Orlando City vs. Charlotte FC: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More
Welcome to your match preview and live thread for a Saturday night game between Orlando City (1-0-2, 5 points) and Charlotte FC (0-3-0, 0 points) at Exploria Stadium (7:30pm MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+). This is the first of two scheduled meetings between the new Eastern Conference opponents this season and the only one in Orlando. The Lions will return to Charlotte on Wednesday, August 30th.
Here’s what you need to know before playing.
The Lions are 2-0-0 in the all-time series and 1-0-0 at home against the sophomore team. The teams last met at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium on August 21, with Tesho Akindele’s late goal leading Orlando to a 2-1 win. After a scoreless first half, Ercan Kara put the Lions ahead only to see McKinze Gaines level just four minutes later.
That win in North Carolina was the second in a streak of five straight victories culminating in last summer’s US Open Cup for Orlando. The Lions then stumbled to just two wins in their last five games of the regular season and then fell to Montreal in the playoffs.
Orlando City won the first-ever clash between the teams on April 30, 2022 at Exploria Stadium. Ruan scored the opening goal and set up Facundo Torres on the break for a second time as the Lions went into the dressing room 2-0. Christian Fuchs struck from the penalty spot after Rodrigo Schlegel was called up for a foul in the box in the second half, but that was as close as Charlotte came in Orlando’s 2-1 win.
Orlando City is taking a short break and playing its fifth game in 15 days. The Lions left everything on the pitch in Wednesday night’s 1-1 home draw with Tigres in the Concacaf Champions League, but it wasn’t enough to progress. The Lions will be looking to bounce back with tired legs and likely plenty of starting lineup rotation. Orlando are undefeated in league play (1-0-2) and all competitions (1-0-4) and at home in league play 1-0-1 (1-0-2 in all competitions). City have drawn four consecutive games in all competitions – winning every game since their opening day against the New York Red Bulls.
The main reason the Lions keep drawing is a lack of goals. Orlando City have scored just twice in three league games and once in their two CCL games. One of the few MLS teams to score fewer than Orlando’s two league goals is Charlotte. Enzo Copetti scored in Charlotte’s loss at St. Louis City and the crown was ruled out against New England and Atlanta.
Charlotte is 0-1-0 but scored her only goal away from home. Despite this, the North Carolina club went 3-12-2 away last year, putting them 3-13-2 in their first 18 away games since joining the MLS.
However, the visitors could take their chances tonight. Though he gave up a league-high seven goals of the season that season and had the league’s worst goal difference of -6. But not only will they be the more rested team, they’ll also be faced with an offense that has almost as little bite as their own.
Orlando City must shake off the disappointment of their emotional midweek match against Tigres and regroup on tired legs. The odds are Oscar Pareja will play that five-man defensive line we’ve seen in this patch of game overload, and designated players will likely be limited to a 45-minute maximum, except perhaps for Kara, who arrived late Wednesday.
“At this point in the season, there are a lot of expectations about where the table is,” head coach Oscar Pareja said in his pre-game press conference. “I said that against the Red Bulls last week but we have that urgency as a team to get momentum to jump those hurdles and take three points. We go to Charlotte with the same mentality. We also know it’s a difficult place but we’re trying to go there with confidence and courage and we’ve seen the team work tremendously well this week.
“We’ve played against Charlotte before, so we know how we want to play against them,” midfielder Cesar Araujo said this week. “We’ve had good results so far this year, so we want to continue that first and foremost. We will continue to prepare and then try to get the three points. We expect a great game.”
The Lions did not list anyone attending the game in their availability report. Charlotte is without Guzman Corujo (knee surgery) and goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina (back surgery), while Vinicius Mello (chest injury) is listed as a doubt.
Mandatory Game Content
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defender: Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Michael Halliday.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Mauricio Pereyra.
Attacking midfielders: Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, Martin Ojeda, and Facundo Torres.
Forward: Duncan McGuire.
Bank: Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith, Antonio Carlos, Wilder Cartagena, Felipe, Ivan Angulo, Gaston Gonzalez, Jack Lynn, Ramiro Enrique.
Charlotte FC (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: George Mark.
Defender: Harrison Afful, Bill Tuiloma, Adilson Malanda, Jaylin Lindsey.
Defensive Midfielders: Ashley Westwood, Derrick Jones.
Attacking midfielders: Kerwin Calderon Vargas, Brandt Bronico, McKinze Gaines.
Forward: Enzo Copetti.
Bank: Pablo Sisniega, Christopher Hegardt, Kamil Jozwiak, Nuno Santos, Karol Swiderski, Joseph Mora, Benjamin Bender, Andre Shinyashiki, Nathan Byrne.
ref: Armando Villarreal.
AR1: Nick Uranga.
AR2: Brian Poschel.
4th: Tori Penso.
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
AVAR: Eric Wiesbrod.
how to watch
playing time: 19:30 o’clock
Venue: Exploria Stadium – Orlando.
TV/live stream: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Twitter: For quick response and live updates, follow us at @TheManeLandas well as the official Orlando City Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
enjoy the game go to town