Welcome to your live match thread for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City (7-11-5, 26 points) and FC Dallas (9-8-6, 33 points) at Exploria Stadium. It's the only scheduled meeting between the clubs this season, and just the fifth overall. Orlando City is 0-3-1 in the all-time series and has yet to score a goal.
The Lions enter on a two-game losing skid, are winless in their last three games (0-2-1), and just 1-2-2 in their last five league matches. Orlando sits ninth in the Eastern Conference and seven points adrift of the final playoff spot. Meanwhile, FC Dallas is the sixth place team in the Western Conference.
As mentioned above, the Lions have never scored a goal against FC Dallas in four meetings, let alone won a game in the series (0-3-1). Dallas won at home in last year’s meeting, 2-0 on goals by Santiago Mosquera and Victor Ulloa.
The teams played to a 0-0 draw in Orlando in 2017, in a game that was memorable only for the Hoops playing an ineligible player — Michael Barrios, who was scratched from the starting XI after the lineups were turned in and then came off the bench.
Dallas won in 2016 on July 4 at Toyota Stadium by a 4-0 final score and it could have been worse, honestly, if not for Joe Bendik. The Hoops led 2-0 within 20 minutes of the start and cruised to an easy win behind goals by Walker Zimmerman, Barrios, Matt Hedges, and Fabian Castillo. That game turned out to be Adrian Heath’s last as Orlando City’s head coach, as the gaffer was sent packing a couple of days later.
The first meeting resulted in a 2-0 Dallas win back in 2015 at the Citrus Bowl. Mauro Diaz (pen.) and David Texeira provided the offense in that one and the Lions failed to even get one shot on target.
Orlando City is just 4-6-1 at home in 2019, while Dallas is only 3-7-1 on the road. Can a bad home team beat a bad road team? We’ll find out tonight. FC Dallas has conceded only one goal in its last four matches, so that doesn’t bode well for an Orlando offense that has often struggled in recent weeks and has never put one in the net against tonight’s visitors.
It will be interesting to see what lineup James O’Connor goes with. After Wednesday night’s MLS All-Star Game O’Connor called this a “massive” game for the Lions. Everyone assumes the team will prioritize Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup match against Atlanta, but I’m not expecting a fully rotated side tonight. I think we’ll see a mixture of starters and backups. But we’ll see.
Orlando is dealing with various injuries — most notably Cristian Higuita’s never-ending hamstring problem. Shane O’Neill and Alex De John are still listed as questionable in concussion protocol. Uri Rosell took a nasty tackle at New England Saturday and Joao Moutinho left that game with an injury as well but neither are listed on the injury report so theoretically both are available.
FC Dallas is mostly healthy, with only defender John Nelson (abdominal injury) and goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer (thumb) listed as questionable. However, USMNT fullback Reggie Cannon and Bryan Acosta are both out on yellow card suspension.
#Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report features a scouting report on the Hoops from Drew Epperley of SB Nation's FC Dallas blog, Big D Soccer.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan.
Midfielders: Carlos Ascues, Will Johnson, Sebas Mendez.
Forwards: Tesho Akindele, Dom Dwyer, Chris Mueller.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Kamal Miller, Kyle Smith, Sacha Kljestan, Dillon Powers, Nani, Robinho.
FC Dallas (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Jesse Gonzalez.
Defenders: Ryan Hollingshead, Reto Ziegler, Matt Hedges, Bressan.
Defensive Midfielders: Jacori Hayes, Brandon Servania.
Attacking Midfielders: Edwin Gyasi, Paxton Pomykal, Santiago Mosquera.
Forwards: Jesus Ferreira.
Bench: Jimmy Maurer, John Nelson, Bryan Reynolds, Michael Barrios, Edwin Cerrillo, Thomas Roberts, Dominique Badji.
Ref: Silviu Petrescu.
AR1: Jason White.
AR2: Eric Boria.
4th: Robert Sibiga.
VAR: Sorin Stoica.
AVAR: Kevin Klinger
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, FL.
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!