ORLANDO, Fla. (Florida Sports Wire) – Orlando City SC (0-0-1, 2 points)earned two points Friday night after the Club drew Houston Dynamo FC (0-0-1, 1 point) 1-1 and went on to win the penalty shootout, 5-4, in the team’s opening match of the Leagues Cup. City will round out the group stage on Saturday, July 29, when they welcome Liga MX side Santos Laguna to Exploria Stadium.The Lions were backed by a goal from Duncan McGuire, which served as his team-leading ninth goal of the season across all competitions. McGuire leveled the match seconds into the start of the second half and continues to lead all MLS rookies in goals, both in regular season play and across all competitions. The goal also counted as the Club’s first-ever goal in Leagues Cup play. Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese came up big once again for City, making a save in the penalty shootout, stopping Houston’s first try on the net. Gallese extended the Club’s record to 8-0 in penalty shootouts across all competitions since joining MLS back in 2015. On the other side of the penalty shootout, City managed to make all five of their penalty kicks. Forward Ercan Kara was the first to step up, followed by three City defenders in Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson and Antonio Carlos, all converting from the spot. Designated Player Facundo Torres finished off the shootout netting the game-winning penalty.
Match Notes: Duncan McGuire scored his ninth goal of the season across all competitions, which leads all Lions so far this 2023 campaign…the McGuire goal counted as the first ever goal for the Club in Leagues Cup play..the Lions remain undefeated in penalty-kick shootouts since joining MLS in 2015 following the 5-4 penalty shootout win…head coach Oscar Pareja made one change to his starting lineup since his side’s last match against Atlanta United FC, with Martín Ojeda returning to the XI.
The Lions will continue Leagues Cup play as they are set to welcome Liga MX side Santos Laguna on Saturday, July 29. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium.