Welcome to your match thread for a Tuesday night Concacaf Champions League match-up between Orlando City and Tigres UANL of Liga MX at Estadio Universitario (a.k.a. El Volcán) at 10 p.m. (FOX Sports 2, TUDN). It’s the first meeting ever between the teams and just the second time Orlando City has faced a Liga MX side in a competitive match. For the Lions, it is their first ever foray into CCL play.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
There is none, both against the opponent and in the competition. However, Oscar Pareja has coached in Liga MX before, leading Tijuana in 2018-2019, so he, at least, will have some familiarity with playing in the Monterrey area.
The Lions are experiencing just their second international cup competition, having faced a Liga MX side just once previously — a 1-0 loss to Santos Laguna at home in the 2021 Leagues Cup. Current starters Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, and Mauricio Pereyra started that match. Tonight’s match will be Orlando City’s first competitive match on Mexican soil.
Orlando City is coming off a 0-0 draw against FC Cincinnati at home on Saturday night. The Lions have managed just one weak shot on target in the run of play through two matches this season. That’s not the recipe for success in Mexico in a CCL match-up. The Lions were able to give several starters at least some rest on Saturday, but rested or not, Orlando must control the ball more to have any chance of even staying in tonight’s match, let alone bringing home any points.
Tonight’s game will be Orlando’s competitive first road test of any kind in 2023.
Tigres, which has been playing league games since Jan. 8 and is second in the table — just four points behind Monterrey — is coming off a 1-0 win at Necaxa on Friday night. So, the Mexican side has one more day of rest in addition to being at home. Uruguayan midfielder Fernando Gorriarán scored the lone goal in that match, and if that name sounds familiar, it might be because he played for Santos Laguna against Orlando City in the 2021 Leagues Cup match. It is unlikely the team will be looking ahead to upcoming games against Club America or Rayados, so expect Tigres’ best.
Manager Marco Antonio Ruiz seems to prefer deploying his Tigres troops in either a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-2 formation. The biggest name on the squad is 37-year-old French striker André-Pierre Gignac, who is always a lethal threat. However, Gignac hasn’t appeared in the last few games after sustaining a muscle injury against Atlas. His injury was believed to be short-term, so don’t be surprised to see him in the lineup, potentially coming off the bench.
Even if Gignac doesn’t play, Tigres still has plenty of firepower, including Uruguayan international Gorriarán, promising Mexican attacker Sebastián Córdova, and striker Nicolás Ibáñez. At the other end of Tigres’ formation, veteran Nahuel “Patón” Guzmán is one of the best goalkeepers in Liga MX.
Frankly, Orlando City could hardly have drawn a tougher opponent for its first CCL match. But the Lions seem eager to test themselves against such a quality opponent.
“Now we have Tigres in front of us. They are one of the best teams in the territory, one of the best teams in the competition, they are the Super Tigres and all those things, but we are Orlando City and we are going to go there with faith, with character, and we know we can do this,” Pareja said after the draw with FC Cincinnati on Saturday. “We are going to represent what we earn. Now Cincinnati is gone, and we go to Monterrey with positives, with energy, and pride, as we take Orlando City into its first international competition. We are proud.”
Orlando City’s injury list includes three players who are questionable: Antonio Carlos, Ramiro Enrique, and Favian Loyola.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Luca Petrasso, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Michael Halliday.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Mauricio Pereyra.
Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, Facundo Torres.
Forward: Ramiro Enrique.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Rafael Santos, Kyle Smith, Abdi Salim, Thomas Williams, Wilder Cartagena, Felipe, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, Gaston Gonzalez, Shak Mohammed, Duncan McGuire, Ercan Kara.
Goalkeeper: Nahuel Guzmán.
Defenders: Jesús Angulo, Samir, Igor Lichnovsky, Javier Aquino.
Midfielders: Luis Quiñones, Juan Pablo Vigon, Rafael Carioca, Fernando Gorriarán.
Forwards: Andre-Pierre Gignac, Nicolas Ibañez.
Bench: Miguel Ortega, Arturo Delgado, Diego Lainez, Raymundo Fulgencio, Vladimir Lorona, Diego Reyes, Jesus Garza, Eduardo Tercero, Nicolas Lopez, Guido Pizarro, Sebastián Córdova, Sebastian Fierro.
Ref: Mario Escobar
AR1: Luis Ventura,
AR2: Humberto Panjoj
4th: Julio Luna
VAR: Ricardo Montero
How to Watch
Match Time: 10 p.m. ET.
Venue: Estadio Universitario — San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León, Mexico.
TV: FOX Sports 2, TUDN.
Streaming: The match can be streamed on FOX Sports GO, the FOX Sports app TUDN.com, and the TUDN app.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
Enjoy the match. Go City!