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Orlando City & Pride

Orlando City lifts banner for U.S. Open Championship in season opener

Jae Fortune

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VAMOS ORL!

Opening night in Exploria Stadium was bound to be an electrifying Saturday night in Orlando.

Before the match, Orlando City celebrated last fall’s Open Cup title, commemorating the city’s first MLS-era trophy. The club also added two USL Championship banners from its titles in 2011 and 2013. Orlando’s star goaltender Pedro Gallese had a strong showing against the Red Bulls, helping the Lions stave off a late attack from New York. In fact, since arriving in Orlando, Gallese has yet to allow an opponent to score. He previously helped the Lions secure a pair of scoreless draws in 2020 and 2021, while tallying a pair of saves a year ago in the club’s 2-0 win over CF Montréal.

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Orlando City returns home to Exploria Stadium to host FC Cincinnati next Saturday, March 4 

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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