Welcome to your match thread for this afternoon’s match-up between Orlando City (2-1-0, 6 points) and the New York Red Bulls (2-2-1, 7 points). This is the first of two scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2017. The return leg takes place at Red Bull Arena on Saturday, Aug. 12.
Orlando City is coming off its first loss of 2017, a 2-0 decision against the Columbus Crew at Mapfre Stadium last Saturday. The Red Bulls are 0-2-1 in their last three matches after winning their first two games of the season.
The Lions were 0-2-1 against New York in 2016 and are just 1-3-1 in five meetings across their first two seasons in Major League Soccer, including 0-1-1 at home, although both games came in the club’s former home stadium.
The last meeting was a 2-0 Orlando City loss on July 13, 2016 at Red Bull Arena with the Lions playing under an interim coach. Bobby Murphy was at the helm for his second of four games when Connor Lade and Felipe powered New York to victory. It was Murphy’s only loss in charge, to go along with three draws. The most recent match-up in Orlando was May 6 of last year in a 1-1 draw. Kevin Molino equalized to nullify Bradley Wright-Phillips’ early goal.
New York came back in the first meeting of 2016, with three second-half goals to win 3-2 at Red Bull Arena on April 24. Cyle Larin opened the scoring, 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.
The teams split the 2015 season series, with each winning on the road. The Red Bulls claimed a 2-0 win in Orlando in a game that saw Larin sent off for a phantom foul (later rescinded) and Adrian Heath ejected. Larin got his revenge with a hat trick in a 5-2 win in New Jersey. Fun side note: fourth official Ted Unkel was the one who persuaded referee Fotis Bazakos to send Larin off. Your fourth official tonight against the Red Bulls is...Ted Unkel!
Kaká (hamstring), Rafael Ramos (hamstring), Tony Rocha (hamstring), Jose Aja (hamstring), and Seb Hines (knee) are expected to miss the match due to injury. For New York, Gideon Baah (broken leg), Mike Grella (knee), and Gonzalo Veron (hamstring) are out and Aurelien Collin and Connor Lade are questionable.
Here's your mandatory match content for today’s game:
- Gavin Ewbank has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about New York with the help from Steve Toto of SB Nation’s Red Bulls blog, Once a Metro.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, and an interview with Orlando City B defender Zach Carroll.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Tommy Redding, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino, Will Johnson, Matias Perez Garcia.
Forwards: Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Josh Saunders, PC, Kevin Alston, Giles Barnes, Servando Carrasco, Luis Gil, Hadji Barry.
New York Red Bulls (4-2-2-2)
Goalkeeper: Luis Robles.
Defenders: Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long, Aurelien Collin, Sal Zizzo.
Defensive Midfielders: Tyler Adams, Felipe.
Attacking Midfielders: Sacha Kljestan, Daniel Royer.
Forwards: Bradley Wright-Phillips, Derrick Etienne, Jr.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Damien Perinelle, Michael Murillo, Alex Muyl, Sean Davis, Fredrik Gulbrandsen.
Ref: Ismail Elfath.
AR1: Kermit Quisenberry.
AR2: Peter Balciunas.
4th: Ted Unkel.
How to Watch
Match Time: 4 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish).
Streaming: Watch ESPN.
Match Thread Rules
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