Halfway through 2022, Major League Soccer and Apple announced a new 10-year partnership aimed at expanding the scope of the league for MLS fans across the country. The 2023 MLS Season Pass roll-out began at the beginning of the month, and fans and casual streaming warriors have now had a little over a week to explore the type and amount of content released on the platform. I have had the pleasure of exploring the Orlando City content for the last week and here are my initial takeaways of the quality and quantity of coverage for the Lions.
Two of Orlando City’s three Designated Players share a massive section of the preseason space on the team page. Facundo Torres is featured in an eight-and-a-half-minute feature in which he discusses his experiences during his first year in Orlando, his time representing his country at the World Cup, and his goals and aspirations for the season ahead.
Astute listeners will even catch a mention of the rumors this winter of Arsenal’s interest in acquiring him, which, for the time being seem to be all smoke and no fire. It should not come as any surprise that these two players would receive the lion’s share of the promo coverage, as not only were they instrumental pieces of the 2022 attack, but also are poised to spearhead the OCSC offense once again in 2023. This is a solid section on the team page, but hopefully as the season progresses, additional content will be added for the entire roster.
Relive the Best Moments of 2022
The best of 2022 section includes the top goals and saves from last season. Honestly, this is the type of content all congregated in one place that I could have used about two months ago when I was going through my off-season Orlando City withdrawals. It is hard not to feel immediate excitement when scrolling through this section, watching great goals from the likes of Mauricio Pereyra, Junior Urso, and Alexandre Pato, as well as the highlight-reel clip from Save of the Year winner Pedro Gallase. My suspicion is that this section will be constantly updated as the season starts, and I, for one, am here for it.
History at the Forefront
As the saying goes, “you can’t know where you are going without knowing where you came from,” and for me, the section containing both the Orlando club profile — narrated by our own Miguel Gallardo — and The Match on the Line are by far my favorite items released so far. Both pieces do a beautiful job of highlighting the history of the club and some of the most iconic moments that the team has experienced to date. This is certainly the place to start when you open up the Apple TV app and are exploring for the first time. Shoutouts to the USL days, the Running of the Wall, “Papi, I can do that!”, and the 2022 U.S. Open Cup championship all make appearances in the club’s profile video. If a friend or family member just doesn’t quite get your Orlando City obsession, sit them down in front of this video and they will soon see the light.
My early impressions of the content available so far are fairly positive as there certainly appears to be a bump up in production value, and as time moves forward, the amount of content will certainly grow. If I had one gripe so far, it is that the layout when you physically get into the Apple TV app to access the MLS Season pass seems a little clunky and at times has been buried in the user interface. All in all, solid behind-the-scenes looks, player profiles, and live match streaming with no blackouts or restrictions makes for an enticing new experience for MLS fans as the 2023 season draws near.
Have you had time to check out the Orlando City coverage yet? As always, let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below.