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HARRISON, N.J. (Oct. 2, 2022) - Orlando City SC (13-13-6, 45 points) were defeated by New York City FC (15-11-7, 52 points), 2-1, on Sunday afternoon at Red Bull Arena. The Lions will have a quick turnaround as they are set to face off against intrastate rivals Inter Miami CF on Wednesday night. 

The Lions’ lone goal came courtesy of Facundo Torres, who accounted for his team-leading 12th goal across all competitions this season. His 12 goals and 11 assists make Torres tied with former captain Nani for the Club’s single-season goal contributions record, which is set at 23. Midfielder César Araújo and forward Ercan Kara combined in the build up play on the Torres finish and recorded their first and third assists of the season, respectively.

City currently sit in sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings with spots five through eight all separated by just one point. The Club’s two remaining opponents, Inter Miami CF and Columbus Crew, are both in that group of teams vying for the final three playoff spots, making this week’s matches against each key to Orlando’s postseason hunt. Following the game in Ft. Lauderdale, the Lions close the regular season in a Decision Day meeting with the Crew on Sunday at Exploria Stadium. 

Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“A very tight game for both teams who understand the situation and implications of the result. I thought it was a very good [match]. We all are working and trying to get the results. I thought we had the initiative on, not just opening the score, but trying to keep up on the ambition to win the three points. At one point we did get unorganized on a couple plays where they tied the game and scored the second one. We had a couple attempts to tie it up, but we couldn't finish. I thought the effort from the players was very good. Obviously, disappointed about the call. It was the thing that gets us down right now and makes us mad.”

Scoring Recap:

47’ Facundo Torres (Ercan Kara, César Araújo) - ORL 1, NYC 0
The Lions opened up the scoring on the afternoon from a well-executed set play. César Araújo took the throw-in opportunity to lob a long throw towards Ercan Kara, who then nodded the ball behind him. Facundo Torres stepped up and buried the ball into the left side of Sean Johnson’s net for his 12th goal of the year across all competitions. 

66’ Alexander Callens (Talles Magno) - ORL 1, NYC 1
The home side leveled the match after Talles Magno was able to collect the ball inside the box and send it across the face of goal which found Alexander Callens who was all by himself right in front of goal and tapped the ball over the goal line. 

81’ Talles Magno (Gabriel Pereira, Maximiliano Moralez) - NYC 2, ORL 1
New York City FC took the lead courtesy of Maximiliano Moralez finding Gabriel Pereira down the right flank. Periera slipped the ball in behind and found a sprinting Talles Magno who sent the shot toward the back post and into the back of the net.

Match Notes:

  • Facundo Torres scored his 12th goal of the season across all competitions, which leads the team.
  • With his 47th-minute goal, Facundo Torres tied the single-season goal contributions mark set by former captain Nani in 2019, with 23 total contributions (goals + assists) across all competitions.
  • Ercan Kara recorded his third assist of the 2022 campaign, while César Araújo tallied his first assist of the year on Torres’ goal. 
  • Head Coach Oscar Pareja made one change to his starting lineup from the squad’s previous match with Araújo getting the nod in the midfield. 

Next Match: The Lions face a quick turnaround as they travel to battle intrastate foes Inter Miami CF at DRV PNK Stadium on Wednesday, Oct. 5. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.