The rivalry between Inter Miami and Orlando City is still relatively new, with Inter Miami joining MLS in 2020 as an expansion team. However, the roots of this rivalry can be traced back to the lower divisions of American soccer. Before their promotion to MLS, both Inter Miami and Orlando City competed in the United Soccer League (USL), where they first crossed paths on the pitch.
The first-ever meeting between the two teams took place on July 24, 2019, in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. The game ended in a 2-1 victory for Orlando City, with both teams showcasing their potential and building the foundation for a fierce rivalry. Since then, the matchups between Inter Miami and Orlando City have only grown in importance and intensity.
One of the factors that add fuel to this rivalry is the geographic proximity of the two teams. With just over 200 miles separating Miami and Orlando, it’s easy for fans to travel and support their team on the road. This proximity has led to lively away sections and a vibrant atmosphere in the stands during matches.
The rivalry reached new heights during the 2020 MLS season, when Inter Miami and Orlando City were placed in the same group for the MLS is Back Tournament. This tournament, held without fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, showcased the intensity and competitiveness of this budding rivalry. The clash between the two teams ended in a 2-1 victory for Orlando City, with a last-minute goal sealing the win and adding another chapter to the growing history between these clubs.
One of the standout moments in the rivalry’s young history came in August 2020, just a month after the MLS is Back Tournament. In a regular-season matchup, Inter Miami came from behind to secure a dramatic 3-2 victory over Orlando City. This thrilling encounter showcased the talent and determination of both teams and further intensified the rivalry on the field.
Looking ahead, the future holds great potential for this rivalry to become one of the marquee matchups in MLS. With Inter Miami’s acquisition of star players such as Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi, and Orlando City’s talented roster led by Nani and Chris Mueller, both teams possess the ability to challenge for titles and captivate audiences.
Furthermore, the passionate fan bases of both Inter Miami and Orlando City drive the atmosphere and create an electric environment on matchdays. The desire for bragging rights and regional supremacy adds an extra layer of motivation for both teams, leading to fierce battles on the field.
As the rivalry continues to develop, it presents opportunities for both clubs to grow their fan bases and establish themselves as powerhouses within the league. The intensity and passion displayed between Inter Miami and Orlando City matches have the potential to capture the attention of not only local supporters but also soccer fans around the world.