Orlando City

5 things to watch as Orlando City head to Atlanta United 


Orlando City (9-6-7, 34 points) at Atlanta United (9-5-8, 35 points)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)

Round 2 

Orlando City is set to face its neighbors to the north for the second time this campaign, the two having met previously on May 27 at Exploria Stadium. The first meeting resulted in a 1-1 draw, with defender Kyle Smith accounting for the Lions’ lone finish on the night. Smith has found the back of the net four times in his Orlando City career, two of which have come against The Five Stripes.

Leading the Way 

Duncan McGuire and Facundo Torres sit tied for the team lead in goals scored this season, each having found the back of the net seven times in 2023. The former was selected at No. 6 overall at the 2023 MLS SuperDraft, leading the rookie class with his seven finishes this campaign. The latter was signed to a Designated Player contract a year ago, with his next finish set to tie him with Tesho Akindele for sixth on the all-time scoring list, with Chris Mueller just two goals ahead in fifth.

How May He Assist You? 

Designated Player Martín Ojeda leads the Lions with eight assists during the 2023 season. Ojeda’s eight helpers sit two shy of the league lead, with Columbus Crew forward Cucho Hernández and Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada leading the way with 10. Should he reach 10 assists in the 2023 campaign, Ojeda would become the sixth player in Club history to hit double-digit assists in a single season, joining teammates Facundo Torres and Mauricio Pereyra, along with former Lions Kaká, Yoshi Yotún and Nani.

Pen to Paper 

This past week saw the Lions add another Homegrown player to their roster, with goalkeeper Javier Otero signing a First Team through the 2024 season, with Club options in 2025 and 2026. Otero has appeared 32 times for MLS NEXT Pro side Orlando City B since the start of the 2022 campaign and has been called up via short-term agreements three times to the First Team, but has yet to make his MLS debut.

A Winning Mentality 

The Lions’ next victory will serve as their 10th of the 2023 campaign, seeing Head Coach Oscar Pareja hit double-digit victories in all 11 of his MLS seasons at the helm across his time in Orlando, along with FC Dallas and the Colorado Rapids. In his first 10 seasons as an MLS head coach, Pareja’s teams have reached the playoffs eight times, including three-consecutive postseason berths while leading the Lions.

Milestone Tracker

  • Pedro Gallese’s next clean sheet will be his 30th in all competitions for Orlando City.
  • Facundo Torres’ next goal will tie Tesho Akindele for sixth on the all-time scoring list, with Chris Mueller just two goals ahead in fifth.
  • Kyle Smith is one appearance away from 130 as a Lion in all competitions. 
  • Rodrigo Schlegel sits one appearance away from his 90th in Orlando in all competitions.
  • Antonio Carlos is three appearances away from 100 in all competitions in purple.