Orlando City

The Road Ahead: Everything you need to know for Orlando City's conference semifinal against Columbus


Orlando City vs Columbus Crew (Eastern Conference Semifinals)

When: Saturday, 5:30 PM

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL

Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM, (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)

Everything you need to know for Orlando City's Eastern Conference Semifinal against Columbus in "The Road Ahead" driven by Audi:

Milestone watch

-- A win against Columbus would…

  • …mark the first time Orlando City has advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • …be the 16th consecutive home match Orlando City has played without defeat, a new club record (15, April 2023-present and August 2015-June 2016).
  • …be the seventh straight win for Orlando City in all competitions, a new club record (6, March-May 2018).

-- Captain Mauricio Pereyra is 38 minutes away from reaching 10,000 minutes played in all competitions for Orlando City. Pereyra would be the third Lion on the active roster to eclipse 10,000 minutes after Robin Jansson and Pedro Gallese.

-- Orlando is currently on a 271-minute shutout streak dating back to the final minutes against New England on October 7, its second-longest clean run of the season. The Lions kept their opponents off the board for the first 350 minutes of the campaign in late February and early March.

-- César Araújo’s next appearance for the club will be his 80th in all competitions.

-- Robin Jansson’s next appearance for the club will be his 160th in all competitions.

Stats and storylines

-- Orlando City’s sweep of Nashville SC sets up a mouth-watering showdown with the Columbus Crew on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend in the Eastern Conference semifinals. Orlando last reached this round in 2020, falling 3-1 at home to New England.

-- Five of the eight first-round series ended in sweeps, with FC Cincinnati, Philadelphia, LAFC, and Sporting Kansas City also taking care of business in two matches. Seattle, Houston, and Columbus needed three matches to put away their opponents. The higher seed won seven of the eight series, with 8-seed SKC over Western Conference winners St. Louis CITY SC the only upset.

-- Orlando City was the only team not to concede a single goal in the first round. Cincinnati and Philadelphia each gave up one goal apiece.

-- Thanks to winning their series in two games, the Lions will go 18 days between the end of their first-round series and the conference semifinals. This will equal the longest gap between matches for Orlando this season (from the end of its Leagues Cup run on August 2 through the resumption of the regular season against Chicago on August 20).

-- The gap is so large in part due to the November FIFA international window. The Lions have five first-teamers away on international duty: Pedro Gallese and Wilder Cartagena for Peru, Facundo Torres for Uruguay, Wilfredo Rivera for Puerto Rico, and Abdi Salim for Somalia.


All-time vs. Columbus Crew - 10-6-4, +4 GD (8-2-2, +7 GD home)

  1. 2015 - L 3-0 (A), D 2-2 (H), W 2-0 (H/USOC), W 5-2 (H)
  1. 2016 - D 2-2 (A), L 1-4 (H)
  1. 2017 - L 2-0 (A), D 1-1 (H), L 0-1 (H)
  1. 2018 - L 3-2 (A), W 2-1 (H)
  1. 2019 - W 0-2 (A), W 1-0 (H)
  1. 2020 - W 2-1 (H)
  1. 2021 - W 3-2 (H), L 3-2 (A)
  1. 2022 - W 0-2 (A), W 2-1 (H)
  1. 2023 - D 2-2 (A), W 4-3 (H)

Meet the opponent: Columbus Crew

-- Orlando City is 8-1-1 in its last ten matches against Columbus dating back more than half a decade, the club’s best run of form ever against any single opponent. This includes six consecutive victories against the Crew at Exploria Stadium. Orlando has never lost to Columbus at home since Exploria Stadium opened in 2017.

-- The Lions overcame multi-goal deficits in both 2023 regular season matches against the Crew, earning a result in second-half stoppage time in each game:

-- Orlando rallied from a 2-0 down at halftime to draw 2-2 at Lower.com Field on May 13, with Duncan McGuire netting the equalizer in the 92nd minute. That match marked the turning point of the Lions’ campaign – Orlando is 17-4-7 across all competitions since that game.

-- In perhaps its most famous result of the year, Orlando came back from 3-1 down in the 70th minute to stun Columbus 4-3 at Exploria Stadium on September 16. Facundo Torres got the scoring going in the 73rd minute before Ramiro Enrique notched both the equalizer (86’) and the winner (90’+7’) in a signature performance.

-- Columbus had its hands full with Atlanta United in the first round but went on to win the series two games to one, taking both home contests and scoring eight goals across the three matches.

-- The Crew were the No. 1 scoring offense in MLS this campaign, leading the circuit with 67 goals in 34 regular season matches. However, Columbus was a bit leaky at the back, conceding the second-most goals (46) out of the eight remaining teams in the MLS Cup Playoffs field (Sporting Kansas City, 51).

-- Colombian striker Cucho Hernández has had an outrageous 2023 season, scoring 22 goals and adding 15 assists across 33 matches in all competitions. Cucho had a goal and three assists in two games against Orlando City this year, contributing to four of the five goals the Crew scored against the Lions.

-- Uruguayan forward Diego Rossi returned to MLS over the summer and has excelled for the Crew, notching 4 G/6 A in 13 appearances. Rossi was teammates with Facundo Torres at Peñarol and won the 2020 MLS Golden Boot with LAFC.