Storylines: City vs. Nashville SC

November 8, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Orlando City SC News Release

El Maestro

Midfielder Mauricio Pereyra had yet another impressive showing on Wednesday night against Columbus, registering his second multi-assist performance of the year with the pass that led to both goals on the night for the Lions. His first such performance came against Sunday's opposition on Aug. 26 at Exploria, with his total on the year now sitting at eight for the team lead. Pereyra has now registered the assist on each of the Lions' last three finishes, with his midweek performance earning him his second-consecutive MLS Team of the Week selection.

A Homegrown Hero

Benji Michel scored his fifth goal of the year on Wednesday night and his most important for the Club since signing a Homegrown contract ahead of the 2019 season. Michel's game-winner effectively clinched a home playoff match for the Lions in the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, with the side now a lock for a top-four finish in the East. The Homegrown scored his first professional goal against Columbus on July 13 of last year, a game-winner in the same minute mark as Wednesday's at the 84th minute of play, with his total now at 10 goals as a Lion.

Another Historic Milestone

With the victory on Wednesday evening, the Lions clinched a top-four finish in the Eastern Conference upon conclusion of the 2020 Major League Soccer regular season, ensuring their first postseason match in Club history will take place at Exploria Stadium. This milestone came just over two weeks after City clinched a playoff berth in the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, a historic mark reached on Oct. 18.

Keep Cashing In

Chris Mueller extended his team lead in finishes on Wednesday evening, netting the first goal in the match for the Lions in the 27th minute of play. The 2018 MLS SuperDraft selection has found the back of the net for the Lions 10 times this season, with six assists to his credit to put his total goal contributions at 16, a team-high. Mueller has appeared in all but one match for the Lions this season, with 82 appearances in total in MLS play since being drafted in 2018.

Rising Up the Ranks

With the victory on Wednesday evening, Head Coach Oscar Pareja took sole possession of eighth in MLS all-time coaching wins with the 114th victory of his career. Pareja passes former D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen on that list, accomplishing this feat in 74 fewer matches than Olsen at 260 compared to 334. At 114, Pareja is seven matches away from the next man on the list in former Orlando City Head Coach Jason Kreis, who sits in seventh at 121.

Defending the Fortress

The Lions continue to hold strong as just one of three teams undefeated at home this season, the other two being FC Dallas and Philadelphia Union. With a win on Sunday, it would mark the first time in Club history that City would close a campaign with an unbeaten home record, its next best mark coming in its inaugural season in 2015 at 7-5-5 in the City Beautiful. The Lions currently sit at 7-0-3 at home this year, with a +13 goal differential through 10 matches.

Against Nashville

Sunday will mark the third time the Lions will face off against Nashville SC this season, with a 1-0-1 record in their previous two meetings. City first met the Music City-based side on Aug. 26 in its MLS Phase 1 Continuation of Play opener at Exploria Stadium, a match that resulted in a 3-1 victory for the home side behind a brace from Daryl Dike. Just a week later, the Lions would travel to Nashville and return with a road point, with Benji Michel scoring a stunner in a 1-1 draw at Nissan Stadium.

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