As Orlando City continues its road swing this week, beginning Open Cup play on Tuesday against Charlotte before a Week 12 clash with Columbus on Saturday, here's a look at The Road Ahead presented by Audi:
U.S. Open Cup Round of 32: Orlando City SC at Charlotte FC
When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.
Where: Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews, Matthews, N.C.
Click here for how to watch, stream Orlando City vs. Charlotte FC on CBS Sports Golazo Network
MLS Matchday 12: Orlando City SC (4-4-2, 14 points) at Columbus Crew (4-4-4, 14 points)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Lower.com Field, Columbus, Ohio
TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (subscription required)
Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)
-- Kyle Smith’s next start for Orlando City will be his 75th in all competitions. Smith has appeared in 118 games overall for the Lions.
-- Robin Jansson’s next start will be his 125th in his Orlando City career, extending his club record. Jansson is the all-time record holder in appearances, starts, and minutes played for the club.
-- Oscar Pareja could achieve his 50th win as Orlando City head coach this week if the Lions win both their U.S. Open Cup match on Tuesday and their league game on Saturday.
Stats and storylines
-- Orlando City will begin their historic Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title defense this Tuesday night in North Carolina against Charlotte FC. The Lions won six matches in a row to claim the trophy last season, defeating the rival Tampa Bay Rowdies and four MLS Cup Playoff teams before handling Sacramento Republic 3-0 in the final. All six games in the 2022 run were at home, while Orlando will begin their championship defense on the road.
-- The Open Cup game will air on the all-new CBS Sports Golazo Network, one of four Round of 32 games selected by the channel. Fans can stream the game for free on Paramount+, CBSSports.com, or the CBS Sports app.
-- While the Lions would certainly prefer not to have to bounce back from a loss every other week, Orlando will try to follow up a defeat with a win for the fourth consecutive time this weekend in Columbus. Two of the Lions’ three follow-up wins have come on the road, in Philadelphia and Minnesota.
All-time vs. Charlotte FC - 2-1-0, +1 GD (1-0-0, +1 GD away)
2022 - W 2-1 (H), W 1-2 (A)
2023 - L 1-2 (H)
All-time vs. Columbus Crew - 9-6-3, +3 GD (2-4-1, - GD away)
MLS only vs. Columbus Crew - 8-6-3, +1 GD (2-4-1, - GD away)
2015 - L 3-0 (A), D 2-2 (H), W 2-0 (H/USOC), W 5-2 (H)
2016 - D 2-2 (A), L 1-4 (H)
2017 - L 2-0 (A), D 1-1 (H), L 0-1 (H)
2018 - L 3-2 (A), W 2-1 (H)
2019 - W 0-2 (A), W 1-0 (H)
2020 - W 2-1 (H)
2021 - W 3-2 (H), L 3-2 (A)
2022 - W 0-2 (A), W 2-1 (H)
Meet the opponent: Charlotte FC
-- After sweeping Charlotte in their expansion season last year, Orlando coughed up a 2-1 loss to the Crown back in March. Enzo Copetti and Kerwin Vargas scored in the first half for Charlotte, while Martín Ojeda got one back for the Lions in the second half.
-- Charlotte is coming off a major 3-2 win over NYCFC on Saturday at Bank of America Stadium. The Crown is 3-5-3 in league play, two points back of the playoff line. Tuesday’s Open Cup game will be played outside the city at the Mecklenburg County Sportsplex in Matthews, a small town of about 29,000 people located about 11 miles southeast of downtown Charlotte.
-- DP forward Copetti has been a big bright spot for Charlotte, scoring four times in 11 matches to begin his MLS career. Fellow DPs Kamil Józwiak and Karol Swiderski are also off to strong starts, with two goals apiece and five assists between them.
Meet the opponent: Columbus Crew
-- Orlando City have dominated their rivalry with the Crew in recent seasons, winning seven of the last eight matches between the two sides going back to October 2019. The Lions swept the Crew again in 2022, including in a win-or-go-home Decision Day clash at Exploria Stadium in which Orlando came from behind to win late on a Facundo Torres penalty kick.
-- Torres had a goal and two assists in two matches against Columbus last season. Robin Jansson, Ercan Kara, and Rodrigo Schlegel have also scored against the Crew.
-- Crew star Lucas Zelarayán has found success against the Lions in the past, scoring a goal and adding four assists in five matches against City. However, Columbus is just 1-4-0 in those five games.
Don't miss Kickoff-60 in the LionNation App
Kickoff -60 (pronounced Kickoff Minus 60) will air one hour before Orlando City's match against Columbus, exclusively on the LionNation App. Join host Gabrielle Amado and Orlando City’s English-language radio talents Evan Weston and Paul Shaw as they break down the upcoming match, with special guests appearing regularly throughout the season.
Fans can download the LionNation App at the link here.