Welcome to your match thread for tonight's MLS Eastern Conference match-up between Orlando City (5-7-13, 28 points) and New York City FC (11-7-8, 41 points). Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis will be facing his most recent MLS team for the first time, after being fired by NYCFC at the end of last season. There may or may not be some extra incentive for him tonight.
This is the third of the three scheduled meetings this season and the first in the City Beautiful. Orlando City won the first round, 1-0, at Yankee Stadium back on March 18 on a goal by Cyle Larin, killer of New York teams. The teams drew 2-2 on May 29 in the Bronx. After falling behind, 2-0, on goals by Frederic Brillant and David Villa, the Lions rallied late, with Julio Baptista and Kevin Molino firing City level. Villa’s penalty miss – which may still not have landed – helped the cause.
With that March victory, Orlando City is 2-1-1 in the all-time series (1-0-1 at home), after splitting the three matches last season. 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 Mix Diskerud's second-half goal. The Lions' lone loss in the series came in a 5-3 decision at Yankee Stadium on July 26, as Larin's hat trick was undone by a porous defense, a Villa brace, and goals by Javier Calle, Tommy McNamara, and Diskerud. The third match-up, and second in Orlando, resulted in the Lions winning 2-1 on Oct. 16. Kwame Watson-Siriboe scored in first-half stoppage time, but two goals by Larin in the second half led Orlando to a comeback win.
The soccer Yankees are on a hot streak, entering on an unbeaten run of four games (2-0-2), with just one loss in their last six. The Lions are winless in four (0-2-2) after winning in Jason Kreis’ Orlando City debut. City has only one win in its last 10 (1-4-5). After typing that last sentence, I will now drink heavily.
Cristian Higuita (hamstring) and Pedro Ribeiro (back) are out for Orlando City and Seb Hines (knee) aggravated an injury Wednesday night late in the match against Toronto FC. Rafael Ramos (hamstring) traveled with OCB for last night’s match at Richmond. New York City’s injured list consists only of Connor Brandt and Shannon Gomez.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Austin Siegel has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about New York City FC with the help from Jake Gofman from SB Nation’s NYCFC blog Hudson River Blue.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus an exclusive interview with Orlando City defender Mikey Ambrose.
- Wade Williams presides over the TML staff roundtable, which discusses tonight’s match.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Luke Boden, David Mateos, Jose, Aja, Tommy Redding.
Defensive Midfielders: Antonio Nocerino, Servando Carrasco.
Attacking Midfielders: Kaká, Matias Perez Garcia, Kevin Molino.
Forward: Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Kevin Alston, Mikey Ambrose, Tony Rocha, Carlos Rivas, Julio Baptista, and Brek Shea.
New York City FC (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Josh Saunders.
Defenders: Ronald Matarrita, Jefferson Mena, Maxime Chanot, Jason Hernandez.
Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo, Andoni Iraola, Frank Lampard.
Forwards: Tommy McNamara, David Villa, Steven Mendoza.
Bench: Eirik Johansen, Jack Harrison, Federico Bravo, Tony Taylor, R.J. Allen, Mikey Lopez, and Khiry Shelton.
Ref: Robert Sibiga.
AR1: Eduardo Mariscal.
AR2: Kyle Longville.
4th: Geoff Gamble.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Camping World Stadium -- Orlando, FL.
TV: FOX Sports 1.
Radio: SiriusXM FC, 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish).
Streaming: FOX Soccer 2GO.
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