Welcome to your match thread for today’s match-up between Orlando City (2-3-2, 8 points) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (1-4-2, 5 points). This is the only meeting between the two teams from opposite conferences this season.
Orlando has alternated wins and losses in recent weeks, finally winning its first home match two weeks ago against Colorado before traveling out for a 2-1 loss to Real Salt Lake. Vancouver played in the midweek, winning its first game of the season against league-leading LAFC on Wednesday.
The Lions are 0-3-1 in the all-time series against Vancouver. The Whitecaps won a 5-2 lopsided affair in Vancouver last year with the Lions down a man due to Mohamed El-Munir being sent off. Sacha Kljestan and Dom Dwyer scored for Orlando while the Caps were led by Kei Kamara’s brace and goals by Alphonso Davies, Yordy Reyna, and Nicolas Mezquida — who scored again against the Lions for Colorado two weeks ago.
The Caps stole a 2-1 win at Orlando City Stadium in 2017, with former Lion Brek Shea sticking in the dagger with the winning goal. Orlando City dominated the match, firing 25 shots, but could only find the net once — through Cyle Larin. Tommy Redding produced a goal but it was an own goal to open the scoring.
Julio Baptista and Cyle Larin brought Orlando from behind to draw 2-2 in the 2016 meeting under interim coach Bobby Murphy. Mezquida and Masato Kudo scored for the Caps. Baptista had a chance to give the Lions all three points but skied a penalty over the bar.
The Whitecaps got the best of Orlando City deep in stoppage time in the first meeting back in 2015. Octavio Rivero’s flicked header off a Pedro Morales free kick beat Donovan Ricketts in the sixth minute of stoppage time, just moments after Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey was booked for time wasting in stoppage time. The goal was a gut punch that gave Vancouver a 1-0 win at the Citrus Bowl.
Orlando City is 1-2-1 at home this year, while Vancouver is 0-2-1 on the road in 2019. Vancouver is 2-0-0 at Orlando so the Caps will come in confidently, particularly after its midweek win over high-flying LAFC.
The Lions have been up and down this season but the biggest issue is conceding early goals, and Orlando City has given up some odd goals in the opening 20 minutes the last couple of weeks — the one that bonked off Robin Jansson’s head and fell for Kamara against Colorado and the oddly missed clearance by Ruan a week ago.
Orlando will need to eliminate the early goals against to stay in games and have an opportunity to win rather than chase the game all night. That’s easier said than done and a problem that plagued the team in 2018 as well.
Vancouver’s roster features a pair of guys who wore purple last year in Scott Sutter and PC. Should they play, you can bet they’ll play with the same chip on their shoulder we saw from Donny Toia last Saturday in Utah. On the other hand, Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe started in this fixture a year ago for the Whitecaps.
Orlando’s injury report features Carlos Ascues (hamstring) who was upgraded to questionable and Alex De John (hamstring) who is listed as out but seemed confident he’d return soon on a social media post early in the week. Vancouver’s injury list has Michael Baldisimo (left ankle contusion), Jasser Khmiri (left knee), Andy Rose (facial fracture), and David Norman Jr. (right foot surgery) as out.
Mandatory Match #Content
Here's your mandatory match content for today’s game:
- Our Intelligence Report features info about Vancouver with help from Caleb Wilkins from SB Nation’s Eighty Six Forever.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions.
- Our Jenn Glasheen wrote about the return of Scott Sutter and PC to Orlando.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan.
Midfielders: Sebas Mendez, Oriol Rosell, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Nani, Dom Dwyer, Chris Mueller.
Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Kyle Smith, Kamal Miller, Cristian Higuita, Josué Colmán, Sacha Kljestan, Tesho Akindele.
Vancouver Whitecaps (5-3-2)
Goalkeeper: Zac MacMath.
Defenders: Ali Adnan, Derek Cornelius, Doneil Henry, Erik Godoy, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Russell Teibert, Felipe, Hwang In-Beom.
Forwards: Fredy Montero, Yordy Reyna.
Bench: Maxime Crépeau, Jake Nerwinski, Jon Erice, Lass, Joaquín Ardáiz. PC. Lucas Venuto,
Ref: Alan Kelly.
AR1: Adam Wienckowski.
AR2: Jeremy Kieso.
4th: Yusri Rudolf.
VAR: Caleb Mendez.
AVAR: Kevin Klinger.
How to Watch
Match Time: 3 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: My65 (local only).
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
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