Orlando City vs Santos Laguna (Leagues Cup)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)
What’s at Stake
The winner of Saturday’s meeting between the Lions and Santos Laguna will advance to the knockout round of the tournament with the loser set to go home, but should a winner not be decided after 90 minutes of play is where a number of scenarios could decide the fate of the two sides. If the Lions prevail in the penalty shootout, then they would be set for a visit to Inter Miami next week. However, if they lose in penalty kicks and the regulation score is anything less than a 3-3 draw, then City’s run in the 2023 Leagues Cup tournament would come to an end.
We Meet Again
The Lions are set to host Santos Laguna for the second time in Club history, with the first occurring in the 2021 quarterfinals of the former version of the Leagues Cup competition. That match saw the Liga MX side take a 1-0 victory over the Lions to advance to the semifinals, with six members of the current roster taking the pitch in that contest in goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, defenders Antonio Carlos, Robin Jansson, Kyle Smith, as well as midfielders Mauricio Pereyra and Júnior Urso.
Extending The Record
After Orlando City and the Houstin Dynamo match resulted in a 1-1 draw, the two teams entered straight into a penalty shootout to decide who would receive the extra point of the two clubs. Lions’ netminder Pedro “El Pulpo” Gallese blocked the Dynamo’s first attempt, with all five members of the City group converting from the spot to sway the extra point in favor of the home side. With that, the Lions remain undefeated in penalty shootouts, an 8-0 record, across all competitions since their MLS era began in 2015.
Forward Duncan McGuire became the first Lion to score in Leagues Cup play in Club history after netting the equalizer in the 46th minute of the match. With the goal, McGuire extended his lead as the team’s leading goalscorer to nine goals across all competitions and also became the second Lion throughout the 2023 campaign to score during an international competition, following Ercan Kara’s finish in Concacaf Champions League back in March.
Nearing the Century Mark
Defender Antonio Carlos’ next appearance will mark his 100th across all competitions as a Lion, earning the start in 91 of his now 99 appearances. The Brazilian center back joined the Club in 2020 on a loan from Brazil’s Palmeiras and in 2021 made his move to Orlando City permanent. As a Lion, he has scored four goals with four assists to add, set to join fellow backline mates Robin Jansson, Kyle Smith, and Pedro Gallese in the century club.
- Pedro Gallese’s next clean sheet will be his 30th in all competitions for Orlando City. Gallese also sits six saves away from 300 as a Lion.
- 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.
- Antonio Carlos sits one appearance away from 100 in all competitions in purple.