clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2021 Leagues Cup match preview: Orlando City SC vs. Santos Laguna

Santos heads to sunny Florida to take on Orlando City in the first round of the Leagues Cup

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Exploria Stadium during a sunset. Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Game: Orlando City Soccer Club vs. Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V.

Date: Thursday, August 12th

Time: 7:00 p.m. Eastern, 6:00 p.m. Central, 4:00 p.m. Pacific, 11:00 p.m. UTC

Venue: Exploria Stadium (Orlando, Fla.)

Television: United States - TUDN, Univision; Mexico - TUDN

Streaming: fuboTV (Subscription), TUDN En Vivo, ESPN+

Santos Laguna’s newest signing Alessio Da Cruz is registered to play in the Leagues Cup and could get minutes against Orlando.
Santos Laguna’s newest signing Alessio Da Cruz is registered to play in the Leagues Cup and could get minutes against Orlando.
Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images

Santos Laguna heads to Central Florida as they take on Orlando City SC in the first round of Leagues Cup play. Santos are coming off of a sour draw against Tigres where they saw a lead slip away late and are also heading into their second game of a stretch of five games in just 14 days.

The good news for Santos is that they have some players that could use some match experience, and a not-quite-a-friendly like the Leagues Cup match could be a good time to get these players minutes. Alessio Da Cruz and Brian Lozano are both on the rosters for the Leagues Cup, and Lozano tweeted a video of him working out at Holox (Santos’ fitness facilities at TSM). It might be a good opportunity to get players like Hugo Rodríguez, Jesús Isijara, Ignacio Jeraldino, and Andrés Ibargüen some quality minutes against a good opponent without the pressure of a Liga MX match.

Former Veracruz and current Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese is questionable for the Leagues Cup match.
Former Veracruz and current Orlando City goalkeeper Pedro Gallese is questionable for the Leagues Cup match.
Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images

The bad news is that Orlando City are a good team and Orlando in the summer is not an easy place to play soccer. The humidity can crush you. The sweat from your body doesn’t evaporate quickly enough to cool you down, and players will lose a measurable amount of weight during a soccer match.

Orlando has quality players as well. Perhaps best known is Manchester United legend Nani, but lesser known players such as Tesho Akindele and Mauricio Pereyra who along with Nani are the keys to Orlando’s offense. And Liga MX fans will recognize both goalkeeper Pedro Gallese from his brilliant stint with Veracruz and manager Óscar Pareja managed Xolos for a couple of seasons.