Team Profile: Orlando City SC
Updated: Feb 23
Year founded: 2013.
First season in MLS: 2015.
Stadium: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL.
Honors: U.S. Open Cup (2022).
2023 highlights: Orlando will be seeking a strong start, with three of their opening four games at Exploria Stadium, facing New York Red Bulls, Cincinnati, and Charlotte. Indeed, six of their first nine games are all at home, though the road trips will present a challenge, as they include visits to last year's Eastern Conference champions Philadelphia Union, as well as a D.C. United side under a first full season in charge for Wayne Rooney. They also host D.C. in late April. Expect some closely fought battles with a seemingly improved Inter Miami. They meet at DRV PNK Stadium on May 20th, then in central Florida on September 24th. They host newcomers St. Louis City on August 26th. Their longest trip of the season is the 6,000-mile round trek to Seattle on June 24th, while their roughest road stretch is the spell either side of Leagues Cup, when they have five of six games away from home. They finish at Toronto FC on October 21st.
Head Coach: Oscar Pareja.
Players to watch: Mauricio Pereyra, Ercan Kara, Facundo Torres, Martín Ojeda.
Ramiro Enrique (transfer from Banfield) Pedro Gallese (re-signed) Adam Grinwis (re-signed) Favian Loyola (homegrown) Felipe Martins (free agent)
Duncan McGuire (MLS SuperDraft signing) Shakur Mohammed (Generation adidas) Martín Ojeda (transfer from Godoy Cruz) Mauricio Pereyra (re-signed) Luca Petrasso (trade from Toronto)
Abdi Salim (signed after selected #17 in the MLS SuperDraft) Rafael Santos (transfer from Cruzeiro)
Dagur Dan Thórhallsson (transfer from Breiðablik UBK)
Tesho Akindele (option declined) Alexander Alvarado (transfer to LDU Quito) Joey DeZart (option declined) Benji Michel (out of contract) João Moutinho (out of contract) Jake Mulraney (transfer to St. Patrick’s Athletic) Alexandre Pato (out of contract) Andrés Perea (trade to Philadelphia) Mauricio Pereyra (out of contract)
Ruan (trade to D.C. United)
Júnior Urso (mutual contract termination)
2022 summary: having failed to reach the postseason the first five years in MLS, the Lions of Orlando have now done so in back-to-back campaigns. They finished seventh in the Eastern Conference last year, just one point off of fifth. Their presence in the playoffs lasted 90 minutes, as they fell 2-0 at CF Montreal, but they did collect their first piece of silverware since becoming an MLS team. Oscar Pareja's side claimed the U.S. Open Cup with a 3-0 home win over Sacramento Republic, which means they qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League.
Facts and Stats: in the three seasons under Oscar Pareja, the Florida club has enjoyed double digit wins every year, something they only managed twice in the previous five seasons. Last season's 14 wins represented a club high in MLS. Orlando's first season in MLS (2015) saw them issued 10 red cards. Only the MetroStars have ever received more, collecting 11 dismissals in the 2000 season.
Milestones in 2023: Orlando should comfortably reach 150 road goals all-time at some point this season. They sit on 144. Head coach Oscar Pareja is nine wins away from 150 all-time, which includes his time in charge at the Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas