Welcome to your match thread for tonight’s match-up between Orlando City (0-0-1, 1 point) and the Colorado Rapids (1-0-0, 3 points) at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. It’s the one and only meeting between the two sides this season. This is Orlando’s second straight game against a Western Conference opponent to open the 2020 season.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
Orlando City is 4-0-1 in the all-time series (1-0-1 away) and has out-scored the ‘Pids, 10-4, in the five previous meetings and 2-1 in the two prior match-ups in Colorado.
The last time the teams played came in Exploria Stadium in a wild match, won 4-3 by the Lions. Orlando came from behind twice in the game — from deficits of 1-0 and 3-2 — to claim all three points. Kei Kamara opened the scoring nine minutes in, because of course he did. Nani tied things up in the 31st and Tesho Akindele gave Orlando the lead two minutes later. But Nicolas Mezquida (61st) and Cole Bassett (71st) scored 10 minutes apart to put the Rapids back in front. Chris Mueller knotted the game up at 3-3 in the 81st and Nani scored on a penalty in the 89th to bring the Lions back.
The last time the two teams met on the Rapids’ home turf, the Lions came from behind to win 2-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on April 29 of 2018. Cristian Higuita and Yoshimar Yotún (pen.) provided the offense in the victory.
Orlando City won, 2-0 at home, as part of a four-game winning streak overall in 2017, which was also the fifth consecutive victory to open Orlando City Stadium. Carlos Rivas and Kaká provided all the offense in that 2017. The 2016 meeting ended in a 0-0 draw at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. The 2015 meeting at the Citrus Bowl saw the Lions defeat the Rapids, 2-0. Rivas came on for an injured Brek Shea in that match and turned the game around. Kaká and Cyle Larin scored for Orlando City.
The Lions enter this game in search of their first win under Oscar Pareja. Meanwhile, the Rapids got a road win at D.C. United to lift new coach Robin Fraser to victory. This is the first home game of the year for the Rapids and the first road match of 2020 for the Lions.
Orlando will want to build on last week’s dominating performance in the midfield, as Sebas Mendez, Junior Urso, and Mauricio Pereyra helped shut down the middle of the park and won balls back all night for the attack. The Lions will need to sharpen their teeth before this match, as they failed to make anything out of 12 corners last weekend and failed to keep their composure with a goal on their feet multiple times.
The Rapids have built a quality team under Fraser and will have confidence after last week’s road win, knowing their ally is the altitude. All they need to do is lead by about the 65th or 70th minute and victory seems likely, as visitors tend to hit the wall around that time of the game when visiting Colorado.
The Lions will need to keep an eye on Kamara, who has an annoying habit of scoring goals against Orlando. It was Kamara’s 67th-minute strike that tied last week’s game and put the Rapids in position for the late winner by Jonathan Lewis. Another face to watch is second-year attacker Andrei Shinyashiki, a Montverde Academy product who won MLS Rookie of the Year in 2019.
Orlando will again be without Nani (suspension) and Dom Dwyer (lower body injury — week to week). For Colorado, midfielder Nicolas Benezet (broken nose) is questionable, while defender Kortne Ford (knee) is listed as out on the MLS Injury Report.
Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report gets more in-depth about the Rapids with help from Abbie Lang of SB Nation’s Colorado blog, Burgundy Wave.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions, plus we talked with Sean Curtis of Burgundy Wave about what we can expect from Colorado.
- Our Scott Carnevale discussed his three keys for an Orlando City victory against the ‘Pids.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Rodrigo Schlegel, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith.
Midfielders: Joao Moutinho, Junior Urso, Sebas Mendez, Andres Perea.
Forwards: Benji Michel, Tesho Akindele.
Bench: Brian Rowe, Ruan, Kamal Miller, Joey DeZart, Mauricio Pereyra, Santiago Patino, Chris Mueller.
Goalkeeper: Clint Irwin.
Defenders: Sam Vines, Drew Moor, Lalas Abubakar, Keegan Rosenberry.
Defensive Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price.
Attacking Midfielders: Andre Shinyashiki, Younes Namli, Sam Nicholson.
Forward: Kei Kamara.
Bench: Andre Rawls, Danny Wilson, Deklan Wynne, Nicolas Mezquida, Diego Rubio, Jonathan Lewis, Cole Bassett.
Ref: Joe Dickerson.
AR1: Eric Boria.
AR2: Kevin Klinger.
4th: Alejandro Mariscal.
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez.
AVAR: Cory Richardson.
How to Watch
Match Time: 9 p.m. ET.
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park — Commerce City, CO.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (Formerly My65).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), Accion 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ although it will most likely be blacked out locally.
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 game! Go City!