Orlando City achieve 2-1 victory against Philadelphia Union at Exploria Stadium

Carlos Hernandez

Orlando City SC secured victory against the Philadelphia Union on Thursday night with a 2-1 victory at Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando. Chris Mueller surpassed former Lions midfielder Cristian Higuita to become the Club’s all-time leader in appearances across all competitions with his 109th in purple at the start of the game.

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Exploria Stadium in downtown Orlando.Mark Thor - Orlando City SC.

Benji Michel netted his third finish of the year in the 10th minute of play, followed by Andrés Perea finding the back of the net for the second time in three matches for the eventual game-winner in the 59th. Benji Michel netted his third goal of the year in the match, the 15th of his professional career in his 60th appearance for the Club across all competitions.

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Orlando City game.Mark Thor - Orlando City SC.

Mauricio Pereyra recorded an assist on each of the Lions’ finishes to take the team lead with six on the year, while Nani tied the Club-record in all competitions for City with his 22nd helper on Perea’s second-half finish. The Portuguese international joins teammate Chris Mueller and former Lions’ captain Kaká at that mark.

Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese tallied four saves in the match, two of which came in the dying moments of the contest to preserve the victory for the Lions. The City defense held the Union without a shot on goal for the first 78 minutes of play, allowing just four in total on the night.

Head Coach Oscar Pareja says, “First of all, congratulations to the footballers today. It’s a fantastic win in a very difficult game in front of our fans. We wanted them to enjoy another victory after a period where we have been suffering a lot, trying to get the squad healthy and trying to get everybody back.”

“Today we faced a rival that has a lot of consistency in their ways and I think we were protagonists, especially in the first half. Fantastic match against a fantastic opponent and three points that we value a lot tonight.”

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Lions locker room.Mark Thor - Orlando City SC.

The Lions are now traveling to take on 2015 expansion rivals New York City FC on Sunday, July 25th at Yankee Stadium. Orlando City SC joined Major League Soccer (MLS) as the league's 21st franchise in November 2013, becoming the first MLS team in the Southeast.

The Lions began league play in March 2015, and in 2017, moved into its privately-owned downtown soccer stadium.

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