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Orlando City Opens Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs at Nashville SC

November 22, 2021 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Orlando City SC News Release

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City SC begins its second-consecutive postseason run on Tuesday, Nov. 23, traveling to face Nashville SC in Round One of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. Kickoff for the match, presented by Orlando Health, is slated for 8 p.m. ET at Nissan Stadium.

Tuesday's fixture will be nationally telecast on FS1 and FOX Deportes while being transmitted on 96.9 The Game in English and Acción 97.9FM, 810AM in Spanish. Additional coverage of the match will also be available on City's social channels.

"We are so proud to be a part of the playoffs this year as well. Thinking about what we achieved last year and what we could do this year is relevant for our group to keep going and aim for the big prize. I know we have some challenges in front of us, Nashville being the first, but I see the players very convinced and very focused on accomplishing that objective," Head Coach Oscar Pareja said ahead of the match. "We've overcome many challenges this year and when you see the whole picture, I think overall we're proud and we have a team to compete with anyone in the league. We're focusing on the one game against Nashville and the players have been working hard. We're optimistic, we've had good games against them both here and there and we feel very competitive against them."

The match will serve as the fourth matchup between the Lions and Nashville SC in 2021, each of the three previous ending in a draw. The two sides last faced off on Sunday, Oct. 31 at Exploria Stadium, with the match finishing at 1-1 after what looked to be a stoppage-time game-winner off the foot of Andrés Perea was waived off after Video Review deemed a foul on the play prior to the finish. In two visits to Nissan Stadium this season, City battled to a 1-1 draw on Aug. 18 followed by a 2-2 result on Sept. 29.

City enters the postseason after finishing out the year at sixth in the Eastern Conference, setting Club-records for points in a single-season (51), wins (13), clean sheets (9) and home wins (8), booking a spot in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the second-consecutive year under Head Coach Oscar Pareja.

Daryl Dike and Nani finished the year atop the side with 10 goals apiece in 2021, the former finishing the regular season scoring in each of the Lions' last four matches. The latter led the side in total goal contributions in 2021, with 18 to his credit.

Nashville rounded out 2021 with a record of 12-4-18 at third in the East, the lone Club in MLS to finish the year with an unbeaten record at home. The 2020 expansion side was led by Hany Mukhtar with 16 goals on the year and 12 assists, while goalkeeper Joe Willis led all of MLS with 13 clean sheets.

The winner of Tuesday's match will advance to the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Sunday, Nov. 28, set to take on the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park.

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