May 2, 2015 vs. Ponte Preta - Orlando City faced off against Brazilian side Ponte Preta in an international friendly during their early May bye week, and the game lived up to the billing, swinging back and forth before a Cyle Larin penalty gave Orlando City a late 3-2 victory. Bryan Rochéz and Sean St. Ledger also netted finishes for the Lions in the game.
Ponte Preta would later send the Lions another gift, indirectly – right back Ruan last played for the Brazilian side before coming to Orlando City on loan and becoming an instant fan favorite, eventually coming on a permanent basis with a brand new contract in hand.
April 30, 2016 at New England - Carlos Rivas struck in the 90th minute to send the Gillette Stadium faithful home disappointed and snag Orlando City a valuable point on the road in Foxborough. The goal was pure hustle from “The Rocket”, as Rivas blew past a shocked London Woodberry to get on the end of Cyle Larin’s squared ball.
Kevin Molino also scored in the game for Orlando City, who were without captain Kaká for the night.
April 29, 2017 vs. Colorado - Rivas seemed to enjoy this week, as the Colombian added another goal 364 days later in a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids at Exploria Stadium. Rivas’ goal broke a 0-0 deadlock in the 70th minute, while Kaká secured the win with a stoppage time rebound goal. The game was Kaká’s first since the season opener, when he went off injured within the first 10 minutes of the game. His goal sent the packed house into a frenzy:
The win also marked a notable piece of history – Orlando City became the first and so far only team in MLS history to open a new stadium with five consecutive victories.
April 29, 2018 at Colorado - It was not a good week to be the Rapids against Orlando City. Dominique Badji put Colorado ahead in the first half, but Cristian Higuita equalized for the visitors shortly after the break and a Yoshimar Yotún penalty in the 77th minute allowed Orlando to leave Commerce City with all three points. The win was the fifth in a row for Orlando City as part of the Club-record six-game streak.
April 27, 2019 at NYCFC - Nani scored for the fifth time in four games to cap off a magnificent April, and Orlando went home with a well-earned point from Yankee Stadium. It could have been more, as Tesho Akindele’s second was cancelled out by VAR, with Heber leveling for the home side early in the second half. Brian Rowe made four saves for the Lions, who held firm despite conceding 15 shots to NYCFC.
Donovan Ricketts was an MLS Save of the Week nominee for this 2015 parry against Toronto:
Júlio Baptista spoke at a press conference ahead of Orlando hosting three matches in the 2016 Copa América Centenario. Baptista was a past winner of the tournament, helping his native Brazil lift the trophy in 2004 and 2007.
Joe Bendik took home a prestigious honor in 2017, winning MLS Player of the Month as the Lions took 12 points from five games while allowing just four goals.
Uruguay and Atletico Madrid legend Diego Forlán paid Exploria Stadium a visit last May in advance of the 2019 MLS All-Star Game in Orlando.
No Orlando City players were born this week!