Orlando City SC have secured a fourth straight postseason trip, booking their Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs ticket despite losing in Matchday 33.
The Lions, who have rocketed up the standings in the second half of the season, are near club records for wins and points before Decision Day on Oct. 21.
This all signifies steady growth under head coach Oscar Pareja, who steered Orlando to their first MLS-era trophy last year when winning the US Open Cup – further distancing the club from their 2015-19 frustrations upon joining the league.
Orlando are getting steady contributions from their two Designated Players: Uruguay international Facundo Torres (12g, 4a) and wintertime signing Martín Ojeda (6g, 9a). They've also assimilated striker Duncan McGuire (8g, 2a), developing yet another SuperDraft selection and offsetting DP striker Ercan Kara's midseason transfer to the Turkish Süper Lig.
Two Peruvian internationals, goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and midfielder Wilder Cartagena, remain crucial for the Lions. Ditto for center backs Robin Jansson and Antônio Carlos, as well as club captain Mauricio Pereyra.
Will it all add up to Orlando's deepest-ever playoff run? They've never advanced past the Eastern Conference Semifinals (2020).
Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs
MLS Cup presented by Audi is set for Dec. 9, while the playoffs begin Oct. 25-26 with Wild Card matches. All games can be watched on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.
- Seeds 1-7 in each conference qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series.
- Seeds 8-9 in each conference qualify for the Wild Card matches.