Orlando City vs Nashville SC (Round 1)
When: Monday, 7:00 PM
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
Everything you need to know for Orlando City's Round 1 playoff match against Nashville SC in "The Road Ahead" driven by Audi:
-- After a brace off the bench on Decision Day against Toronto FC, Duncan McGuire stands at 15 goals for the season in all competitions, just three goals away from tying Cyle Larin for the club’s single-season record. Larin scored 18 times between MLS and the U.S. Open Cup in 2015.
-- Orlando City is seeking its first playoff victory since 2020 when the Lions famously knocked off New York City FC in penalties with Rodrigo Schlegel in net.
-- A win for Orlando in the Nashville series would be its 20th of the season in all competitions, including the victory over Santos Laguna in Leagues Cup.
Stats and storylines
-- Orlando City begins its hunt for MLS Cup this Monday night against Nashville SC. The Lions are in the postseason for the fourth consecutive season.
-- Orlando City ended the 2023 regular season with new club records for:
- Wins (18)
- Points (63)
- Away wins (9) and points (31)
- Goal difference (+16)
- Fewest goals allowed (39)
-- The Lions have been MLS’ best team since June 1, sporting a 13-3-4 record over their final 20 games of the regular season. Orlando went 8-1-2 after returning from the Leagues Cup break.
-- McGuire ended the season on an absolute tear, scoring in each of his final three games of the campaign and wrapping up with 5 G/1 A over his last five matches. The rookie also scored for the United States U23 team during the October international break.
-- New for 2023, the first round is now a best-of-three series. Nashville will host the second match at Geodis Park on Tuesday, November 7 at 9 p.m. ET, with the third match taking place at Exploria Stadium on Sunday, November 12 at 5 p.m. ET if either side fails to advance within two matches.
-- Under the new format, all matches in the best-of-three will go straight to a penalty kick shootout after 90 minutes. Orlando City is 8-0 all-time in penalty shootouts, most recently topping Houston Dynamo in this year’s Leagues Cup group stage. The team has not missed a spot kick in 2023, with its last missed penalty coming on August 31, 2022 (Mauricio Pereyra vs. Seattle).
-- Facundo Torres is 9-for-9 on penalty kicks in his Orlando City career between shootouts and attempts in live games. Torres took and scored every PK for Orlando during the 2023 Orlando City regular season.
All-time vs. Nashville - 2-3-5, -2 GD (1-2-2, -1 GD home)
- 2020 - W 3-1 (H), D 1-1 (A), L 2-3 (H)
- 2021 - D 1-1 (A), D 2-2 (A), D 1-1 (H), L 3-1 (A/MLS Cup Playoffs)
- 2022 - D 1-1 (6-5) (H/USOC)
- 2023 - L 0-2 (H), W 0-1 (A)
Meet the opponent: Nashville SC
-- Orlando City ended an eight-match winless streak against Nashville with their win at Geodis Park on October 4. Duncan McGuire’s goal late in the first half was all the scoring the Lions needed, as the home side mustered up a meager 0.38 expected goals against Orlando’s stifling defense.
-- This will be the third knockout encounter between Orlando and Nashville, with the two sides each moving past the other once. Nashville came from behind to beat Orlando 3-1 at Nissan Stadium (the club’s home prior to Geodis Park) in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs, with Hany Mukhtar notching the decisive goal. The following summer, Orlando eliminated Nashville from the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup on penalty kicks after Rodrigo Schlegel saved the Lions’ bacon with a 94th-minute equalizer. Orlando would go on to lift the trophy later that year.
-- Mukhtar has 7 G/5 A in 10 games against Orlando City, though his streak of scoring against the Lions ended at four consecutive matches when Nashville was shut out earlier this month.
-- Mauricio Pereyra has five assists against Nashville in seven appearances. Pereyra picked up the secondary assist on McGuire’s goal in the October 4 game.