Orlando City’s Leagues Cup opponents revealed; Pedro Gallese is back; Luis Grassow announces retirement

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Photo Courtesy of Orlando City SC

Orlando City’s Leagues Cup opponents were revealed on Friday, and it has them traveling to Exploria Stadium this summer to kick off group play.

Liga MX club Santos Laguna and Houston Dynamo were tagged with the Lions in Group South 2 ahead of the newly formatted 2023 Leagues Cup competition, beginning play in late July through early August.

Orlando City will host its group-stage games against Santos and Houston with the top two teams based on points advancing to the knockout stage. If a game is tied after 90 minutes, the game will proceed to a penalty shootout.

The knockout stage will then consist of single-game elimination; starting with the Round of 32, Round of 16, quarterfinals, semifinals, and championship final — including a third-place match.

The winner of the 2023 Leagues Cup will directly qualify toward the Round of 16 of the 2024 Concacaf Champions League, with the finalist and third-place winner earning respective berths to the first round of that competition.

The 2023 MLS regular season will pause during the duration of this competition.

Games will be streamed live through the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV and broadcast on TUDN and FOX Sports with the final airing on Univision in Spanish.

2023 Orlando City season ticket holders will have access to both group stage matches at Exploria Stadium. The dates and times of the games will be announced at a later date.

Grassow hangs up boots

Orlando City announced on Friday that second-round draft pick Luis Grassow decided to retire citing personal reasons.

The 24-year-old defender was selected as the No. 46 pick out of the University of Kentucky during December’s 2023 MLS SuperDraft.

The team announced it will retain his MLS rights as part of the College Protected List.

Lions called up

Orlando City Academy products and First-Teamers Michael Halliday, Thomas Williams and Alex Freeman were called up to the United States U-20 national team for training camp through January at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.

The training camp will serve as preparation for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia scheduled to start on May 20.

Pulpo is Here

Pedro Gallese is back…


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