Orlando City to host Charlotte FC in inaugural meeting

Orlando City SC (4-3-2, 14 points) returns to Exploria Stadium this Saturday, April 30, to host 2022 expansion side Charlotte FC (3-5-1, 10 points). The match is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised locally on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two sides. 

Tickets to Saturday’s match are available here or by calling (855) ORL-CITY. In addition to being televised on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV, local radio coverage of the match is available on Real Radio 104.1 and Accion 97.9. 

"Charlotte is a new franchise that we have never played before, but in this league we already know each other enough, and we have seen them play already," Head Coach Oscar Pareja said of Saturday’s opposition. "This game will certainly be a new experience for both. We’re going with the urgency that we have right now from not getting the three points in the last game and now just having the chance to be back on the road to winning. We just have to have a good series of games in which we reach our objectives. We’re ready, the boys are working and we’re trying to learn from the last game but also just to be prepared for this one."

City looks to bounce back after falling to the New York Red Bulls 3-0 in its last match. Luqinhas, Cristian Cásseres Jr., and Lewis Morgan all found the back of the net for the visitors. Orlando City forward Jack Lynn made his MLS debut in the match, entering as a second-half substitute in the 88th minute. Lynn was selected 18th overall by the Lions in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft.

Charlotte debuted in MLS on Feb. 26 at D.C. United, earning its first MLS win just a few weeks later on March 19 against the New England Revolution. Charlotte last played to a scoreless draw on the road against the Colorado Rapids, having defeated Greenville Triumph SC 2-1 in the Third Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup earlier in the week. 

Karol Swiderski leads Charlotte with four goals this season, while Ben Bender leads the North Carolina-based side in assists with three helpers to his name. 

Following Saturday’s match, the Lions head north to take on CF Montréal at Stade Saputo on Saturday, May 7. Kickoff for that match is set for 4 p.m. ET and will be televised locally on FOX35 PLUS and LionNation TV.

Information provided by Orlando City Soccer Club.