Orlando City SC

Orlando City Remains Unbeaten in Season Openers, Takes 1-0 Shutout Victory Over New York Red Bulls

February 25, 2023 - Major League Soccer (MLS)
Orlando City SC News Release

ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City SC (1-0-0, 3 points) defeated the New York Red Bulls (0-1-0, 0 points) 1-0 on Saturday night to start their 2023 Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign. With the victory, the Lions have now gone nine-years unbeaten to start a campaign, having yet to lose on opening night since joining the league in 2015.

The Lions were backed by a penalty kick goal from forward Facundo Torres in the second half. The goal marked the Lion's first goal of the 2023 season and Torres' 10th in MLS.

Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made four saves on the night, including two highlight saves in the 86th minute along with a denial of a Red Bulls free kick at the death to seal the victory for the home side. 'El Pulpo' has started in between the sticks to open City's last four campaigns, recording a clean sheet all four years.

Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja:

"It was a very intense game against a rival that didn't give up at any minute. With their pressure and the way they structure their defensive formation in the middle and in front, it is very difficult to break. For us, it was a big challenge to find the spaces that we normally do or that we have found in the past games, and we didn't want to give up on the idea, especially in the first half, we didn't have success with it. The second half was very level. I thought we were getting more glimpses of good sequences and this time being more ourselves. I think the best part of the game for us was that we covered that intensity at the time and our hearts were great today. It was a very deserving three points. We are happy and pleased with the heart and obviously the first game at home opening in front of our fans and getting three points against such a good rival is very valuable."

Scoring Recap:

56' Facundo Torres (Penalty Kick) - ORL 1, RBNY 0

Following a handball in the box by the Red Bulls' defense, the Lions took the lead after the break with Facundo Torres stepping to the spot and slotting it down the middle for the first goal of the 2023 campaign.

Match Notes:

Facundo Torres netted his first goal of the 2023 campaign, now with 14 in purple across all competitions and 10 in MLS. Torres now has scored in three-consecutive matches against Saturday's opposition, netting the game-winner in the Lions' previous match against the Red Bulls, a 1-0 victory on the road on Aug. 13, 2022.

Pedro Gallese made four saves and extended his streak of shutouts on opening night to four-consecutive campaigns, not allowing a goal in a season-opener since his arrival to the City Beautiful.

Luca Petrasso and Martín Ojeda each made their Orlando City debuts with the start on Saturday night, with the latter making his MLS debut as well.

Mauricio Pereyra began his campaign as captain for the Lions for the second-consecutive year, registering his 99th appearance in purple in all competitions.

Ramiro Enrique tallied his debut in purple, entering the game in the 63rd minute.

Dagur Dan Thórhallsson appeared in his first match for the Lions, coming into the game in the 78th minute.

Next Match: Orlando City will host FC Cincinnati on Saturday, March 4, at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

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