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Orlando City & Pride

Orlando City loses 4-1 against Inter Miami CF in their final match.

Kevyn Bryant II

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miamiherald.com

In a game with a playoff berth up for debate the Wednesday game did not go as planned for our Orlando City Lions. Inter Miami CF was able to clinch a win and an Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoff berth.

In an unbelievable 4-1 scrubbing at the hands of Inter Miami CF, Orlando City was overwhelmed by bad bounces and defensive transition mistakes. The defeat dropped the Lions below the postseason line with one match remaining.

The Lions (13-14-6, 45 points) fell below .500 and lost their fourth game in the last five since winning the U.S. Open Cup in the game’s first minute when awful blunders cost the team. Miami (14-13-6, 48 points), on the other hand, gained a postseason spot for the first time.

Orlando’s defensive line was broken down almost as soon as the game started. Smith knocked the ball away from an opponent, and it dribbled behind the Orlando centre backs. Neither Carlos nor Schlegel retrieved the ball, so Campana ran after it and chipped Gallese, who was off his line but not far enough away to reach it before the Miami forward. Orlando City was behind almost immediately after the match started.

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Orlando had a lot of possession but didn’t do much with set pieces, and to make matters worse, the Lions broke down when they should have gotten numbers forward in transition. Torres, Akindele, and Urso all sent some errant passes, as did Michel on a couple of occasions, preventing some great chances. The Lions set up some half-chances but didn’t make anything of them.

In the 38th minute, the Herons doubled their lead on a bizarre transition as Akindele attempted to force a pass into traffic. The Marlins came the other way and Schlegel pressed high, leaving the Herons with a 2-on-1 advantage. Lassiter delivered the cross early to Higuain, who took a shot on goal past Gallese and made it 2-0. The last two scores came by Kara and Lassiter.

It wasn’t all bad however, we did get 1 point in late in the game. In the 71st minute, Kara spoiled Miami’s shutout bid by taking a pass from Torres at the top of the box then turning and firing a well-placed shot just inside the left post.

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Despite possessing the ball more than Orlando, the Lions had trouble finding the net. On Sunday, the Columbus Crew will visit Exploria Stadium for the final match of the regular season. A draw won’t be sufficient for Cincinnati unless they somehow lose at D.C. United.

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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