Welcome to your match thread for a Friday night match-up between Orlando City (4-6-3, 15 points) and the LA Galaxy (7-5-1, 22 points). This is the only scheduled meeting between the two clubs from opposite conferences this season.
The Lions are coming off a 5-1 win over FC Cincinnati on Sunday but they have yet to win back-to-back wins in 2019.
The Lions are 2-2-0 in MLS play against LA, with the home team winning all four prior meetings. Last year, the Lions fell 4-3 last season in California after blowing the lead three times. It was simply too much Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who figured in every goal, notching his first MLS hat trick and adding an assist. Cristian Higuita and Dom Dwyer scored for Orlando and Sacha Kljestan forced an own goal by Michael Ciani with a pass intended for Yoshimar Yotún.
In the last meeting in Orlando, the Lions prevailed, 2-1. Will Johnson and Cyle Larin provided the offense to offset a goal by Romain Alessandrini.
The Galaxy captured the lone 2016 contest, 4-2. Giovani Dos Santos scored twice as LA put together four straight goals to erase a 1-0 deficit provided by Kevin Molino. Alan Gordon and Robbie Keane scored the other two Galaxy goals. Brek Shea tacked on a cosmetic goal late for Orlando.
The Lions won 4-0 at home in 2015 in the first meeting against the then-defending champions. It was Orlando City’s first-ever home win in MLS. Eric Avila, Larin, Kaká and Darwin Ceren found the net for the Lions and Tally Hall got a shutout in his first Orlando City appearance.
Orlando City is just 3-3-1 at home in 2019 but those three wins came in the last four matches at Orlando City Stadium. The Lions snapped a four-game winless skid (0-3-1) with Sunday’s win against Cincinnati, but played two pretty solid road games in getting nipped by a goal both at Atlanta and Seattle.
Meanwhile, LA started the year off like gangbusters, going 7-1-1 in the first nine games. But the Galaxy have dropped four in a row and haven’t scored in their last two outings. With star man Zlatan out of this match due to a two-game suspension for grabbing the neck of New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson, the team’s leading goal scorer is center back Daniel Steres, with three. Uriel Antuna has two and no one else on the team has more than one.
The Galaxy aren’t the only ones without their primary striker in this game. Dwyer will serve a yellow card suspension after finally breaking his scoring slump in a substitute appearance on Sunday with his fourth goal of the year. Look for Chris Mueller to be the likely starter up top with Nani and Tesho Akindele, although with the team playing its fourth game in 13 days, there does exist a possibility that a younger player like Santiago Patino, Benji Michel, or Josué Colmán could get a spot start.
Orlando goalkeeper Brian Rowe was a member of the Galaxy for five years from 2012-2017, so this will be a game of interest for him. The last time Rowe faced a former team with the Lions was Orlando’s 1-0 home win over the Vancouver Whitecaps earlier this season.
Despite a dearth of goals from people not named Zlatan, the Lions can’t sleep on some of the Galaxy’s talented players, such as Sebastian Lletget, Chris Pontius, or Jonathan dos Santos.
Aside from Dwyer, Orlando should only be missing Carlos Ascues (hamstring/quad), who is officially listed as questionable. LA will be missing Romain Alessandrini (knee surgery) and potentially Perry Kitchen (foot injury). Kitchen is listed as out on the most recent injury report but did dress on Sunday in the team’s loss to Colorado, even though he didn’t play.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report this week gathered information on the Galaxy from Mike Gray of SB Nation’s LAG Confidential blog.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for the Lions vs. the LA Galaxy, as well as an exclusive interview with Joanna Boyles from the Orlando Pride.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan.
Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Sebas Mendez, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Nani, Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller.
Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Kyle Smith, Kamal Miller, Uri Rosell, Sacha Kljestan, Josué Colmán, Benji Michel.
LA Galaxy (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: David Bingham.
Defenders: Jørgen Skjelvik, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Daniel Steres, Rolf Feltscher.
Defensive Midfielders: Joe Corona, Jonathan dos Santos,
Attacking Midfielders: Emil Cuello, Favio Álvarez, Sebastian Lletget,
Forward: Uriel Antuna.
Bench: Matt Lampson, Dave Romney, Emmanuel Boateng, Perry Kitchen, Efrain Alvarez, Chris Pontius, Ethan Zubak.
Ref: Allen Chapman.
AR1: Jeremy Hanson.
AR2: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho.
4th: Thomas Snyder.
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
AVAR: Kevin Klinger.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. ET.
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: Univision Deportes, UniMás.
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: Twitter, Univision NOW.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go City!