It’s the latest milestone for the Lions under head coach Óscar Pareja, who last year brought the club their first MLS-era trophy after winning the 2022 US Open Cup.
The Colombian manager is adamant Orlando have what it takes to establish an even bigger milestone by season’s end – reaching MLS Cup presented by Audi on Dec. 9.
“We’re gonna do the best we can to put this team in an MLS Cup final, and we think we can do it,” Pareja said after the lopsided win at Exploria Stadium.
Goals from Jonathan Sirois (own-goal), Dagur Thórhallsson and Facundo Torres gave the Lions their sixth win in nine games as they look to secure second place in the East (FC Cincinnati clinched the top spot and Supporters’ Shield Saturday night), thus guaranteeing home-field advantage throughout most of the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
For Pareja, the higher the seeding, the better the chances of reaching the ultimate goal of winning it all.
“The only thing I’d like to say is that my head is placed on doing the best we can with this group, giving Orlando a title and continuing with this chemistry we’ve created,” Pareja said. “I’m very happy for the people, for the group and for the fans because we are one big family.
“Now we all have the same objective: aiming for the final.”
Before a fourth straight playoff trip awaits, Orlando have three games remaining in the regular season. Up next is Wednesday night’s visit to Eastern Conference rival Nashville SC (8:30 pm ET | Apple TV - Free, FS1).
“Wednesday is going to be a very tough game,” said Peruvian international midfielder Wilder Cartagena. “Since I’ve been at the club, Nashville, I’d say, have given us the most problems.
“… Let’s hope we can take the three points from there to secure second place,” added Cartagena. “That’s very important for us.”