Storylines | #MLSisBack Round of 16

Storylines | #MLSisBack Round of 16

The First For Pereyra

With the goal that leveled the Lions against Philadelphia on Monday night and eventually clinched the top spot in the group, Mauricio Pereyra netted his first finish since joining the Club midway through the 2019 season. Since his first appearance for City on August 17, 2019 against Minnesota United, Pereyra has appeared in 11 matches for the Lions with nine starts and three assists to his credit. 

How They Got Here

The Lions earned their spot in the Knockout Round presented by Audi by finishing atop Group A ahead of the Philadelphia Union, New York City FC and Inter Miami. City earned victories against the Pigeons and their neighbors to the south with a 3-1 win over NYCFC and a 2-1 victory against Miami in the tournament’s opening match. The Club would then go on to draw the Union to secure the top seed in the group with an advantage on goal differential. 

Montreal was able to secure a slot in the Knockouts after a third-place finish in Group C. After dropping their first two matches to New England and Toronto, the Impact kept their tournament hopes alive by defeating D.C. United on Tuesday night, with Saphir Taïder scoring the eventual game-winner in the 31st minute. A goal differential of -1 was good enough for the Impact to move ahead of other respective third-place finishers to book a spot in the Knockouts. 

What Matters Most

Throughout the MLS is Back Tournament, Major League Soccer has announced that club captains will wear a black armband with a graphic in honor of the Black Lives Matter movement. Orlando City captain Nani will wear a Club-designed armband that pays tribute to the historic black neighborhood of Parramore where Exploria Stadium is located. The armband features the different streets and landmarks of Parramore.

Last Time Against Montreal

The last time the Lions faced off against the Impact came on June 1, 2019 at Stade Saputo in what was arguably the Club’s best performance of the 2019 campaign. City cruised to a 3-0 victory over the home side, with goals from Nani, Tesho Akindele and former Lions’ midfielder Will Johnson. Chris Mueller and former City midfielder Cristian Higuita earned assists on the day, while goalkeeper Brian Rowe recorded his third shutout of the season, one of seven a year ago to tie the Lions’ previous Club-record set in both 2015 and 2017. Nani’s finish in that match also served as the 100th of his professional career. 

Captain Contributions

Orlando City captain Nani earned his third goal contribution of the year on Monday against Philadelphia, teeing up the cross for Mauricio Pererya for the Lions’ lone finish on the night. The assist marked the second for the Portuguese international of the MLS is Back Tournament and his 12th since joining the Club ahead of the 2019 season. With that, Nani is one assist shy of tying former Lions forward Carlos Rivas (13) for third in Club history. 

Milestone Tracker

  • Nani is one assist away from tying former Lions forward Carlos Rivas for third in Club history. 
  • Dom Dwyer is one assist away from 10 for the Lions.
  • Mauricio Pereyra is one start away from 10 for City. 

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.