Orlando City

Orlando City is 'confident' ahead of Concacaf Champions Cup match against Cavalry


VICTORIA, British Columbia For the first time in 2024, Orlando City SC plays in an official competition today, and it just so happens that the first meaningful game of the calendar year for the Lions is in the biggest tournament in North and Central America, the Concacaf Champions Cup (CCC).

Orlando will face Cavalry FC later today in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, for the first leg of the CCC, a tournament the Lions qualified for after finishing second in the MLS Supporter Shield race in 2023. It's the second year in a row Head Coach Oscar Pareja's side will play in the tourney, having faced Tigres UANL this time last year.

For Pareja and his team, that experience last year against one of the best teams in all of Mexico has prepared them for this go-around.

"It's important for us to understand that the prior experiences are always useful," Pareja said ahead of the match. "Last year, we had an international competition, a tremendous experience for the players. This year, we have the opportunity again...It's going to be a hard journey, but we are confident, and we have a good group that can make it happen."

The weather is expected to be cold and raining throughout the match, something most of the Lions players are not used to playing in. The team's final preseason game against Colorado last weekend was played in similar conditions, but it won't compare to the icy cold of a Canadian winter.

One Lion that is looking forward to playing in the cold is Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, who grew up playing in those kinds of conditions.

"It's beautiful actually. It's probably the best way to play football for me," the midfielder said. "A little rain, seven degrees and wet turf, it's what I've done my whole life for 15 years, so it's gonna be really fun. It's also gonna be fun to see how boys who've grown up in Orlando, where there's sun, react. It's gonna be really fun for everybody."

The Lions and Cavalry FC will kick off out at at Starlight Stadium tonight, with kickoff set for 10 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 2

Kickoff to Soccer: Events

Kickoff to Soccer: Events

City fans, we’re ready to Kickoff to Soccer with a special roster of 10 events to celebrate the 10 years of MLS in the City Beautiful. All of the events will culminate in Orlando's season opener on February 24 against CF Montréal the start of the 2024 season!