Benji Michel found the back of the net for the second time in as many matches on Saturday, tapping in a shot from Daryl Dike for the finish. It served as the third goal contribution in a row for Michel, who scored his first goal of the regular-season against Nashville after earning an assist at Atlanta the week prior. Since signing as a Homegrown in 2019, Michel has scored eight goals, the most of any Homegrown in Club history, while adding two assists in all contests.
The Man of the Month
Lions’ rookie Daryl Dike earned MLS Player of the Month honors for an August that saw him net three goals while adding two assists through three matches of City’s Phase 1 Continuation of Play schedule. The 2020 MLS SuperDraft selection netted his first professional goal in his first start at Inter Miami in the Lions’ Phase 1 opener before following up that performance with the first brace of his career three days later against Nashville SC. With the award, Dike became the second player in Club history to earn Player of the Month honors following former Lion Joe Bendik in April 2017.
A Quick Refresh
Saturday’s match will mark the first time the Lions have had more than three days rest in between games since the start of the Phase 1 Schedule. In that span, Oscar Pareja has utilized 18 different players in a starting role in an effort to rotate the squad, with the Lions facing a Saturday to Wednesday turnaround, and vice versa, each week throughout their Continuation of Play schedule thus far. Through five matches, City holds a 2-1-2 record in Phase 1 and is unbeaten in its last four contests.
In Between the Sticks
Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese registered five saves on Saturday against Atlanta United, one save shy of his highest mark of the season against NYCFC on July 14 at the MLS is Back Tournament. The Peruvian international has played a pivotal role in the Lions’ holding a +5 goal-differential on the season, allowing multiple goals in a game just three times this season and once in City’s last five matches.
Expansion in Orlando
The Lions hold a perfect 2-0 record against MLS’ 2020 expansion sides this year in The City Beautiful, earning a 2-1 victory over Inter Miami at the MLS is Back Tournament before defeating Nashville 3-1 in their first match at Exploria Stadium of the Phase 1 Continuation of Play Schedule on August 26. Overall, City holds a 4-1-1 record in Orlando against expansion clubs in their debut seasons.
Same Time, Different Place
When the Lions kick off against Inter Miami at Exploria Stadium on Saturday, USL side Orlando City B will be preparing to take on Miami’s League One side Fort Lauderdale CF at Inter Miami CF Stadium. The match will serve as the first trip down south for OCB, while Inter Miami’s visit to Exploria Stadium will serve as its first to downtown Orlando.
- Nani (12) is one assist shy of tying former Lion Carlos Rivas for fourth in Club history.
- Daryl Dike is one goal shy of passing teammate Chris Mueller (3) for second in Club history in goals scored by a Lions’ MLS SuperDraft selection in their debut season.