Welcome to your live match thread for a Sunday night match-up between Orlando City (7-2-4, 25 points) and FC Dallas (5-3-4, 19 points) at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. It's the only scheduled meeting between the clubs this season, and just the sixth overall.
The Lions enter tonight in second place in the Eastern Conference and the Supporters Shield standings by virtue of a goal-differential tiebreaker against Toronto FC and more goals scored than the Philadelphia Union. But tonight’s contest won’t be an easy one.
Orlando City is 1-3-1 in the all-time series and 0-2-0 on the road against FC Dallas. The Lions got their first win in the series in a 2-0 home victory in the last meeting, back on Aug. 3, 2019. Former Dallas striker Tesho Akindele and Carlos Ascues provided the offense for Orlando and those were the first two goals the Lions had ever scored against FC Dallas.
Dallas won the last meeting in Texas, 2-0 on goals by Santiago Mosquera and Victor Ulloa on Oct. 6, 2018. 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. Dallas 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 on a club record seven-game unbeaten streak (5-0-2) after Wednesday night’s 2-1 win at Sporting Kansas City. The Lions are 2-2-1 in true road games in 2020, and 4-2-2 in all league games away from Exploria Stadium. Orlando has its first home win over Chicago and its first road win at Kansas City in its last two matches. If Orlando wins tonight, it would make it three straight “firsts” with its first-ever win in Dallas.
FC Dallas is 4-1-2 at home in 2020, including 3-0-1 in its last four matches at Toyota Stadium. Dallas is coming off a 1-0 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday night, but that is the team’s only loss in the last four games (3-0-1).
The biggest talking point for tonight will be Oscar Pareja’s return to Dallas, where he played from 1998 to 2005 and where he managed from 2014-2018 after a pair of assistant coaching stints there (2005-2007, 2008-2011). Papi is still beloved in Dallas after winning consistently during his tenure there, including a Supporters Shield and a U.S. Open Cup — both in 2016.
“Getting back to a place where I spent so much of my time and so much of my life is great,” Pareja said in his pre-match press conference. “It feels a little bit weird.”
Dallas has been bolstered in its latest upswing in play by the performances of Franco Jara and Andres Ricaurte. The hosts will look to build out of the back and hold onto possession of the ball — which is how Orlando will also want to play. Being that this is the third match in nine games, I’d expect the Lions to pick and choose when to press high and not simply try to do it all game long.
“Dallas is a very good team in the conference, for sure, one of the best,” Pareja said. “I think they have fantastic footballers there, a great organization and fantastic coaching too. So, I think we’re going to have a big challenge to overcome. We’ll try to keep our identity and keep the same ideas that we have been preaching along the line.”
Orlando continues to be without Joao Moutinho, Uri Rosell, and Dom Dwyer. Pareja said on Friday that Moutinho and Rosell continue to improve. Matheus Aias awaits the results of further medical testing ahead of joining the team for training. FC Dallas will be without Paxton Pomykal (hip) and Kyle Zobeck (undisclosed injury).
#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 and more info from FC Dallas from Ben Lyon of Big D Soccer.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Ruan.
Defensive Midfielders: Sebas Mendez, Junior Urso.
Attacking Midfielders: Nani, Mauricio Pereyra, Chris Mueller.
Forward: Tesho Akindele.
Bench: Brian Rowe, Kamal Miller, Alex De John, Robinho, Joey DeZart, Jordan Bender, Andres Perea, Benji Michel, Daryl Dike.
FC Dallas (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Jimmy Maurer.
Defenders: Bryan Reynolds, Reto Ziegler, Matt Hedges, Ryan Hollingshead.
Defensive Midfielders: Bryan Acosta, Thiago Santos.
Attacking Midfielders: Santiago Mosquera, Andres Ricaurte, Michael Barrios.
Forward: Franco Jara.
Bench: Phelipe, Bressan, John Nelson, Brandon Servania, Tanner Tessman, Fafa Picault, Jesus Ferreira, Dante Sealy, Ricardo Pepi.
Ref: Ramy Touchan.
AR1: Adam Garner.
AR2: Brian Poeschel.
4th: Elijio Arreguin.
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic.
AVAR: Jonathan Johnson.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Toyota Stadium — Frisco, TX.
TV: My65 (local only).
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ (out of market only).
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!