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3 - Games to a trophy

Leagues Cup, which begins this week when Orlando City takes on Liga MX side Santos Laguna on Thursday night at Exploria Stadium, is a massive opportunity for Orlando. Just three wins separate the Lions from their first trophy as an MLS side. Should Orlando get past Santos Laguna on Thursday night, City would face Seattle in the semifinals, with the winner of that game going to the final at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on September 22.

7 - Santos Laguna trophies

Despite being one of Liga MX’s newer sides, joining the league in 1988, Santos Laguna has established itself as a premier power in Mexican soccer. Los Guerreros (“the Warriors”) have won six Liga MX titles, including three in the last nine years, along with the 2014 Apertura Copa MX. Missing from the trophy case, however, is an international title, putting greater emphasis on Leagues Cup for the club.

14 - I’ve been everywhere, man

Santos Laguna manager Guillermo Almada is considered one of the top coaches in the region. Almada has played or coached for 14 different clubs in five different countries, wrapping up a 22-year playing career in 2007 to go straight into the managerial ranks. Almada won the Ecuadorian league title with Barcelona SC in 2016 before moving to Santos Laguna, where he has reached the liguilla, the Liga MX playoffs, in each of his first three seasons, including the final in the 2021 Clausura.

108 - Solid as a rock

Santos is led at the back by Dória, a Brazilian center back signed in the summer of 2018 from Marseille, one of the top sides in France. Dória has anchored one of the best defenses in Liga MX over the past three years, playing 108 games since his arrival. Dória is the reigning Liga MX Defender of the Year and will represent the league later this month at the MLS All-Star Game on August 25 in Los Angeles.

1.5 - FAIRWINDS Credit Union

Score up to 1.5% cash back and LionNation points when you use your FAIRWINDS Orlando City Visa® or Orlando Pride Visa® on game day purchases and everyday essentials. Apply today and get purple carded.

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