Orlando City

💬 Head Coach Oscar Pareja: Orlando City 'showed a lot of character' in comeback win at Chicago Fire

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

Overall thoughts on the match 

“We're very happy with the victory, very proud of the players, we played very correctly. In the first half we dominated, could have been more effective. And in the second half, Chicago had the reaction and after they started leading the score. I thought our boys showed a lot of character and control of the game and then we scored goals. After that, again Chicago was trying to react but overall, we controlled it well. So I think we played very well. I'm very proud of the players and the effort was remarkable tonight.” 

On what changed at halftime 

“We felt that we had control in the first half, and I thought we had the volume, and we created some options, but we needed to be more dangerous in the last third. When we are in the box we wanted more presence there and we started putting in more movements in behind the central backs and their full backs. So the chat at the half was we can have the control we had but we need to be dangerous in the box. The boys are taught that scoring those three goals shows that they made things happen. It's not easy to come to Chicago and score three goals here and it is a very difficult place to play.” 

On being able to battle back after being down 

“Our readings all the time and our trainings are very focused on trying to be more lethal on that last part of the field. Without a doubt it is going to change the story of the games. The way we find spaces, the way we control the game, I think is very fine, but we have to transform that into goals. We are battling with it. I think our production of scoring goals in the last 15 or 16 games increased tremendously but we still want more and that's why we are working without just losing our balance and our composure in the back. Even that balance is what we aim for and today, at the end, we show that we can do it.”

Orlando City SC Midfielder Wilder Cartagena

On his goal and the victory 

“I think overall I am very happy. We knew going into this game that it was important to get the win especially after the hit that we took in Leagues Cup. Fifteen days of really hard work with this group and I think the group came in with good energy. It was a win that we feel like we deserved based on the work that we put in these last few weeks. Just really happy. Happy for the goal, obviously, but even prouder of the victory as a team.” 

On how his goal changes the momentum of the game 

“I think we went down right out of halftime with a goal that we think was kind of against the run of play that which wasn't necessarily deserved to concede in that way. But then Rodrigo [Schlegel] picked his head up and we were able to win a corner after a great play like that. Then Facu[ndo Torres] has been hitting the corners really well today and when he crossed that ball, obviously a little bit of luck that it just kind of fell to me in the right spot, and I was able to get my head on it and get the goal and just really kind of put confidence back into my teammates going into the rest of the game.” 

On returning back to MLS play and making a run at MLS Cup 

“I think we came into this game on a good run of form. Obviously, even before Leagues Cup, we had a good string of games away from home as well. I think we were coming in at a good moment, but we used these last 15 days to work on and try to adjust some things that we felt was lacking from our game recently. One of those things [was] being decisive in the final third and finishing off games. I think the last couple of weeks we did really well in terms of trying to fix those things and really put in the work. There's only one competition we have left this year, so we're going to give it everything and do everything we can to continue rising up the table and make a good run at the end of the year.”