Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja

Opening statement

“It's a moment where we lost three points at home in a match that we all assumed that we should win. You could see in the two halves and the way the game ended; I have to say that I'm very proud of these players. It's my responsibility to create a lineup and to create a game plan and in that part, I have to analyze what occurred in the first half and it did not help the boys. The effort in the second [half] was fantastic. I just kept that image. I have to move forward, once again, I take that responsibility of being very unorganized [in the first half].”

On the disorganization in the first half

"In the first half we tried to congest the middle coming for a big effort. We needed some solidarity there and then just trying to reuse the spaces to control, but things didn't work that way. [It] worked the other way that there was more space for them. The connections between our defenders and the midfielders were bigger than we thought they were in the game and then in the second half, we fixed it. I waited 30 minutes, I wanted to change it, but I was just waiting for the reaction and then it took the whole half. Second half we adjusted and then we just used the spaces that we normally do. The energy was there and we were good. We played much better.”

On Charlotte FC’s first goal

"I think we need to get better. Obviously in this moment after the games when we are emotional, and we try to find something that just gives us answers and see who's guilty of these things. Those plays obviously just show us that we have a lot of work to do defensively, especially defending our crossing. But I have to admit as well that sometimes it's the nature of the game, but sometimes it's how I place them in the field and that's where I take that responsibility.”

On how much the emotions of Wednesday’s game played into tonight’s match

“Right, no excuses at all are something that will come from my mouth. We were prepared, we're young, we're good, we're professionals. It was a heaviness from the game, [but] we’ve got to overcome it. It's normal. Obviously, we had a good game against Tigres, a good series, but couldn't advance and all those things, but we're professionals and especially this group. This group is very professional in that part because they showed it in the second half. It was a easy night to give up on the effort when things didn't bounce our way, or we couldn't play the way we normally played in the first half and that did not happen. That just shows that we don't need to think about that game as an influence or nothing, no excuses. That game was over. This one was a new game with different things."

HIGHLIGHTS: Orlando City SC vs. Charlotte FC | March 19, 2023

Orlando City defender Rafael Santos

On what went wrong in the match

“We started the game off really strong, we were making the right decisions, the game was going our way, according to our plan. And then once we hit around the 15-minute mark, they started to really put us in danger in terms of, on the counterattack, primarily. And from that point on we really just got caught out and then they punished us as a result of that.”

On how his adaptation to the team is going

“My adaptation to the team is going really, really well. Thanks to my teammates who have really helped me. Obviously there's a big difference between Brazilian soccer and MLS here but that's not an excuse. My adaptation is going well but I came here to show the way that I play and to make a name for myself and that's what I plan on doing.”

On what they take as a learning lesson for the next one

“This is going to be a learning lesson. There's never going to be an easy opponent and we know that the next one isn't going to be an easy opponent either. It's true, it's been a tough week, we just came out of the [Concacaf Champions League] game against Tigres, which was a big tournament, a big team. And now we're obviously playing once again in Major League Soccer. But this is going to be a learning lesson. We're always going to fight for this shirt, for the club. We're always going to look for the victory and chase the victory just like we did on Wednesday, just like we did today again. But again, there isn't going to be an easy opponent. Each and every one of our opponents is going to be difficult and we just learn game by game.”

GOAL: Martín Ojeda scores first goal for Orlando City against Charlotte FC

Orlando City midfielder Martín Ojeda

On scoring his first goal in MLS

“Yeah, it was a play that Facu [Torres] had started and hit to Duncan [McGuire] behind the backs of the center backs. Duncan was one-on-one with the goalkeeper like it has to be with the forward. It was initially saved and then Duncan was able to lay the ball off to me and you know, thankfully I was able to able to score so [I am] happy for the goal but you know, we're hurting that we weren't able to get the victory tonight, but we continue on.”

On the importance of his first goal to his adaptation to MLS

“It's fundamental for my confidence to be able to balance out my anxiety a little bit, to have a little bit more tranquility out there. I think especially this last week I've been a little bit anxious with trying to get off the mark and get that first goal. But now that I've got it, it just starts to build and with the confidence as we move forward."

On the frustrations of the first half

“Yeah, I still haven't seen the video of the first half too much. But as you know, the first half was frustrating to us. It's not the way that we like to play, and things weren't really going our way. It's never good when you go into halftime two nil down. But then maybe look at the second half, it was completely the opposite, things were starting to go our way. We were able to start working. We weren't able to get the win, but we were able to play a bit more the way that we wanted to play. Now we just try to make those improvements and move on to the next week.”