Welcome to your match thread for tonight's meeting between Orlando City (0-0-2, 2 points) and New York City FC (1-0-1, 4 points). This is the first of three meetings scheduled for 2016, with the Lions returning to the Bronx on May 29, and NYCFC visiting the Citrus Bowl on Aug. 28. The Lions went 1-1-1 in three meetings last season, with the lone loss in the series coming in a 5-3 decision at Yankee Stadium on July 26, as Cyle Larin's hat trick was undone by a porous defense. David Villa scored a brace, with Javier Calle, Thomas McNamara, and Mix Diskerud also finding the net to undo all of Larin's work.
In the first meeting -- the inaugural MLS game for both sides -- Kaká's free kick in stoppage time leveled the game 1-1 on March 8, 2015, canceling out Diskerud's second-half goal. The third match-up, and second in Orlando, resulted in the Lions winning 2-1 on Oct. 16. Kwame Watson-Siriboe snapped the scoreless deadlock in the second minute of first-half stoppage time, but two goals by Cyle Larin in the second half led Orlando to a much-needed comeback win.
Kaká (thigh) and center back David Mateos are getting closer to returning but are not expected to return to the lineup just yet. Midfielder Darwin Ceren has served his one-game suspension for the red card he received in the season opener so he should be available. Antonio Nocerino made his debut against Chicago but should be fitter and more used to his teammates after an additional week of training. We could actually see the assumed opening day defensive midfield of Nocerino, Ceren and Cristian Higuita tonight.
In the meantime, here is your mandatory content to prepare you for tonight's match:
- Austin Siegel's got your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about New York City FC from sister SBN blog Hudson River Blue.
- This week's PawedCast has our key match-ups and more predictions (plus, our exclusive interview with Orlando Pride midfielder Lianne Sanderson).
- Our staff roundtable takes a critical look at tonight's match and the season at large.
- Brent Petkus has your scouting report.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Brek Shea, Seb Hines, Tommy Redding, Rafael Ramos.
Midfielders: Antonio Nocerino, Darwin Ceren, Cristian Higuita.
Forwards: Kevin Molino, Cyle Larin, Adrian Winter.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Luke Boden, Aurelien Collin, Pedro Ribeiro, Servando Carrasco, Carlos Rivas, Hadji Barry.
New York City FC (3-4-3)
Goalkeeper: Josh Saunders.
Defenders: Ronald Matarrita, Jason Hernandez, Andoni Iraola.
Midfielders: Thomas McNamara, Andrea Pirlo, Federico Bravo. Mix Diskerud,
Forwards: Tony Taylor, David Villa.Khiry Shelton.
Bench: Eirik Johansen, Frederic Brillant, Diego Martinez, Kwadwo Poku, Mehdi Ballouchy, Steven Mendoza, Patrick Mullins.
Ref: Allen Chapman
AR1: Claudio Badea
AR2: Danny Thornberry
4th: Jose Carlos Rivero
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Yankee Stadium -- Bronx, NY
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
Match Thread Rules
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