Orlando City SC has one of the top records in the MLS and is coming off a notable result.
This is no time to back off going into Wednesday night’s match at Charlotte FC.
“We knew about these two upcoming games in Charlotte and Cincinnati, who are rivals and from our conference,” Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja said. “We keep our commitment to go there and play good soccer and fight for those points that are crucial for our opportunity to qualify for the playoffs.”
Orlando City (12-6-7, 43 points) has split two games since returning to MLS action this month. Most recently was the weekend’s 2-1 home victory against St. Louis City.
“We are going to get ready for Charlotte and a busy week and Cincinnati,” Pareja said. “The boys dream high and (by defeating St. Louis) we showed that we are a very good team.”
Charlotte FC (7-9-8, 29 points) returned to MLS play by defeating Los Angeles FC 2-1 on Saturday night at home.
Orlando City and Charlotte just faced the top two teams from the Western Conference with positive results. So confidence should be high for both sides.
“I think just the way we went toe to toe with them,” Charlotte captain Ashley Westwood said. “We showed we want to play, that we’ve got our style, we’re going to dominate the ball. We can gain even more confidence from the game (Saturday).”
Charlotte has 10 matches remaining in its bid for a playoff spot.
“We have 10, it’s like a third (of a season),” Charlotte coach Christian Lattanzio said. “There is a third of the league left, so there is a lot to play for. I think that if we do well, in this third of the league, we have all the opportunity to give ourselves a chance to make playoffs.”
Orlando City’s collective determination has been a difference maker at times.
“This team doesn’t fall,” Orlando City forward Facundo Torres said. “It continues fighting.”
Charlotte won 2-1 in mid-March at Orlando City.
Orlando City is 6-3-3 on the road this season.
–Field Level Media
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