Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday evening match-up between Orlando City and the New England Revolution. This is the first of two league meetings between the two MLS Eastern Conference rivals this season, with the return leg in Orlando coming up on Saturday, Sept. 14 at Exploria Stadium.
The teams did, however, meet in U.S. Open Cup action back in June, with the Lions scoring twice in a 30-minute extra time session and holding on for a 2-1 victory. Benji Michel and Tesho Akindele staked Orlando to a 2-0 lead before Justin Rennicks pulled one back off a Carles Gil back-post cross. City was able to see the game out but the Revs were certainly pressing hard for an equalizer right up to the final whistle.
The Lions are 2-3-4 in the all-time series against New England but just 0-3-1 on the road. Gillette Stadium has been a difficult nut for the Lions to crack.
The most recent meeting saw the Revs top a depleted Orlando side, 2-0 in Gillette Stadium last Oct. 13. Cristian Penilla and Diego Fagundez provided the offense. In the first match-up of 2018, the teams combined for six goals in a 3-3 draw at Orlando City Stadium on Aug. 4. Orlando battled back from a 2-0 deficit after Juan Agudelo and Penilla found the net. Dom Dwyer pulled one back and Amro Tarek scored his first MLS goal (which probably should have been changed to a Matt Turner own goal) to level things. Teal Bunbury restored the Revolution’s lead, but Scott Sutter headed home a Yoshimar Yotún set piece delivery in the 93rd to rescue a point for the Lions.
City completed a 6-1 demolition of 10-man New England at home Sept. 27, 2017. Kaká scored a brace, with Dwyer getting his first home goal as a Lion and Yotún and Antonio Nocerino each getting their first ever goal with OCSC. Seb Hines also scored for Orlando and Lee Nguyen got the Revs’ only tally on a free kick. New England won at Gillette Stadium that year by a 4-0 count and it could have been worse. Kei Kamara scored a hat trick and Bunbury also scored, with Nguyen assisting on all four goals to tie an MLS record. Jose Aja was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.
Orlando beat the Revs at home in Jason Kreis’ debut as the Lions’ coach on July 31, 2016, as Kevin Molino scored a brace for City in a 3-1 win. Cyle Larin also scored to more than offset Kamara’s strike. The teams also drew 2-2 twice in 2016 (and three times in the first four meetings), starting with the weird affair in Orlando back on April 17, 2016, in which the teams reached a controversial 2-2 final score. It was leveled by a very late Nguyen penalty for a handball in the box on Servando Carrasco, who didn’t touch it with any part of his hand or arm. Kaká opened the scoring on a penalty and Molino scored in the 92nd minute. Between those two goals, Bunbury scored off a corner that should have been ruled a goal kick.
The second 2016 meeting reached the same final score on April 30 in New England. This time the Revs appeared the better side for much of the game, but the Lions fought back twice from one-goal deficits on goals by Molino and Carlos Rivas to nullify scores by Fagundez and Agudelo.
The teams met twice in 2015, with Orlando City rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the final 17 minutes to draw 2-2 (there’s that score again) at the Citrus Bowl in April. Larin and Aurelien Collin provided the goals for the Lions. The Sept. 5 rematch at Gillette Stadium didn’t go as well, with New England taking a 3-0 win. Fagundez, Agudelo and Chris Tierney scored for the Revolution.
Orlando City is coming off a 1-0 home loss on Sunday against the New York Red Bulls. The Lions could have won the game if not for their inability to miss the goal frame. They struck the woodwork three times in the second half and came just a few inches from scoring the goals they needed to actually win the game. Orlando has been a decent road team in 2019, posting a 3-4-4 record. Orlando is 1-0-2 in its last three away from home.
Meanwhile, New England has gone 10 league matches without a loss (6-0-4) and is unbeaten in five straight at home (3-0-2). Orlando’s win in extra time of a U.S. Open Cup match is the only time the Revs have tasted defeat since May 8. Manager Bruce Arena has the team playing much better defensively and the offense has woken up behind Gil and newcomer Gustavo Bou.
The Lions will be without Cristian Higuita (hamstring), Shane O’Neill (concussion), and Alex De John (concussion) but should have Dom Dwyer back from suspension. New England is healthy, with only Michael Mancienne (foot) listed as questionable for the match.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more on Revs from Jake Catanese from SB Nation’s New England blog, The Bent Musket.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for tonight’s match.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan.
Midfielders: Dillon Powers, Uri Rosell, Sebas Mendez.
Forwards: Nani, Tesho Akindele, Sacha Kljestan.
Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Kyle Smith, Kamal Miller, Carlos Ascues, Robinho, Benji Michel, , Dom Dwyer.
New England Revolution (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Matt Turner.
Defenders: Edgar Castillo, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye.
Defensive Midfielders: Wilfried Zahibo, Luis Caicedo.
Attacking Midfielders: Cristian Penilla, Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil.
Forward: Teal Bunbury.
Bench: Brad Knighton, Jalil Anibaba, Scott Caldwell, Diego Fagundez, Juan Agudelo, Juan Fernando Caicedo, Tajon Buchanan.
Ref: Alan Kelly.
AR1: Adam Wienckowski.
AR2: Matthew Nelson.
4th: Robert Sibiga.
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
AVAR: Thomas Supple
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. ET.
Venue: Gillette Stadium — Foxborough, MA.
TV: My65 (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
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Enjoy the match! Go City!
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