It’s been a terrific start to the 2017 season for Orlando City, as the club enters May at the top of the table in Major League Soccer. Additionally, the Lions will look to continue their unbeaten run at home with three matches at Orlando City Stadium this month. A couple of difficult road fixtures should tell us more about this team as it must face two offensively powered clubs right off the bat.
The first two matches of May will be against Toronto FC and the Houston Dynamo on the road. Toronto is one of the toughest fixtures on paper this month as the Canadian club has won two straight matches. With Sebastian Giovinco back in the lineup, Toronto looks more fluid going forward and Jozy Altidore is finding good form with three goals in his last three appearances.
It will be a quick turnaround for City as the club travels down to Texas to face Houston just three days later. The Dynamo have been inconsistent this season, but are very offensively gifted as Erick “Cubo” Torres has been one of the best goal scorers in MLS thus far. City will have to be careful as this could be a trap game with a only a few days of rest and a long trip from Toronto to Houston in the players’ legs.
Home Streak in Jeopardy?
On May 21, New York City FC returns to Orlando City Stadium looking for redemption after losing 1-0 in their last trip to Florida, as well as falling to the Lions at home a few weeks later. Both matches have been closely contested, so expect another thrilling encounter as NYCFC will certainly look to end the home streak if it is still standing by late May.
The other two opponents City will face at home are Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United. Neither of these sides have done well on the road this year, which will make them longshots to take three points at Orlando City Stadium. If anything, SKC should provide the sterner test out of the two.
The Lions will hit the road three times to travel out west. A trip to San Jose in the middle of the month will be one of the longest this season. The Lions will also face Minnesota United for the first time, going up against the Loons on Memorial Day weekend. Both of these matches are very winnable and hopefully at least four points can be taken.
All in all, this is shaping up to potentially be another big month for the Lions, with seven matches ahead, it’s unlikely they will go undefeated, but if they can find good away form then anything is possible. Orlando City will certainly have to grind out some results against some stiff competition from Eastern and Western Conference opponents alike.