Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday afternoon match-up between Orlando City (5-3-2, 17 points) and CF Montreal (4-3-2, 14 points) at Stade Saputo (4 p.m., FOX 35 Plus). This is the second of the two scheduled meetings between the teams this season and the only meeting in Montreal.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
The Lions are 7-7-3 against Montreal in the all-time league series and 8-7-3 in all competitions since the club joined MLS. Orlando holds a 4-3-1 road record against Montreal, but one of those “road” wins came during the pandemic while the Canadian side was hosting games at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
The teams met most recently on opening day of the 2022 season, when Orlando City captured a 2-0 home win behind second-half goals from Alexandre Pato and Benji Michel.
The last road meeting was a memorable one, coming on Decision Day of 2021, with the Lions earning a 2-0 road victory at Stade Saputo to clinch a playoff spot. Sebas Mendez and Daryl Dike provided the goals. For Mendez, it was his first MLS goal. Last season’s second match-up at Exploria Stadium came on Oct. 20, 2021, with the visitors managing a 1-1 draw. Chris Mueller struck for the Lions just before halftime, but Rudy Camacho answered on a corner kick header shortly after the restart. The first meeting of 2021 took place Sept. 15 in Orlando with the Lions falling 4-2 and finishing the game with just nine men after both Nani and Andres Perea were sent off. Romell Quioto led Montreal with a goal and two assists. Mathieu Choiniere and Quioto put Montreal up 2-0 but despite already being down one man, Robin Jansson and Ruan tied things up. The visitors got two more from Lassi Lappalainen and Sunusi Ibrahim.
The teams met at Red Bull Arena in late 2020 as the then-Impact played home games in New Jersey due to the pandemic. Orlando City got a Dike goal in the 39th minute to win 1-0 on Nov. 1, 2020. It was the second meeting of the 2020 season, with Orlando also beating Montreal 1-0 in the MLS is Back Tournament knockout rounds on July 25 to advance to the quarterfinals. Tesho Akindele scored the game’s only goal on a Montreal defensive mistake. Orlando had controlled the game but was struggling to finish. Ultimately, the one goal was enough.
Orlando City snapped a six-game winless streak against Montreal (0-5-1) in MLS regular-season play dating back to 2016 when the Lions put the Impact to the sword in a 3-0 drubbing at Stade Saputo on June 1, 2019. Nani (penalty), Akindele, and Will Johnson supplied the offense that day.
The main reason the Impact had such success against Orlando the preceding few years was the play of its defense and of former talisman Ignacio Piatti. The Lions fell 3-1 at Exploria Stadium back on March 16, 2019, and Piatti was a big reason why, scoring his ninth and 10th career goals against Orlando, adding to a strike by Orji Okwonkwo. Dom Dwyer added a cosmetic goal late for Orlando City to spoil the clean sheet.
Montreal did not allow a goal against the Lions in 2018, sweeping the two-game set from Orlando, and the Impact shut out Orlando City in three of the six meetings in that 5-0-1 run. The lone draw in that time frame was a 3-3 shootout in Orlando in 2017, in which the Impact led deep in stoppage time, only to see Jonathan Spector’s well-placed header steal the Lions a point.
The first match in the Impact’s successful run vs. Orlando occurred Oct. 2, 2016, when Montreal stole a 1-0 win in Orlando after bunkering down and hitting on a Dominic Oduro counter-attack goal. The Lions dominated the match, out-shooting the Impact, 22-4, and holding 66.8% of the possession (74.2% in the second half). Oduro’s goal was the only shot on target by Montreal and it eliminated the Lions from playoff contention that year.
Orlando won the first two meetings in 2016 by a combined score of 6-2. The teams split three meetings in 2015, with each going 1-1-1.
The Lions enter this match off the heels of last Saturday’s 2-1 win over Charlotte FC. Ruan and Facundo Torres pushed Orlando to a 2-0 lead before a questionable penalty on Rodrigo Schlegel gave Christian Fuchs a chance to pull one back from the spot, making for a more nervy finish than the game warranted. Orlando is 2-0-2 in road matches on the season.
Montreal is on a good run of form, entering on a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2) after starting the season 0-3. The artists formerly known as the Impact are 2-1-0 in home matches but the lone loss came at Stade Olympique. Montreal is 2-0-0 at Stade Saputo in 2022. Former Lion Kamal Miller, who posted the exact same one-goal, one-assist performance that Orlando City’s Ruan did last weekend, is the reigning MLS Player of the Week? Why? Well, obviously there’s a huge anti-Orlando conspiracy and it’s better trolling to give that to the former Lion than the current one. Or something. Anyway...
“We’re excited here, working toward this game in Canada against Montreal, a rival that we already played here at home in our opener,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said in his pre-match press conference. “(Montreal is) a place that brought us good memories from that last game in the regular season last year when we clinched (a playoff spot). We do respect them a lot. They’re a good team that have good coaching there too, and I see a model very clearly in the way they do things. So, we have been preparing this week with a lot of expectations and a lot of positivism.”
Montreal is a good defensive club that can hit on the counter and create from wide areas through Djordje Mihailovic and Quioto. Mihailovic had an impressive 16 assists to go along with four goals in 2021 and this year he leads his team with an impressive four goals and four assists in nine games (eight starts). Orlando must smother him and/or deny him the ball. Ruan will need to stay home somewhat to ensure Mihailovic has less space to pick out crosses but the Lions will also need to avoid conceding corners and other set pieces as much as possible. Quioto had eight goals and six assists in 2021 and destroyed Orlando in the first meeting last year. He’s already posted three goals this season. The Lions’ center backs will have their hands full with him.
Speaking of Orlando City’s center backs, the Lions will be without both central defense starters. Antonio Carlos (hamstring) is out for an extended period of time and Robin Jansson picked up his fifth yellow card last week and is suspended for this match. Additionally, Tesho Akindele (thigh) and Silvester van der Water (lower leg) are listed as questionable. Montreal will be without Mason Toye (adductor), Bjorn Johnsen (foot), Victor Wanyama (yellow card accumulation), and Ismaël Koné (yellow card accumulation).
Mandatory Match Content
- This week’s PawedCast features our key match-ups and score predictions.
- Our Dave Rohe gave his three keys to victory for Orlando City.
- Our Josh Munsey provided a scouting report on CF Montreal.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Thomas Williams, Rodrigo Schlegel, Ruan.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Sebas Mendez.
Attacking Midfielders: Facundo Torres, Mauricio Pereyra, Benji Michel.
Forward: Alexandre Pato.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith, Michael Halliday, Brandon Hackenberg, Andres Perea, Junior Urso, Jake Mulraney, Jack Lynn, Ercan Kara.
CF Montreal (3-4-3)
Goalkeeper: Sebastian Breza.
Defenders: Kamal Miller, Rudy Camacho, Joel Waterman.
Midfielders: Lassi Lappalainen, Samuel Piette, Mathieu Choinière, Alistair Johnston.
Forwards: Djordje Mihailovic, Romell Quioto, Joaquin Torres.
Bench: James Pantemis, Zorhan Bassong, Zachary Brault-Guillard, Gabriele Corbo, Rida Zouhir, Matko Miljevic, Ahmed Hamdi, Jojea Kwizera, Kei Kamara,
Ref: Guido Gonzales Jr.
AR1: Gianni Facchini.
AR2: Lyes Arfa.
4th: Pierre-Luc Lauziere.
VAR: Chris Penso.
AVAR: Claudiu Badea.
How to Watch
Match Time: 4 p.m. ET.
Venue: Stade Saputo — Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (local only).
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ (out of market only) and on the LionNation app (local only).
Enjoy the match. Go City!
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