Welcome to your match thread for tonight’s match-up between Orlando City SC (6-9-3, 21 points) and the Philadelphia Union (10-5-5, 35 points) at Talen Energy Stadium (4:30 p.m. ET, My65). This is the second of the two scheduled league meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2019.
Orlando City is 3-4-3 in the nine MLS meetings with the Union since the club joined Major League Soccer in 2015, and 3-5-3 in all competitions. The Lions are 2-3-0 on the road in league play and 2-4-0 in all competitions.
Wednesday’s 3-1 home loss against the Union was obviously the most recent meeting. Chris Mueller and Kacper Przybylko swapped goals in the first half before Robin Jansson was sent off moments before the break. Afterwards, the 10-men Lions gave up two more goals — one to Przybylko and the other to Fafa Picault — and then went down another man with Sacha Kljestan seeing red.
The teams drew 2-2 in a wild finish in the most recent meeting, last Sept. 1 in Orlando. Just when it looked like Picault had lifted the Union to victory with a strike in the 88th minute, Scott Sutter equalized in stoppage time to salvage a point for the Lions. Dom Dwyer and Corey Burke also scored in that match.
The Lions and Union played twice in Philly in 2019, most recently in a USOC match won by Philadelphia, 1-0 on a goal by Alejandro Bedoya. The Lions prevailed over the Union at Talen Energy Stadium on April 13, 2018 by a 2-0 score. Dwyer and Mueller provided the offense.
The teams split their two matches in 2017, with the home side prevailing both times. The Lions won 2-1 at Orlando City Stadium on March 18 as part of the team’s hot start. Cyle Larin scored a brace to lead the Lions. C.J. Sapong scored for Philadelphia. The rematch was an ugly 6-1 Philadelphia win in the season finale for both teams. Dwyer gave Orlando its only goal, while Earl Edwards Jr. (in his first MLS start) was beaten twice each by Ilsinho, Picault, and Sapong.
The Lions were 1-1-1 against Philadelphia in 2016. The team’s first road victory in the series came on Oct. 16, 2016, as the Lions roared, 2-0. Carlos Rivas and Julio Baptista scored. The teams played to a 2-2 draw on May 25 in Orlando, as Ken Tribbett made the Lions pay for Kaká’s missed penalty in the first half by scoring an equalizing goal off a corner kick. Kevin Molino and Larin scored for Orlando City, and Tranquillo Barnetta also scored for the Union. Barnetta’s free kick in the 89th minute gave Philly a 2-1 win on March 8 of 2016, with Adrian Winter scoring for the Lions on the road.
Orlando City is 3-4-2 on the road this season. The Union are 6-2-2 at Talen Energy Stadium in 2019 and are 1-0-1 in their two most recent home outings.
Cristian Higuita is out with a hamstring injury and Joao Moutinho (quad) is listed as questionable. Jansson and Kljestan will both miss tonight due to Wednesday’s red card extravaganza.
For Philadelphia, star goalkeeper Andre Blake is expected back between the sticks tonight. Warren Creavalle (foot) and right back Olivier Mbaizo (knee) are out, while Michee Ngalina (lower body) is listed as questionable. Jamiro Monteiro took a nasty challenge from Kljestan and will likely be out.
With the two teams playing for the second time in a four-day span, James O’Connor and Jim Curtin will likely rotate some squad for this game. O’Connor must also be mindful of next Wednesday’s home match in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals against New York City FC. We should definitely see some changes and not dressing either Dillon Powers or Uri Rosell on Wednesday might offer up some clues.
Philadelphia’s resurgence is largely due to shoring up its defense. The central defense pairing of Jack Elliott and Auston Trusty has been good and midfielders Bedoya and Haris Medunjanin have shielded them well. As we saw Wednesday, Picault generally gives Orlando fits on the wing. Newcomer Przybylko has had a successful start to the season with eight goals to lead all Union players. Ilsinho, who was rested Wednesday, has tortured the Lions before and he’s become a true supersub threat, taking advantage of the opposition’s tired legs.
Mandatory Match #Content
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for tonight’s game.
Official Lineups (as announced last night — could change):
Orlando City (3-5-2),
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Kamal Miller, Alex De John, Shane O’Neill.
Wingbacks/Midfielders: Danilo Acosta, Carlos Ascues, Uri Rosell, Dillon Powers, Kyle Smith,
Forwards: Dom Dwyer, Benji Michel.
Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Ruan, Sebas Mendez, Will Johnson, Nani, Chris Mueller, Santiago Patino.
Philadelphia Union (4-4-2 diamond)
Goalkeeper: Andre Blake.
Defenders: Kai Wagner, Aurélien Collin, Jack Elliott, Raymon Gaddis.
Defensive Midfielder: Haris Medunjanin.
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson, Alejandro Bedoya.
Attacking Midfielder: Marco Fabián.
Forwards: Fabrice-Jean Picault, Kacper Przybylko.
Bench: Matt Freese. Auston Trusty, Fabinho, Matthew Real, RJ Allen, Anthony Fontana, Sergio Santos.
Ref: Robert Sibiga.
AR1: Nick Uranga.
AR2: Adam Garner.
4th: Fotis Bazakos.
VAR: Tim Ford.
AVAR: Eric Weisbrod.
How to Watch
Match Time: 4:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium — Chester, PA.
TV: My65 (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
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Enjoy the match! Go City!