Four games left means "four finals" for playoff-chasing Orlando City SC

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City approach their final lap of the regular season still in contention to make the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in club history.

For veteran midfielder Cristian Higuita, every one of the Lions’ last four games is a final.

It’s a phrase not only Higuita, but several other players have tossed around in recent weeks. Following Saturday’s 2-2 draw against LAFC at Exploria Stadium and looking ahead at their upcoming game against the New England Revolution (Saturday, 7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada), it’s a mentality needed to yield positive results.

“Right now, we have four games left, four games that are four finals,” said Higuita. “We had five [games] and now we got a point out of the first one and we have to keep adding points because we need them.”

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Orlando sit four points away from the last playoff spot on the Eastern Conference table, and with four games left in the season, the Lions have themselves a hefty slate of games ahead. The Lions host the Revs this weekend, then travel to Houston and Cincinnati before welcoming the Chicago Fire to Exploria Stadium on Decision Day presented by AT&T.

“It’s very exciting,” O’Connor said after Saturday’s game, where the Lions led the league leaders for nearly an hour only to leak a late Diego Rossi equalizer. “We’re not going to sit and dwell. I think for us, we need to focus on New England, a massive game, and I think it’s fantastic that we’re involved in a game like that towards the end of the season, very exciting.

“The crowd were absolutely immense tonight, when you look at the support that they’ve shown, the volume that they brought, we’re going to need that again for next week,” he added. “For us, next week is a massive game for us. We’ll get over it tonight, and we’ll make sure we’re focused for next week.”

The Lions were missing several key players on national team duty on Saturday but welcomed back Ruan, who missed the Lions’ last four games and entered the match as questionable as he recovered from a hamstring injury.

The speedy Brazilian right back notched an assist on Benji Michel’s goal, and said that despite the disappointing aspects of the LAFC result, there’s still much to play for.

“I was very happy that I got the opportunity to get an assist on a very good play,” said Ruan. “But it’s not over yet, we still have four games left. We have to keep our mentality high and just take advantage of the four games that we have.”


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