Orlando City

PREVIEW: Orlando City Heads South to Battle Intrastate Foe Inter Miami CF


ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 3, 2022) - Orlando City SC (13-13-6, 45 points) enters the final week of the Major League Soccer (MLS) regular season, slated for a pair of important matchups with Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoff implications on the line, first traveling to DRV PNK Stadium to take on Inter Miami CF (13-13-6, 45 points) on Wednesday, Oct. 5. The Florida Derby is set to kickoff at 8 p.m. ET.

The fixture, presented by JetBlue, is set to be locally televised on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV, while being transmitted on Real Radio 104.1 in English and Acción 97.9 in Spanish.

The match could see the Lions punch their third-consecutive ticket to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, with a victory in South Florida and a loss by the Columbus Crew to Charlotte FC on Wednesday night serving as enough to send City through to the postseason. Orlando and Miami currently sit in sixth and seventh place, respectively, in the Eastern Conference Standings and are even on points with 45 and in wins at 13, with the Lions holding the second tiebreaker of goal-differential.

Orlando is coming off a difficult result, losing to New York City FC 2-1 on Sunday. Forward Facundo Torres scored the lone goal for the Lions, accounting for his 12th goal across all competitions in the 2022 campaign. The goal also served as his 23rd goal contribution (12 goals, 11 assists), which ties the single-season Club record, a record held by former Orlando City captain Nani. 

Forward Ercan Kara and midfielder C√©sar Ara√ļjo combined in the build up of the Torres goal and were each awarded an assist on the score. For Kara, it served as his third of the season and for Ara√ļjo, marked his first goal contribution in league play since joining Orlando City at the beginning of the 2022 season.¬†

Inter Miami enters the match riding a three-game winning streak dating back to Sept. 13, all of which have come against Eastern Conference opponents. Miami is coming off a 1-0 road victory over Toronto last Friday thanks to an 86th minute game-winner from Gonzalo Higuaín. Higuaín has scored in his last four games, which is his longest run of league matches with a goal since he scored five straight with Juventus in late 2017.

The two sides last faced off on July 9, resulting in a 1-0 victory for the Lions at Exploria Stadium thanks to a second-half stoppage time own goal from Miami defender Damion Lowe. In the last eight matches of league play between the two clubs, all of them have been decided by a goal or less. 

Following Wednesday’s match, the Lions will close out the 2022 regular season with a Decision Day fixture against the Columbus Crew on Sunday, Oct. 9. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium with the match slated for a national telecast on FS1.