ORLANDO, Fla. (Aug. 11, 2020) - Orlando City SC fell to the Portland Timbers by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday night in the MLS is Back Tournament Final. The appearance marked the first for the Lions in a Final since the start of the MLS era. Mauricio Pereyra scored the lone goal for Orlando in the match, his second of the tournament.
The Lions made a strong run during the Walt Disney World-hosted tournament, finishing the group stage atop Group A before knocking out the Montreal Impact, 2019 Supporters Shield winners LAFC and Minnesota United en route to the Club’s first MLS era finals appearance.
Head Coach Oscar Pareja:
“The message is based on the respect that we have for this group of players. On behalf of our players and our staff and our Club, we congratulate Portland for getting the trophy and we keep moving on. The respect that I have for our players and their effort and the message that they have sent to our fans about the commitment and about the objectives that we achieved already, it’s great. Obviously it’s not easy right now because we wanted to give them this game as well, but the players gave all that they had and they had the initiative all the time today and we’re proud of them.”
27’ Larrys Mabiala (Diego Valeri) - POR 1, ORL 0
The Timbers took the early lead off a free kick from Diego Valeri, whose ball found the head of Larrys Mabiala at the far post for the finish.
39’ Mauricio Pereyra - ORL 1, POR 1
Orlando City leveled with Nani dancing his way to the endline before cutting a ball in front of goal that fell to the foot of Mauricio Pereyra, who won a challenge and stayed on his feet to pass the ball into the back of the net and level the two sides.
66’ Dario Zuparic (Jeremy Ebobisse, Eryk Williamson) - POR 2, ORL 1
Portland regained the lead off another Valeri set piece, this time his corner eventually deflecting off the foot of Ebobisse, whose touch then fell to the foot of Zuparic for the finish.
- Mauricio Pereyra netted his second goal of the tournament with his finish in the 39th minute.
- With its run at MLS is Back, the Lions reached a Final for the first time since its MLS era began in 2015.
- Seven Lions were nominated for MLS is Back Tournament Awards in Nani, João Moutinho, Pedro Gallese, Ruan, Antonio Carlos, Mauricio Pereyra, and Chris Mueller, with the results to be announced in the coming days.
- Head Coach Oscar Pareja opted for the same starting XI that he has utilized throughout the entirety of the MLS is Back Knockout Stage presented by Audi.
- With the result, the Lions earned nearly $200K in prize money for their run throughout the MLS is Back Tournament.
Next Match: Orlando City will have just under two weeks off from match play before returning to MLS regular season action on Saturday, Aug. 22 when they travel to face intrastate foes Inter Miami CF in their first visit to Lockhart Stadium.