The I-4 Derby Returns
Wednesday will mark the return of the I-4 Derby and the first time the two sides will face off in competition play since 2014, where the two sides squared off in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on May 28 at Seminole Soccer Complex. Former Lions midfielder Kevin Molino tallied a brace in that match, with Austin da Luz and Adama Mbengue each adding a goal of their own to advance City to the next round.
City will look to maintain its perfect record against its neighbors to the west on Wednesday night, a perfect 6-0-0 in competition play dating back to 2013. City took a 2-0 shutout win at the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic before battling to a pair of 3-2 victories in 2013 before following that up with two more derby wins and a victory in the U.S. Open Cup a year later.
The Cup Returns
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup returns for the first time since the 2019 campaign, where the Lions embarked on their best run in the nation’s oldest cup competition, reaching the Semifinal round before falling to eventual champions Atlanta United. That same run included the legendary “Running of the Wall”, defeating NYCFC at Exploria Stadium via penalty shootout.
A Homegrown Debut
Defender Thomas Williams recorded his MLS debut on Saturday night in Columbus, entering the match in second-half stoppage time. The 17-year-old Homegrown signed with the Lions on June 15, 2021, still serving as the youngest player to ink a First Team contract. Williams recorded his professional debut earlier this year, starting for Orlando City B in MLS NEXT Pro action against NYCFC on April 3.
The First for Rodri
Defender Rodrigo Schlegel found the back of the net for the first time in his professional career this past weekend, getting on the end of a bouncing ball in the box to give the Lions a lead in Columbus. A product of Argentine side Racing Club, Schlegel has appeared 43 times for the Lions since signing with the Club ahead of the 2020 MLS campaign.
- Mauricio Pereyra’s next assist, his 27th, will give him the all-time record in all competitions in Orlando City history.
- Pereyra already holds the Club record for most MLS regular season assists with 25, surpassing Chris Mueller’s mark of 24 against LAFC on April 2.
- Pereyra reached 26 assists in 65 games. Nani, the current co-leader with Pereyra, needed 86 games to achieve the number.
- Orlando City all-time assist leaders:
- MAURICIO PEREYRA, 26
- Nani, 26
- Chris Mueller, 24
- Kaká, 22
- Tesho Akindele is two goals away from 20 in his Orlando City career.
- Benji Michel is three goals away from 20.