what they bargained for this season.

For now, all they should do is be happy and pray that their team keeps up the momentum. Hats off to Oscar Pareja.

Orlando City SC’s Strengths

Photo Credit: Orlando City SC

Two young Uruguayans and a formation of 4-2-3-1 with almost 50 percent of all their play being from the middle. This is how Orlando City SC took control this season and manage to get their hands on a trophy while also securing a position in the playoffs.

One of the best decisions made by Pareja regarding the team was that he played Pereyra deep along with Cesar. This allowed them to keep their attacks on a grind and ensure pressure on their opponents. This single decision was also able to make the wingers of the team more useful and their attacks were able to come from all sides. Though the middle was used the most, the sides were used for making more ferocious attacks.

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Now, ultimately this made it hard for the opponents to try and figure out what they were trying to do. In most of the matches, Orlando City SC had more possession than their opponents only due to the fact that they utilized the entire ground and played more “Deep” football.

Disappointments In Getting Playoff Position

Orlando City SC was not that consistent with their performances. They had more than a few draws, some wins, and a few losses as well. They also went through 8 matches 1 win streak which annoyed the fans to their cores.

Even though Orlando City SC did manage to gain a place in the playoffs and win a trophy, their entire campaign was not worth it. The fans just wanted more consistency this season and a better way to get better end results. However, the highlight of their season was when they beat SoFla rivals 1-0. Well, the fans are hoping that the next season will probably bring them more happiness and satisfaction in the journey of Orlando City SC to a win.

Another disappointment that we all felt was that we did not really get to see any youngster getting the nurturing he deserves. Quite literally none of the holdover young players really shone. It clearly shows that there is a lack in the development side of the players of the club.  Jhegson Mendez was loaned out including Silvester van der Water. It also seems like Joao Moutinho’s likely next. Andres Perea, Michael Halliday, and Tommy Williams were not given enough minutes.

Photo Credit: ussoccer.com

However, I want to tell you that this season of Orlando City SC was not something ordinary or scripted. It was something else entirely. Also, they need to get more strength in their bench because their team gets tired by the end of the season.

What Does The Future Hold?

The first thing to be looked at will be how to make the loanees permanent. Angulo and Cartagena are the type of players that will help boost the game of Orlando City SC. After the reactions of fans, and the disappointed growth of youngsters. It is to be determined how long will Pareja be able to survive in that club.

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Pareja has a record of leaving a club within 3 years, however, just because of his recent season here with Orlando City SC. We can say that he might extend for a year or two. Other than that we expect to see more consistency within the team and that is how the team might win consecutive matches. Orlando City SC will have to sign a few more players to strengthen the bench power and increase the overall endurance of the team. Additionally, they will be able to power through the matches and hopefully bring more results and better results.

 

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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