Orlando City

They said it: Oscar Pareja, Wilder Cartagena and David Brekalo share their thoughts after draw with Inter Miami

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

“[It was] a very level game. I thought we found two teams that had options. Both could have won it, at the beginning or scoring at the end of the game. Throughout the game we had our options, too. It seems we had a sensation that we could have walked off the field with three points. But I recognize it was a tight game for both teams. The effort from the players was extraordinary and they keep adapting to new things. I’m good with the performance of the team, I’m good. I think we’re going in a good direction; I think we’re turning things around. We played against a good team who has good momentum, but today we could have walked off with three points.”

On Wilder Cartagena’s recent form

“Last year in the beginning of the season, we had a few games with him, and we were very surprised with how he managed to manage the tempo. We moved him to midfielder last season, and it was a tremendous season for him. Now, it is not a surprise to me that he adapts to the rhythm of the changes, and the way he manages that line we changed today. Wilder commanded very well that part, his personality is very noticeable. I’m proud of him, I think he’s very smart and he is very functional for us because we can use him in that spot.”

On Yutaro Tsukada making his MLS debut

“I have a sensation that I could have got him in a little earlier. He has something that he has shown in games, and it is that his resolution is very good. In that moment, Facundo [Torres] was okay. I thought we had a play where if Nico Lodeiro gave it to him, it would have been his goal. Good positive game and the kids are growing. Happy to see him with personality with not too much time on the field but overall happy with him.”

Orlando City SC Midfielder Wilder Cartagena

Opening Statement

“It was a difficult game. Obviously, to mark a player like [Luis] Suárez is very difficult and complicated, especially with the player that he is and the way he likes to move. I think as a group we did a great job defensively, with Rodri [Schlegel] and David [Brekalo]. We were really solid and compact. Obviously, we would have loved to take away a win from tonight, but we feel good overall with taking a draw.”

On starting on the back line

“I think it’s something that we always look at. In terms of [FC] Cincinnati, I don’t think it was a move that we made for solidity. It was [a change] that we had to make because of a sending off. I think Oscar [Pareja] liked what he saw. Personally, I think the team is going to be better in this formation. I think we’re stronger defensively. I think we’re having a lot more injuries. We have a lot more possession. But at the same time, it takes a lot more sacrifice. It’s Iván [Angulo] and Facu [Torres] and Nico [Lodeiro] and Martín [Ojeda] doing a lot of work in the midfield and doing a lot of sacrificing. I think this team loves to do that, to continue to fight and do the work with each other and just continue to be a family and fight and do that work.”

On the team playing better

“I’d say that’s fair. Especially in the last few games, we’ve been showing ourselves to be more dangerous and attacking. A team that teams have to respect in terms of when we’re bringing the ball forward. Similar to how we were in the last half of last year but obviously there are a couple of minor adjustments that we have to make. Sometimes in terms of our movement but I think we are playing a lot better in that area.”

Orlando City SC Defender David Brekalo

On things coming together for the team

“In training sessions, there’s been a lot of improvement, I think. We’ve been given enough time together to get used to each other, to learn about every single player’s characteristics. We’re getting to know each other more and we’re improving as a team.”

On playing on a three-back line

“Honestly just improvising, trying to do the best things possible. As you know, Iván [Angulo] and Facu [Torres] are not primarily defenders. So, it's just about fighting, passion, and spirit. Everything else will come.

On the team’s adjustments with Robin Jansson being out

“I think the primary role is the same. We press five, we defend as a unit. Rodri [Schlegel] knows the role. But of course, we wish Robin [Jansson] comes back as quick as possible. He’s a huge part of this team. During the time that he’s gone, we just have to do better.”