Orlando City (13-6-8, 47 points) vs. Columbus Crew FC (13-8-6, 45 points)
When: Saturday, 7:30 PM
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla
Last Time Around
Orlando City and the Columbus Crew last faced each other in May earlier this year, where the Lions saw a second-half comeback backed by former Orlando City forward Ercan Kara and rookie striker Duncan McGuire. The match resulted in a 2-2 draw and marked the Lions’ third-straight unbeaten match against the Crew.
Where We Left Off
The Lions return to the pitch after a two-week international break with their last match resulting in a win against FC Cincinatti, with Facundo Torres serving as the match's lone goal-scorer. Torres tallied his 11th goal of the season and his fifth game-winning goal. With the win, the Lions have now gone undefeated across all four matches since their return to regular-season play after competing in Leagues Cup 2023. They have taken victories from Chicago Fire FC, St. Louis CITY SC and FC Cincinnati while earning a draw against Charlotte FC.
During the September FIFA window, three Lions received the nod to represent their native countries during the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, with another Lion joining his national team for Concacaf Nations League. Lions' goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and midfielder Wilder Cartagena received call-ups to represent their native Peru against Paraguay and Brazil. Forward Facundo Torres joined the Uruguayan national team to represent La Céleste against Chile and Ecuador, while forward Wilfredo Rivera joined Puerto Rico for their Nations League matches against the Bahamas and Antigua & Barbuda.
Back at It
Saturday’s match will jump start three games in a nine-day span for the Lions as they face a quick turnaround for Wednesday’s match against New York City FC at Citi Field in Queens. Upon the conclusion of that match, the Lions will travel back to Exploria Stadium where they are set to host intrastate rivals, Inter Miami CF on Sunday, Sept. 24.
Welcome to the City Beautiful
The Lions will play their first match at Exploria Stadium since August 26 when they took a 2-1 victory against St. Louis CITY SC thanks to a brace from Facundo Torres. Orlando City will welcome the Columbus Crew to Central Florida for the first time in the 2023 campaign, with the match serving as their second encounter of the year. City is currently unbeaten in 10-straight matches at home across all competitions, a Club record, and will enter Saturday’s match looking to extend it.
- Orlando City is one regular-season win away from 100 all-time in Major League Soccer.
- Facundo Torres is currently tied with Dom Dwyer for fourth on Orlando City’s all-time scoring charts. Torres’ next goal, his 25th, will tie him with inaugural MLS captain Kaka for third in Club history.
- Mauricio Pereyra’s next assist will give him double-digit helpers in three consecutive seasons. Pereyra has 44 career assists for Orlando City, 18 more than the next closest player.
- Oscar Pareja is two wins away from 60 as Orlando City’s Head Coach.