Storylines | Hosting The Pigeons


An Akindele Answer

Tesho Akindele netted his first goal of the season this past weekend in clutch fashion, scoring a late game-winner for the Lions en route to a 2-1 victory at Charlotte FC. The City forward tapped in his own rebound in the 89th minute of play in what served as his 19th goal in a purple shirt, with eight assists to add in 112 appearances.

Leading the Pack

Ercan Kara made his return to the lineup for the first time in nearly a month this past weekend after being sidelined with an injury, scoring his eighth goal of the MLS campaign in what served as his 25th appearance in all competitions for the Club. Kara leads the side with nine total finishes in 2022, finding the back of the net once in U.S. Open Cup play to add to his eight MLS goals this year.

Hitting the Century Mark

Kyle Smith notched his 100th appearance for the Club this past weekend, earning the start in the Lions’ victory in Charlotte. Smith became the fifth Lion to reach that very milestone this year alone, joining teammates Tesho Akindele, Robin Jansson and Ruan. A total of seven Orlando City players have reached 100 appearances in their Club tenure, with former Lions Cristian Higuita and Chris Mueller filling out the list.

Team of the Week

After another impressive performance over the weekend, midfielder César Araújo was named to the MLS Team of the Week Bench for the second time this season. Araújo was a perfect 40/40 passing, won seven of his eight duels, had seven ball recoveries to just three turnovers, and chipped in five tackles, three of which he won, without committing a single foul.

Facing the Pigeons

Sunday will mark the 21st meeting between Orlando City and NYCFC throughout their history across all competitions, serving as the Lions’ most frequent opposition since the two entered the league with one another in 2015. City have not lost to the Pigeons in Orlando since the 2018 campaign, with a win and a trio of draws since the start of the 2019 MLS season. Tesho Akindele leads all current Orlando City players with three goals against NYCFC through seven appearances.

Milestone Tracker

  • Orlando’s next clean sheet, its ninth, will mark a new single-season club record.
  • Tesho Akindele’s next goal will serve as his 20th for Orlando City.
  • Ercan Kara is two regular-season goals away from reaching double digits for the season.
  • Kara would be the eighth Lion to reach that mark, the others being Cyle Larin (3x), Kevin Molino, Dom Dwyer, Nani (2x), Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller, and Daryl Dike.
  • Ruan’s next start will serve as his 100th for the Club.
  • Pedro Gallese’s next start will serve as his 75th for Orlando City.
  • Andrés Perea sits one appearance away from 80 as a Lion.