Orlando City

💬 Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja on penalty shootout win to start Leagues Cup: 'I am very pleased for the boys to get the result at the end'

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

Overall thoughts on the match

“It was a very difficult match against a team who came at us in the first half with ideas which we neutralized well, but we couldn’t create as many chances as we wanted with our sequences. We came out in the second half much sharper with many more players occupying the box and creating more sequences. We got the equalizer and were the better team against a very good team in Houston. I am very pleased for the boys to get the result at the end in the penalty shootout. It was very exciting for the people and to hear the fans enjoying it as well. I am very happy with the performance in the second half.”

On goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and his performance in the penalty shootout

“He was tremendous. As you guys know, Pedro [Gallese]’s experience and the way he manages himself and the confidence he brought us and brings to us is incredible. His professionalism and his confidence is inspiring for us.”

On the team’s confidence after getting an equalizer

“The boys pushed hard in the first half and got into the locker room and pushed a lot at halftime. I felt like they brought a different energy in the second half and were themselves. Duncan [McGuire] did what we needed with pressing up and not letting them out. As a result, he got the goal, pressing the goalkeeper. After that, the team understood that was the way. We couldn’t score, but the energy was much different.”

Orlando City SC Forward Duncan McGuire

On his goal

“I saw them drop back with the defenders helping out so I decided to press him and hopefully he can kick the ball and it would be bad was my thought process. I saw the defender to my right thinking maybe he would go there, so I just put my foot out and it came right to me, so it was pretty easy from there on out.”

On how much momentum the goal gave the team going forward

“You go from the first half being such a low [to that], so I am really glad we got that one early and get back into the game.”

On playing through adversity in the match

“They had their chances and it is something you can’t change his mind once it's made so you just have to play hard and play the rest of the game as best as you can, and I think we did.”

Orlando City SC Midfielder Facundo Torres

On scoring the game-winning penalty

“It feels just as good as winning any other game obviously, going into penalties and being able to win in the [penalty-kick] shootout and get that extra point to put us further up into the group standings. The team went in with the mentality that we were going to take this as seriously as possible, focusing on the penalties [it was the] same thing going into that, we wanted to win and we were able to get it done.”

On the importance of getting the result after a frustrating game

“I think the heat played a fairly large role today and made us take a passive role in the first half and that’s something that we talked about coming into halftime, that we had to change the energy of the team. I think it really affected both teams today, us a little bit more at times and them a little bit more at different points of the game, but we were able to push through that and get the victory.”

On how the team is approaching Leagues Cup

“It doesn’t matter what tournament we go into, we want to come into each tournament with the expectation that we can and will win. Going into this one we were riding a higher momentum with how we were doing in league play and getting some wins there. I think when we get to the other side of this tournament, we want to be able to step back into the league with the same momentum and focus on continuing to get wins and be the best we can in this tournament.”