Orlando City SC will chase a second trophy this year after securing an Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs spot on Decision Day, the regular season's final matchday.
They joined the seven-team Eastern Conference playoff field Sunday via a dramatic 2-1 win over Columbus Crew, and now they’ll be the No. 7 seed and face No. 2 CF Montréal in Round One.
The Lions won their first-ever piece of silverware as an MLS club in early September, lifting the US Open Cup via a 3-0 victory over USL Championship side Sacramento Republic FC. That result also booked a Concacaf Champions League ticket for 2023.
Playoff history, key pieces
Orlando have made the postseason three years running, which coincides with head coach Oscar Pareja’s arrival to central Florida and a front office steered by general manager Luiz Muzzi.
The club’s only won one previous playoff round, though, a legendary Round One triumph over New York City FC on penalty kicks in 2020 that saw center back Rodrigo Schlegel don the goalkeeper gloves during the shootout.
This year, Orlando’s developed a new-look offense with the arrivals of winger Facundo Torres and striker Ercan Kara as Designated Players. They’ve joined veteran mainstays ranging from goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and center back Antonio Carlos to midfielders Junior Urso and Mauricio Pereyra. Defensive midfielder Cesar Araujo, an offseason signing via the U22 Initiative, has proved essential as well.
Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs
MLS Cup 2022 is set for Nov. 5, while the playoffs will get underway Oct. 15 with Round One games (the top seed in each conference gets a bye).
The timeline takes into consideration the FIFA 2022 World Cup starting Nov. 20 in Qatar, rather than during the event’s typical summer months.