Orlando City 2023 Season Preview

Sacramento Republic FC v Orlando City SC - 2022 U.S. Open Cup Final
Sacramento Republic FC v Orlando City SC - 2022 U.S. Open Cup Final / Roy K. Miller/ISI Photos/GettyImages
4 of 5

Now the meat and potatoes. Orlando will compete in four different competitions this season, and will hope to make a run in all of them.

Champions League Prediction
First-round Exit

Orlando has to face Tigres UANL in the first round of Champions League. This is a good Lions team, but Tigres is a different animal (pun very much intended).

It's cool that Orlando City gets to be on the continent's biggest stage for the first time, but it'll be a short-lived continental journey.

Leagues Cup Prediction
Win group, win one knockout game

The Lions will also be facing Liga MX competition in July's Leagues Cup. Orlando has a favorable group against a mediocre Santos Laguna side and the miserable Houston Dynamo. That's a group this team can (and should) win.

For the drama, I'll say Orlando wins the first knockout game in the tournament, but loses in penalties in the next round. You have to love the narratives.

Open Cup Prediction

Orlando is the reigning US Open Cup champion, but the quest for consecutive cups will fall flat. It's a weird, unpredictable tournament. The Lions needed two penalty shootouts to hoist the trophy last season. I'll say a quarterfinal run is on tap this year.