Hitting the Century MarkDefender Ruan tallied his 100th appearance across all competitions for the Lions on Monday night against D.C. United, becoming the third Orlando City player this season alone to reach that mark, with the potential on Saturday night for a fourth as forward Benji Michel sits one appearance away from his 100th in purple. If he appears on Saturday, Michel would become the first Homegrown in Club history to reach the century mark in appearances for the Club and the sixth player overall behind teammates Ruan, Tesho Akindele and Robin Jansson, as well as former Lions Chris Mueller and Cristian Higuita.
Last Time Against the Opposition
Saturday will serve as the first matchup between Orlando City and Inter Miami in league play this season, but the two met earlier in the year in the Round of 16 of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with the Lions prevailing in a penalty-kick shootout. With the two sides entering extra time scoreless, each found the back of the net once with Facundo Torres accounting for the finish for the Lions, forcing the two to penalty kicks. City goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar recorded a save while all four Lions who attempted a shot converted from the spot to punch their ticket to the Quarterfinal round, where they’d advance past Nashville SC also in a penalty shootout.
Nearing (More) History
Mauricio Pereyra tallied his 10th assist in all competitions on Monday night and his ninth in league play, with the Lions’ No. 10 one assist away from becoming the first player in Orlando City history to post multiple double-digit assist seasons in MLS action. In addition, the captain is two assists away from setting the new single-season Club record for assists in an MLS campaign, a record he currently holds with three others (Kaká 2016, Yoshimar Yotún 2018, Nani 2019) at 10. Entering the weekend, Pereyra sits at second in MLS in assists, with his nine one shy of FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta (10).
The Front Men
Ercan Kara netted his eighth goal of the year and his seventh in the regular season earlier in the week, extending his team lead. The Austrian international is followed by the other two goal-scorers from Monday night’s affair, with Facundo Torres and Alexandre Pato each currently with four goals in all competitions in 2022. Torres tallied the assist on Kara’s second-half finish, putting him at second on the side with six this year, four of which have come on a Kara goal.
For Club & Country
Orlando City defender Mikey Halliday returns from international duty this week with some hardware added to his resume after the Orlando City Homegrown helped the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team to its third-consecutive CONCACAF U-20 Championship. Along the way, Halliday and the U-20s qualified for both the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris and the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia, with Halliday starting each of the Americans’ first three knockout matches, including the two major qualifying games.
- Benji Michel’s next appearance will serve as his 100th in all competitions as a Lion, where he would become the first Homegrown in Club history to reach that mark.
- Robin Jansson’s next start will be his 92nd in MLS play, surpassing former Lion Joe Bendik (91) for the Club-record.
- Mauricio Pereyra’s next assist will make him the first player in Orlando City history to post multiple double-digit assist seasons in MLS.
- Pedro Gallese’s next clean sheet will tie his Orlando City career high of seven, set last season.
- Ercan Kara is three regular-season goals away from reaching double digits for the season.
- Sebas Méndez’s next start will serve as his 60th for the Club.