By the Numbers: the Opening Round of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs
5 - Matches without a loss
Orlando City's 12-game unbeaten run was the talk of MLS this fall, but the Lions have their own mini-streak going against playoff opponents New York City FC. Orlando has gone five straight games in all competitions without a loss against NYCFC, including the "Running of the Wall" game in the 2019 U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. The Lions and Pigeons drew twice in the 2019 regular season, while Orlando took all three points in a bubble blowout in July and the teams split the spoils at Exploria last month.
5 (again) - It pays to have Cash
Chris Mueller has scored 19 times in an Orlando shirt in all competitions, and a staggering five of those goals have come against NYCFC, all in the last two years. Mueller scored against the Pigeons in the 2019 season opener, in regulation of the Running of the Wall game, and again in the regular season this year. His last two were perhaps his most famous, as Cash picked up a brace in the opening ten minutes of this year's bubble game to announce his 2020 breakout season.
8 - Nani knockout knowledge
Nani is one of the most experienced and successful players in MLS, and he's no stranger to knockout-style tournaments like the MLS Cup Playoffs. Nani has taken home 16 trophies in his career, and eight of them came in elimination set-ups, including his two most prestigious honors-the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League and the 2016 UEFA European Championship. The former went to a penalty shootout, where Nani coolly converted from the spot to help Manchester United sink Chelsea. Nani has also won three Portuguese Cups, one Portuguese League Cup, and two English League Cups.
2.18 - Formidable opposition
For all of Orlando City's recent success against NYCFC, they are up against a very formidable opponent on Saturday afternoon. The Pigeons got off to a terrible start under Ronny Deila, going 1-5-0 in their first six matches, but have since more than recovered, going 11-3-3 over their final 17 games to reach the 5 seed in the East. NYCFC has averaged a whopping 2.18 points per game in that run, which stretches back to August 24. The Pigeons have also won four straight games going into the postseason.
1.5 - FAIRWINDS Credit Union
Score up to 1.5% cash back and LionNation points when you use your FAIRWINDS Orlando City Visa® or Orlando Pride Visa® on game day purchases and everyday essentials. Apply today and get purple carded.
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Major League Soccer Stories from November 17, 2020
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