Notable Quotables | Orlando City vs. Inter Miami CF

Notable Quotables | Orlando City vs. Inter Miami CF

Orlando City SC Head Coach Oscar Pareja 

Opening statement

“First of all, I want to tell everybody how proud we are of the players, the effort and the job that they have done through this last period. They are a tremendous group and tonight they showed that they are very strong inside. In terms of the game, I thought it was better than probably what we could have thought about this, a game where the teams came with no game or a friendly game [before]. Both teams were very generous with the effort and we saw a lot of soccer there. We are proud with the victory, the first ever in the history of the clubs and we are proud. Congratulations to the players and to our fans.”

On how he feels after the win

“A lot of joy obviously with the importance of the game. I think it’s, as I’ve said before, it’s a reward for the players and what they did on the field. They didn’t just work, but they did deserve the victory. I thought we were the best team on the pitch and we are proud.”

On what he attributes to City’s two goals

“I believe that is the freedom and creativity from our players on the field. We give them what they need to express themselves and the goals are a consequence of that, of their creativity.”

Orlando City SC Midfielder Nani

On the normality of playing the first match in four months

“Yes, it’s certainly different. We were waiting for this moment for so long, we’ve been working hard. It’s always difficult when you stay for so long without playing an official game. I was anxious to play our first game and then, if you see the game and our beginning, it was a little bit difficult for our team and I think for Miami as well because there was a lot of energy and to adjust to the game, to the weather. But at the end, the effort all the players put on the field was fantastic and we deserved to win that game because, like I said, we’ve been working so hard and we wanted to be be in this competition [the MLS is Back Tournament] to compete, be competitive with the league and do what’s normal. Thanks to all of my teammates, to coach for everything they put on the field for us to be able to perform like that tonight. We need to continue to work hard and I hope when we play the next games we will be much better because once you play in these physical conditions you know how it’s playing an official game.”

On how it felt to score a goal in a big derby match with no fans in attendance

“Yeah, scoring a goal always means a lot to a player. I think any player likes to score a goal to help the team but obviously the most important thing was what we want to achieve as a group. Thank God today I scored a goal and I hope next game any of my teammates can do the same because we have a plan and we want to achieve something. We have a goal, in the long term, but this is a great beginning. And, yes, it’s always fantastic to play a derby. It’s true there was not fans there at the stadium, it’s empty, but for the ones who love football, you don’t pay attention to the fans. Obviously when they are in the stadium you can feel the excitement and the noise but today we made the noise. And I think both teams did great for the first game and I hope it continues like that to make this competition beautiful.”

On the emotion of the pregame demonstration

“We all know we want to change the world. We want a better world, we want people to look to everyone without difference, [as the] same. No difference between anyone. No discrimination, whether in football or nationality. I think the decision at the beginning of the game, the performance by everyone, was beautiful. It’s emotional for the ones who are there. I was there and I felt for a couple of moments and I started thinking: everyone in the world should stop for a minute and start thinking toward this attitude and see what we can all do to make a difference in the world. We must think about our children and the future of them because we need to teach them how to behave, to be a better person and to help create a better world. And that’s my thoughts on these difficult times. Obviously, yes, I felt for a couple of minutes before kicking off the game.”

Orlando City SC Forward Chris Mueller 

On what it means to win and score in the first match of the rivalry

“I think that getting the win was great. The first game against [Inter] Miami, we know that that’s going to be a rivalry that’s going to continue to build throughout the years. To leave our stamp first and foremost and to make a statement I think is great moving forward, but I think when you look collectively at the goal that we have going into the tournament, I think that the first game and winning that and getting those points are crucial. Like Nani said, getting to score a goal feels great but most importantly, the team got the win. I think that all in all, we’re really proud of the guys. We put in so much work in this time, it’s been a tough time for everybody so I’m just so happy that we could give that to our fans and to this organization and everybody who worked so hard behind the scenes.” 

On his goal

“Honestly a lot of the work had been done by Luis [Nani]. He had taken it down one on one and put in a fabulous ball to that back post. I just had to hustle and make sure I got there to get some good contact with it and put the ball in that net so that we could get back into the game and that’s exactly what we did. Like I said, it’s great to get on the score sheet and help the team in that way but I’m really proud of the guys and just really happy that we got the win.”


September 11, 2020: Major League Soccer has announced the 2020 regular season schedule through the end of September. From September 18-27, each MLS club will compete in three regular season matches. Additional 2020 MLS regular season matches will be announced pending further developments regarding travel protocols. Attendance at matches will be determined in accordance with applicable state and local guidelines.