Orlando City put itself in a good position to reach the MLS is Back Tournament knockout round with wins against Inter Miami and New York City FC. The Lions fought back in the opening game to come from behind against the South Floridian expansion side and jumped on NYCFC early and held on. Those results, combined with the Philadelphia Union’s wins over NYCFC and Inter Miami, push the Lions through into the knockout stage regardless of what happens Monday night between OCSC and Philadelphia.
Despite already being in the knockout stages, there is still plenty to play for on Monday for both teams. Both will want to win Group A and grab a better seeding for the knockout round. In addition, Major League Soccer already announced that the group stage match results will count in the 2020 regular season standings.
Both Orlando and Philadelphia have taken full advantage so far, and three more valuable points are up for grabs on Monday when the teams meet at 8 p.m. (TUDN, Twitter).
Orlando players have spoken a lot since the start of the tournament about how important these group stage games are, because they “count double,” as Tesho Akindele said. The six points so far not only put Orlando through to the second phase of the tournament, but they’ll carry those into whatever regular season awaits down the line after MLS is Back concludes.
The Lions and Union will battle it out Monday night for the top of Group A. It’s difficult to say which team had better results. Philadelphia and Orlando each beat Miami 2-1. The Union beat NYCFC 1-0 and Orlando won by a 3-1 score over the Pigeons, but Maxi Moralez was available for the opener.
Whatever happens on Monday, it should be fun to watch — especially knowing Orlando City is already into the next round.