Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (4-4-9, 21 points) and the New York Red Bulls (7-9-3, 24 points). It's the third and final scheduled meeting of the regular season between the two teams and the second at Red Bull Arena. It's also the first time the Lions have gone on the road since the firing of Head Coach Adrian Heath.
Orlando is 1-2-1 in the series since joining MLS last season, and 0-1-1 in 2016. The teams split two meetings last year, with each winning on the other's home field. In the most recent meeting, back on May 6, the Lions came from behind at home to draw, 1-1. Kevin Molino's goal canceled out an early tally by Bradley Wright-Phillip, but it was Orlando's wasted opportunities -- and some fine goalkeeping by Luis Robles -- that cost the club two additional points. Cristian Higuita was sent off near the end of that contest.
New York came back in the first meeting with three second-half goals to win 3-2 at Red Bull Arena on April 24. Cyle Larin opened the scoring because he loves to collect goals in New York. But the hosts dominated the rest of the game, despite trailing 1-0 at the break, scoring thrice in the second half from Mike Grella and Wright-Phillips (twice). The Lions pulled one back on an own-goal by Karl Ouimette, who had denied Larin a chance to put City up 2-0 earlier in the game with a flying scissor-tackle from behind just outside the 18, which inexplicably drew no call. Orlando, alas, could not find the equalizer on that night and was lucky to escape with only a one-goal defeat.
If the Lions are to take something from this game, they must deal with New York's high pressure by moving the ball quickly, decisively, and accurately up from the back. They must also not fall prey to Sacha Kljestan's antics, as the Red Bulls midfielder has drawn a bevy of cards on Orlando players over the last several meetings, including multiple bookings of Higuita and a straight red on Larin on a play in which he was never touched. Oh, and scoring goals would help a whole bunch, too.
Kaká will continue to nurse his calf injury tonight and isn't available, as Interim Head Coach Bobby Murphy said at training yesterday. Tommy Redding (hamstring), Rafael Ramos (hamstring), and Pedro Ribeiro (back surgery) are also out.
Here's your mandatory content for tonight's match:
- Austin Siegel's got your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report features a bit of a scouting report on the Red Bulls from Steve Toto of SB Nation's New York blog,Once A Metro.
- This week's PawedCast has key match-ups and match predictions plus an exclusive interview with Orlando City Academy Director David Longwell.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Luke Boden, Seb Hines, David Mateos, Kevin Alston.
Defensive Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino.
Attacking Midfielders: Brek Shea, Harrison Heath, Kevin Molino, .
Forward: Carlos Rivas.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Conor Donovan, Darwin Ceren, Servando Carrasco, Julio Baptista, Cyle Larin, and Hadji Barry.
New York Red Bulls (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Luis Robles.
Defenders: Chris Duvall, Ronald Zubar, Aurelien Collin, Connor Lade.
Defensive Midfielders: Sean Davis, Dax McCarty,
Attacking Midfielders: Mike Grella, Felipe.Alex Muyl.
Forward: Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Bench: Kyle Reynish, Sal Zizzo, Damien Perrinelle, Justin Bilyeu, Sacha Kljestan, Gonzalo Veron, and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
Ref: Sorin Stoica.
AR1: Kermit Quisenberry.
AR2: Jose Da Silva.
4th: Mark Kadlecik.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Red Bull -- Arena Harrison, NJ.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at@TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
Match Thread Rules
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