Orlando City

💬 Wilder Cartagena: 'We were as intense as we possibly could be' in dominant win over CF Montréal

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja

Opening statement 

"It was an important victory for our fans, it was a very well-played game against a rival [CF Montréal] that in the past has given us a lot of trouble to break their lines. Today we were able to find ways to impose our rhythm and score goals. I saw our team be very offensive [on the field]. I saw a team with confidence during the game. What’s important is that we keep our feet on the ground, we have to continue with consistency, it was a very well-played game. In the first half I saw how we took advantage of the spaces that gave us the win. We were crafty in the middle, but the most important thing is that we kept our balance defensively. The second half we stuck to the game plan and the boys continued to give us better results especially when we attacked their [defensive] backs. Now we prepare for Nashville [SC] so we can finish the season strong.” 

On what makes this team so potent offensively in the second half  

“It's good news for us when our players keep that mentality to go forward and define the games in the key moments. I thought we could extend our lead in the first half, but sometimes the game becomes like that. If we aren’t lethal, you give the other team a second [wind]. I am glad that we are having those responses. It gives us the sense and the feeling that we are maturing as a group.” 

On the way Rafael Santos and Dagur Dan Thórhallsson provided for the team 

“Rafa [Santos] understands the quality of the wingers in Major League Soccer. I think that he is growing a lot and I am very happy for Rafa. Dagur [Dan Thórhallsson] for us, it's fantastic news to see him grow and progress in understanding the game. His quality and technical ability is what we need. He has improved the defensive concept that the position requires. He’s very aware of what he needs to get better at and when he does those defensive actions that well, his confidence gets higher. Both of them helped us a lot.”

Orlando City SC Midfielder Dagur Dan ThĂłrhallsson

On scoring his second MLS goal 

“We’ve been talking about the right and left back coming to that position [on the far post] and that time it happened. The ball came and I scored.” 

On growing into the right back position 

“I feel like the last two or three games it started to click. The [Inter] Miami game was good, but of course the New York [City FC] game wasn’t the best. I feel like the last couple games, I have been trying to understand the defensive part. That is the thing that I am struggling with, but that is getting better and better and as soon as I get better there, the attacking part I am quite used to. So, it’s all clicking.” 

On getting behind Montréal three-man back line 

“We knew that they were playing with three in the back. The goal was to keep Rafa and I high and in these spaces that we can create. It worked today and that was amazing.” 

On the team’s tendency to score early in the second half of games 

“I don’t know. It’s just usually the players talking together about what needs to improve. I would say usually it’s aggressiveness. We come in and everybody talks together. I feel like the first 15 minutes, aggressiveness comes and with aggressiveness comes the run on the far post like I did. It happens, so it’s great.”

Orlando City SC Midfielder Wilder Cartagena

On the dominance against Montréal heading into the final stretch of games 

“Like you said, it was an important victory. Especially at this point in the season. We came in against a good rival. We were as intense as we possibly could be, and we dominated throughout the entire game. The way they played, we had some generous spaces that we wanted to work into and that is how we approached the game. Thankfully, we keep finding ourselves now higher up in the table where we want to put ourselves for this Club and for all the fans.” 

On the confidence of going into halftime with a lead 

“We wanted to and had to approach this game with some dominance. Against Miami and the previous games, we weren’t able to score in the first half, so you go in tied to the halftime break. That affects your confidence for the rest of the game when you are not able to score in the first half. Thankfully, Facu [Torres] found a great ball and was able to put it in the back of the net. It gave us confidence for the rest of the game. We saw between the spaces and the runs we were able to make, we really dominated, like you saw in the game. I think that is what we want to continue to do.” 

On the team’s league-best 16 goals in the first 15 minutes of second halves 

“It’s probably something that Oscar has got going right now. I think in terms of being able to score, it’s just the spaces that we have in the second half and continuing to press. When we go on the road and we’ve got that extra space, we find it a little easier to score. When this team scores the first goal, it’s very difficult to keep us off the scoreboard after because we continue to press, and our confidence continues to grow. We just find ourselves scoring more and more.”

Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoff vs Columbus Crew

Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoff vs Columbus Crew

Our Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoff tickets for our Eastern Conference Semifinal matchup against the Columbus Crew, presented by Publix, on Nov. 25 at 5:30 p.m. ET are live!