Welcome to your live match thread for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City (7-18-4, 25 points) and FC Dallas (15-6-9, 54 points) at Toyota Stadium. It's the only scheduled meeting between the clubs this season, and just the fourth overall. Orlando City is 0-2-1 in the all-time series and has yet to score a goal, losing the first two match-ups by a 6-0 aggregate.
The Lions enter on a 1-16-3 skid and are winless in their last 10 games (0-7-3), sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, FC Dallas has climbed to the top of the Western Conference on the back of a four-game unbeaten run (2-0-2). These are two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum.
The teams played to a 0-0 draw in Orlando last season, in a game that was memorable only for the Hoops playing an ineligible player — Michael Barrios, who was scratched from the starting XI after the lineups were turned in and then came off the bench.
Dallas won in 2016 on July 4 at Toyota Stadium by a 4-0 final score and it could have been worse, honestly, if not for Joe Bendik. The Hoops led 2-0 within 20 minutes of the start and cruised to an easy win behind goals by Walker Zimmerman, Barrios, Matt Hedges, and Fabian Castillo. That game turned out to be Adrian Heath’s last as Orlando City’s head coach, as the gaffer was sent packing a couple of days later.
The first meeting resulted in a 2-0 Dallas win back in 2015 at the Citrus Bowl. Mauro Diaz (pen.) and David Texeira provided the offense in that one and the Lions failed to even get one shot on target.
Orlando City is 2-12-0 on the road in 2018 and has lost 11 consecutive matches away from home. FC Dallas is, of course, nearly unbeatable at home (9-1-5) this season and is 2-0-1 in its last three in Toyota Stadium.
Being at home, Dallas will likely play a bit more on the front foot, trying to attack and press up the field. The Hoops spread out their goals scoring so it’s difficult to key in on just one or two main scorers. The Lions will need to put together a second consecutive solid defensive performance to take anything from the game. The presumed starting back line was finally back on the pitch together in the 0-0 draw against Houston two weeks ago and defensive midfielders Uri Rosell and Carlos Ascues provided outstanding coverage for the back four.
Naturally, Rosell (ankle) is injured now and has been training off to the side. Pierre Da Silva is nursing a knee injury, Adam Grinwis, who engineered the shutout draw in his first MLS start, is battling an infection, as is midfielder Cam Lindley. PC (hamstring), Richie Laryea (hamstring), Cristian Higuita (calf), Jose Villarreal (ankle), and Amro Tarek (hamstring) all have day-to-day type knocks. Dallas will be without Cristian Colman (ACL tear) and Kris Reaves (foot).
#Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report features a scouting report on the Hoops from Drew Epperley of SB Nation's FC Dallas blog, Big D Soccer.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions, along with a discussion about the game with Big D Soccer’s Ben Lyon.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Mohamed El-Munir, Lamine Sané, Shane O’Neill, Scott Sutter.
Defensive Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotún, Carlos Ascues.
Attacking Midfielders: Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan, Will Johnson.
Forward: Dom Dwyer.
Bench: Earl Edwards, Jr., RJ Allen, Amro Tarek, Cristian Higuita. Josué Colmán, Tony Rocha, Richie Laryea.
FC Dallas (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Jesse Gonzalez.
Defenders: Ryan Hollingshead,Matt Hedges, Reto Ziegler, Reggie Cannon.
Defensive Midfielders: Victor Ulloa, Carlos Gruezo.
Attacking Midfielders: Pablo Aránguiz, Maxi Urruti, Michael Barrios.
Forward: Dominique Badji.
Bench: Jimmy Maurer, Maynor Figueroa, Marquinhos Pedroso, Roland Lamah, Abel Aguilar, Santiago Mosquera. Jesús Ferreira.
Ref: Nima Saghafi.
AR1: Kyle Atkins.
AR2: Jeremy Kieso.
4th: Alejandro Mariscal.
VAR: Ricardo Salazar.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Toyota Stadium — Frisco, TX.
TV: WRDQ TV27 (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go City!