Welcome to your match thread and preview for tomorrow afternoon’s match-up between Orlando City (0-2-1, 1 point) and the New York Red Bulls (2-1-0, 6 points). This is the first of two scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2018. The return leg will be at Red Bull Arena in the season finale on Sunday, Oct. 28.
The Lions are 2-4-1 in seven meetings with the Red Bulls in the all-time series, and 1-1-1 at home (1-0-0 at Orlando City Stadium).
The teams split their two matches in 2017, with each winning on its home pitch. Orlando earned a hard-fought 1-0 win at home on April 9 thanks to Servando Carrasco scoring on a corner kick to lift the Lions to their first ever win at home against New York. The Red Bulls won the rematch, 3-1, despite falling behind on a Carlos Rivas goal. Leo Pereira’s own-goal, Bradley Wright-Phillips’ strike, and an insurance tally from Sean Davis put the game away. But most people will remember the officiating with Kaká being sent off after video review for a playful face wash on friend Aurelien Collin and Felipe somehow not being dismissed after mocking referee Jorge Gonzalez following a booking.
In 2016, the Red Bulls went 2-0-1 in the three-game set. New York won 3-2 at Red Bull Arena in April and the teams played to a 1-1 draw in May in Orlando. The third meeting resulted in a 2-0 Orlando City road loss. 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that saw Cyle Larin sent off for a phantom foul (earned by the acting of current Lion Sacha Kljestan, which was later rescinded) and then-manager Adrian Heath was ejected. Larin got his revenge with a hat trick in a 5-2 win in New Jersey.
Orlando City is 0-2-1 on the season and just 0-1-1 at home. It could just as easily be 2-0-0 at home had the Lions taken their chances in those previous home games (and had they not gone down a man for an hour in the opener). But throw out shoulda, coulda, and woulda because this team needs a result. That won’t be easy against the 2-1-0 Red Bulls, although it remains to be seen what lineup Orlando will face with New York having an eye on Wednesday’s Concacaf Champions League match and burgeoning star midfielder Tyler Adams having played a full 90 minutes with the USMNT on Tuesday in North Carolina. New York is 0-1 on the road this year, laying an egg at Real Salt Lake, but that’s not something that happens too often with this club.
If the Lions are going to have an opportunity to take points from this match, they must deal with New York’s high pressure. Jesse Marsch’s team likes to press high and force turnovers in the offensive third, and then quickly turn those into scoring opportunities and odd-man advantage situations. Orlando has been sloppy with the ball at times this season. Two miscues at the back cost two goals in the last match at New York City FC. Neither of those were back line problems, but they were critical mistakes nonetheless. The Red Bulls thrive on those, so it will be crucial for Orlando to limit errors and pass both quickly and accurately. Lazy or off-line passes will be punished.
The Lions will be without captain Jonathan Spector (concussion protocol), Stéfano Pinho (ankle), and Uri Rosell (knee). Dom Dwyer (quad strain) has been training so he could be back, although, if he dresses, I’d expect a substitute appearance as Jason Kreis eases him back into the lineup. For New York, Fidel Escobar (thigh) was injured in training while on international duty. Alejandro Romero Gamarra (a.k.a. “Kaku”) did not play in New York’s last match against Minnesota with an undisclosed injury but no Red Bulls were listed on last week’s injury report so he could well return. Amir Murillo, Adams, and Kemar Lawrence are returning from national team outings and could be held out for Champions League play.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more on the New York Red Bulls from Austin Fido, managing editor of SB Nation’s Once a Metro.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions, plus our interview with Orlando City broadcaster and youth soccer director Paul Shaw.
- Ben Miller discusses how the Lions’ best chance at a win against New York may come through quickly counter-attacking.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Mohamed El-Munir, Amro Tarek, Lamine Sané, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Will Johnson, Sacha Kljestan, Cam Lindley, Yoshimar Yotun.
Forwards: Justin Meram, Dom Dwyer.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., RJ Allen, Cristian Higuita, Dillon Powers, Richie Laryea, Josué Colmán, Chris Mueller.
New York Red Bulls (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Luis Robles.
Defenders: Connor Lade, Aurelien Collin, Tommy Redding, Kyle Duncan.
Defensive Midfielders: Marc Rzatkowski, Florian Valot.
Attacking Midfielders: Derrick Etienne, Kaku, Vincent Bezecourt.
Forward: Carlos Rivas.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long, Tim Parker, Tyler Adams, Daniel Royer, Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Ref: Jair Marrufo.
AR1: Kyle Atkins.
AR2: Cameron Blanchard.
4th: Marcos DeOliveira.
VAR: Timothy Ford.
How to Watch
Match Time: 1 p.m. ET.
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: UniMás, Univision.
Radio: 96.9 FM The Game (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live, Twitter, Univision Deportes.
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