Orlando City vs Santos Laguna (Leagues Cup)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)
Everything you need to know for Orlando City vs Santos Laguna in the group stage finale of the Leagues Cup in "The Road Ahead" driven by Audi:
-- Antonio Carlos’ next appearance will be his 100th in all competitions for Orlando City. The Brazilian has been on the field for every MLS Cup Playoffs game in club history as well as the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final. He’ll join Robin Jansson and Kyle Smith among current club defenders past the century mark.
-- Júnior Urso could make his first appearance for the club since last year’s playoff game in Montréal, which was the 100th in his Lions career. Urso rejoined the club last week.
-- Duncan McGuire’s next goal will be his 10th of both the season and his professional career. McGuire has scored his first nine goals in just 988 total minutes in all competitions. The rookie has netted five times in his past eight matches.
-- If Pedro Gallese plays 90 minutes on Saturday, he will become the second player on the team after Jansson to reach 10,000 minutes played. Gallese is six saves away from 300 in his Orlando City career.
Stats and storylines
-- With Houston defeating Santos Laguna via penalty kicks on Tuesday, Orlando City sits second in South Group 2 on two points. Houston has three points, while Santos has one. If Orlando City beats Santos either in regulation or in penalties, the Lions will win the group and head to Fort Lauderdale to face Lionel Messi and Inter Miami next week.
-- On the other hand, if Orlando loses the game in regulation, they will be eliminated from the Leagues Cup. If the Lions fall in penalties, their fate will come down to a series of tiebreakers depending on how many goals were scored in the game. The more goals scored, the better for Orlando City’s chances.
-- Orlando City’s all-time penalty shootout record improved to 8-0 last Friday with the club’s 5-4 shootout win over Houston. The Lions have remarkably never lost a penalty shootout in club history, winning five of five under Oscar Pareja.
All-time vs. Santos Laguna - 0-1-0, -1 GD (0-1-0, -1 GD home)
Leagues Cup only vs. Santos Laguna - Same
- 2021 - L 0-1 (H/LC)
Meet the opponent: Santos Laguna
-- Yes, that’s right – Orlando City and Santos Laguna have played in the Leagues Cup before! While the revamped 2023 Leagues Cup is being treated as a new competition, the two clubs met in the much smaller 2021 edition of the tournament at Exploria Stadium. It was the Mexican side who came out victorious, as Ferney Otero’s 30th minute goal was enough to see Santos to a 1-0 win.
-- Of the 16 Lions to appear in that 2021 game, only six are currently rostered: Mason Stajduhar, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Júnior Urso, Mauricio Pereyra, and Kyle Smith.
-- Santos Laguna is based in Torreón, a large city in northern Mexico located directly west of Monterrey. They play at the 30,000-seat Estadio Corona and are managed by Pablo Repetto, a Uruguayan coach who has managed ten different clubs across six countries since 2006.
-- Santos has won six Liga MX league titles, most recently winning the 2018 Clausura. However, the club has never won an international trophy.
-- Santos barely squeaked into the Liga MX Clausura Liguilla (playoffs) this past spring, finishing in 13th place but being given the 12th spot in the postseason due to a technicality involving another club. Santos defeated Pachuca on penalties in the play-in round before falling to top seed Monterrey in the quarterfinals.
-- The Torreón-based club is currently 1-1-1 in the 2023 Apertura and is coming off a 2-2 draw against Houston on Tuesday. Colombian striker Harold Preciado scored a brace to overcome a 2-0 deficit and earn Santos a point.