PREVIEW: Orlando City Set to Battle No. 2 CF Montréal in Round One of Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs


ORLANDO, Fla. (Oct. 14, 2022) - No. 7 Orlando City SC will head to Stade Saputo to battle No. 2 CF Montréal in Round One of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday, Oct. 16. The match is set to kickoff at 8 p.m. ET in a national telecast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

In addition to the national telecast, Sunday’s contest will be transmitted on 96.9 The Game in English and Acción 97.9 in Spanish with coverage set to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. 

“We are in October already and looking to have a good [match] at this time after the achievement of qualifying with this group,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “I think it is even more important to think about advancing and that is where we are now. The group is very optimistic and very confident going to Montréal and fighting for our ticket to the next round.”

Sunday will mark the start of the Lions’ third-consecutive appearance in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, all of which have come in Pareja’s tenure. The side enters the weekend in pursuit of its first road victory in the postseason after falling in Round One at Nashville SC a year ago.The Lions have won two of their last three meetings with CF Montréal, including a 2-0 victory at Exploria Stadium in the 2022 season opener on Feb. 27 behind goals from forwards Alexandre Pato and Benji Michel. City also defeated CF Montréal on Decision Day back in 2021 by way of a 2-0 scoreline, which punched their ticket to the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. In the two side’s most recent matchup on May 7, CF Montréal earned a 4-1 victory at home.

City punched its ticket to the postseason with a come-from-behind victory over the Columbus Crew on Decision Day. The Lions found themselves down 1-0 at halftime, but scored two second-half goals courtesy of Júnior Urso and Facundo Torres, the latter converting from the penalty spot in the 84th minute for his fifth deciding finish of the year. Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese stood tall in between the sticks, making five saves to preserve the victory and send the home side to the playoffs.

Torres leads the Lions in goals in all competitions this year with 13, while sitting tied for the team-lead in assists with Mauricio Pereyra, each with 12. Ercan Kara follows Torres with 12 finishes in 2022, with Urso next in line at six.

CF Montréal finished second in the Eastern Conference standings and were the only club in the East to win at least 20 games this season, entering the postseason riding a six-game unbeaten streak. In their most recent matchup, Montréal squared off against Inter Miami CF and walked out of DRV PNK Stadium with all three points in a 3-1 victory, backed by first-half goals from Djordje Mihailovic, Lassi Lappalainen and Kei Kamara.

The winner of Sunday’s match will face off against the winner of No. 2 New York City FC/No. 6 Inter Miami CF in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. ET, with that match also airing on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.