Concacaf Champions Cup

The Road Ahead: Orlando City aims for more home cooking amid tough stretch

As Orlando City prepares for another busy week at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday against Tigres UANL to continue Concacaf Champions League play and Saturday versus Charlotte FC, let's take a look at The Road Ahead driven by Audi:

Concacaf Champions League: Orlando City vs. Tigres UANL (Round of 16, 2nd Leg)

When: Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. ET

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando

TV: FS2, TUDN

Radio: None

Tickets: View seats

MLS Match 4: Orlando City (1-0-2) vs. Charlotte FC (0-3-0)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando

TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (subscription required)

Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)

Tickets: View seats

Milestone watch

➖ Duncan McGuire became the fourth player in Orlando City history to score in his MLS debut, following Kaká, Stefano Pinho, and Daryl Dike. McGuire is also the first draft pick in club history to score in his professional debut (2020 rookie Dike had already played in the MLS is Back Tournament before scoring in his first regular season game.) 

➖ Dagur Dan Thórhallsson recorded his first assist in an Orlando City shirt in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with D.C. United.

➖ Should Iván Angulo start against Tigres on Wednesday, he will reach 1,000 minutes played for Orlando City in all competitions at halftime of the contest. Angulo has appeared 15 times for Orlando in his career with three assists, as well as an unofficial secondary assist on the winning goal in the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup final.

➖ Facundo Torres’ next appearance will be his 45th for Orlando City in all competitions.

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Key storylines

➖ Orlando City is going for a historic victory on Wednesday night, entering the second leg of their CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 matchup with Tigres level at 0-0. Orlando last Tuesday was only the sixth MLS side in 69 tries to get a result in Mexico in Champions League play.

➖ If the Lions gain results in both of their games this week, they’ll match 2021’s club-record six consecutive matches without a loss to start the season.  

➖ Since the move to the modern format in 2008, Liga MX teams have gone 34-12 against MLS teams in CONCACAF Champions League ties (both legs combined). MLS has improved lately, winning five of the past 12 matchups, including Seattle defeating Pumas in last year’s final. The Sounders were the first MLS club to ever win the modern version of CCL.

Tigres has been knocked out of CCL by an MLS club on two occasions. Seattle did it in 2013, and Toronto accomplished the feat in 2018. Tigres has one title and four finals appearances in the tournament.

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Series history vs. Tigres UANL

All-time vs. Tigres - 0-0-1, 0 GD (0-0-0, 0 GD home)

All-time vs. Liga MX sides - 0-1-1, -1 GD (0-1-0, -1 GD home)

➖ 2023 - D 0-0 (A/CCL)

Series history vs. Charlotte FC

All-time vs. Charlotte FC - 2-0-0, +2 GD (1-0-0, +1 GD home)

MLS only vs. Charlotte FC - Same

➖ 2022 - W 2-1 (H), W 1-2 (A)

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Meet the opponent: Tigres

➖ Tigres played at the weekend like Orlando City, falling 2-0 at El Vólcan to Club América. Marco Antonio Ruiz made five changes from the Orlando match, but his side couldn’t muster up much despite 56% possession, putting only three shots on target. Like Orlando, Tigres made two halftime changes in order to keep fresh for the CCL match.

With the loss, Tigres fell behind Toluca on goal difference for second place in Liga MX. Tigres are also even on points with fourth-placed Chivas. Monterrey won at the weekend, giving them a seven-point edge just 11 matches into the Clausura.

➖ Tigres has enjoyed plenty of success in the United States, especially at Exploria Stadium. While Tigres has never faced Orlando City in the building, they did win the neutral site 2020 CONCACAF Champions League at Exploria, with André-Pierre Gignac netting an 84th-minute winner in a come-from-behind 2-1 win over LAFC.

➖ Gignac, who was nearly sent off in the first leg before VAR intervened, is not expected to be able to travel to the United States due to his vaccination status and thus will not be available for Wednesday night’s game.

Meet the opponent: Charlotte FC

➖ Orlando City swept Charlotte in the Crown’s debut season in MLS. Facundo Torres scored his first Exploria Stadium goal in a 2-1 Orlando win on April 30, while Tesho Akindele broke hearts at Bank of America Stadium in the return game on August 21 with an 89th-minute winner. Ercan Kara also scored in the away game.

➖ McKinze Gaines scored against Orlando City in Charlotte last season. Their other goalscorer against the Lions, inaugural club captain Christian Fuchs, announced his retirement after the 2022 season and is now an assistant coach for the club.

➖ Charlotte is off to a rough start this year, sitting with zero points and just one goal through three matches. The Crown were shellacked last weekend at home by Atlanta, going down 3-0 in the first half.

➖ Charlotte’s big DP signing for 2023 is Argentine striker Enzo Copetti, who scored the lone Charlotte goal this year against St. Louis two weeks ago. Copetti scored 19 times in 40 league games for Racing Club last season.