Orlando City needs a result to extend its season
By Official Florida FC
Orlando City heads into the final game of the MLS regular season with its fate in its hands. The Lions will face CF Montreal knowing a result would secure a playoff berth for the second straight season.
“Obviously going into the last game of the regular season needing a result creates more stress,” Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja said in a Thursday press conference. “… It becomes ‘no tomorrow,’ you know?”
The top seven teams in both the Eastern and Western conferences qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Orlando City (12-9-12, 48 points) enters Decision Day in sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Lions enter the match having earned nine points in six October matches. Meanwhile, Montreal (12-11-10, 46 points) is eighth in the Eastern Conference. Sandwiched between the two are the surging New York Red Bulls (13-12-8, 47 points)
In Major League Soccer the first tiebreaker is number of wins. But, it’s unlikely a tiebreaker, whether wins or goal difference, would come into play to determine Orlando’s training schedule next week.
Orlando City’s Daryl Dike is in form. The 22-year-old colossus of a center forward has scored in each of his last three matches and in six of his last eight. He did play 86 minutes, without a goal, against Montreal when the teams drew 1-1 in Orlando on Oct. 20. Another goal on Sunday would make Dike the seventh person in Orlando City’s MLS tenure to score 10, or more, goals in a regular season.
“We have this opportunity to not just qualify, but put the final touch (on the season) by getting three points,” Pareja said.