Orlando City (14-7-9, 51 points) vs. CF Montreal (11-15-4, 37 points)
When: Saturday, 7:30 PM
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
Everything you need to know for Orlando City vs CF Montreal in "The Road Ahead" driven by Audi:
-- Orlando City has tied the club’s all-time single-season points record at 51. Any result on Saturday against Montréal will set a new record. Additionally, City’s next win will be its most in any regular season (15).
-- Oscar Pareja’s next win will be his 60th as Orlando City head coach.
-- Duncan McGuire’s next goal will be his 10th of the MLS regular season, making him the second rookie in club history to score double digits in his debut season after Cyle Larin in 2015. McGuire has 11 goals in all competitions after scoring against Miami last weekend.
-- Orlando City’s home unbeaten streak stands at 12 matches, three off the all-time club record of 15 set across the 2015 and 2016 seasons. The Lions are guaranteed at least three more home games this year thanks to the new MLS Cup Playoffs format, in which all teams seeded 1-7 are assured a home match in the first round. Orlando clinched a fourth consecutive playoff berth last week.
Stats and storylines
-- Pedro Gallese continued his scorching post-international break form on Sunday, keeping out four Miami shots to help Orlando to a result. Gallese earned a place on the MLS Team of the Matchday for his performance and has 16 saves in his past three games.
-- While Orlando certainly would have preferred to defeat Miami and put some distance between themselves and their rivals for second place in the East, the Lions are still in second at the time of writing. Of the four teams chasing Orlando for the 2-seed, only Atlanta won last weekend, with Columbus, Philadelphia, and New England all drawing. The Union play their game in hand on Wednesday night against FC Dallas.
-- Another notable thing to watch down the stretch – with the expansion of the CONCACAF Champions Cup (née League) field for 2024, the top two teams in the Supporters’ Shield standings who do not win their conference qualify for the tournament. At press time, those teams would be Orlando City and Columbus, pending Philadelphia’s result on Wednesday. Orlando debuted in CCC (née CCL) this past March, battling eventual semifinalist Tigres to a 1-1 draw across two legs but being eliminated on away goals.
All-time vs. CF Montréal - 8-10-3, -6 GD (3-4-2, -4 GD home)
MLS only vs. CF Montréal - 7-9-3, -5 GD (3-4-2, -4 GD home)
- 2015 - D 2-2 (A), L 2-0 (A), W 2-1 (H)
- 2016 - W 2-1 (H), W 1-4 (A), L 0-1 (H)
- 2017 - D 3-3 (H), L 2-1 (A)
- 2018 - L 3-0 (A), L 0-2 (H)
- 2019 - L 1-3 (H), W 0-3 (A)
- 2020 - W 1-0 (N/MLS is Back), W 0-1 (A*)
- 2021 - L 2-4 (H), D 1-1 (H), W 0-2 (A)
- 2022 - W 2-0 (H), L 4-1 (A), L 2-0 (A/MLS Cup Playoffs)
- 2023 - L 2-0 (A)
*game played at Red Bull Arena due to COVID-19 pandemic
Meet the opponent: CF Montreal
-- Orlando City will try to get back on track both in its season and in its rivalry with Montréal this weekend. The Lions are just 2-4-1 since the start of the 2021 season against the Canadian side, though one of the two wins was a Decision Day eliminator game at the Stade Saputo.
-- Montréal has had a curious amount of success against the Lions in Orlando, though Oscar Pareja has only had a chance to host Montréal three times, sporting a 1-1-1 record against the northern side at Exploria Stadium.
-- CFM comes into Saturday with an extremely tenuous hold on one of the final two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. In addition to dealing with Inter Miami’s Messi-fueled charge from the bottom of the table, Montréal is even with NYCFC on points and just one point ahead of D.C. United, with the New York Red Bulls and the Chicago Fire each three points back with four to play.
-- Montréal hasn’t had a runaway best performer this year, getting contributions up and down the roster. No player has more than four goals, with Mathieu Choinière and Chinonso Offor sharing the team lead. Star forward Romell Quioto, who has 3 G/3 A in eight matches against Orlando in his career, has been limited to just 502 minutes due to injury.