MLS: Orlando City SC has turned the page and says it is ready for CF Montreal
Because they had no choice, head coach Oscar Pareja and his Orlando City SC players turned the page on the heartbreaking outcome of their game last Sunday against Nashville SC. But that does not mean that it is totally erased from their memory.
“I don’t think we’re going to forget what happened in the last game. I think it will stay, because it was incredible, ”said Pareja during a videoconference held on Friday at noon, in anticipation of Sunday’s clash at Saputo stadium against CF Montreal.
“After the game (last Sunday) I said it was over and we had to move forward. All week we have been focusing on what’s to come, and what’s to come is playing this game in Montreal. All day, all week, the guys only talked about this game. The past is the past, and we are focusing our preparation on the things we need to do right and what this game will require of us. We want to be ready for Sunday, ”he added.
Pareja and his players believed they deserved a 2-1 victory last Sunday after Andrés Perea lodged the ball in a wide-open net in stoppage time in the second half, following a free kick that hit the horizontal bar.
However, the video assistant to the referee intervened and canceled the goal, claiming that there had been a foul by an Orlando City SC player in the penalty area just before Perea’s kick.
Instead of giving Orlando City SC a victory, 50 points in the standings and a guaranteed place in the playoffs in the MLS Eastern Conference, the draw left Florida with 48 points.
Thus, it will have to fight one more battle against an opponent who is only two points behind, and who went to steal four points out of a possible six at Exploria Stadium in 2021.
Aided by a second yellow card awarded to Nani in the 35th minute of play, CF Montreal was one of two teams to defeat Orlando City SC in its castle this season, 4-2 on September 15.
About a month later, back at home, Orlando City SC (12-9-12) had to settle for a 1-1 score in a game he had dominated, overall.
A goal from defender Rudy Camacho in the 51st minute helped CF Montreal (12-11-10) to snatch this precious point in the standings.
Pareja did not speak about the first meeting between the two teams, but he lingered on the second stopover of the Montreal troop in Orlando.
“We had a good game, a good performance despite the result. I thought we should have collected all three points. Now we have this opportunity to go to Canada and not just to qualify, but to put the finishing touches (to the season) by collecting the three points, ”said Pareja.
CF Montreal absolutely must win to participate in the playoffs. If he succeeds, he will have succeeded in confusing the many « experts » who had placed him last in the East before the start of the season.
“I think Montreal has been consistent in its way of doing things,” said Pareja when asked to explain his successes in 2021.
“It’s a team that has good players and it’s no surprise that they had good results. It is a very competent club. «