Welcome to your match thread for a rare Tuesday night match-up between Orlando City SC (4-1-3, 15 points) and the San Jose Earthquakes (3-5-1, 10 points). This is the only meeting between the teams in 2021 and the first time the teams have met since 2019.
City is coming off an emotional 3-2 victory against Toronto FC on Saturday night, which was considered a road match despite being in Exploria Stadium. Junior Urso’s late goal provided the winning margin. San Jose drew 0-0 at Austin FC in the expansion side’s first ever home match.
Orlando City is 1-1-3 in the previous five MLS meetings with the Quakes since the club joined Major League Soccer in 2015, and 1-0-1 at home. The most recent meeting took place on Aug. 31, 2019 when the Lions got freight trained 3-0 at Avaya Stadium, giving the Quakes their first win in the series. San Jose’s offense came via a Chris Wondolowski brace and an early opening goal by Magnus Eriksson. Orlando looked flat and weary out of the gate and still has never tasted victory in the state of California.
The last match-up in Exploria Stadium between these sides resulted in a 3-2 Orlando win. It was the first win in the series for either side after three straight draws. Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan, and Dom Dwyer gave the Lions a 3-0 lead before Florian Jungwirth pulled two back in the game’s late stages.
The Lions led all of the first three matches in the second half only to see San Jose pull level, with two of those tying goals coming very late. In the 2017 meeting, Carlos Rivas finally broke the scoreless tie and gave Orlando City the lead in the 81st minute, but Wondolowski spoiled the Lions’ night with an equalizer two minutes later as the teams drew at Avaya Stadium, 1-1.
In 2016, the Lions were gut-punched in the 94th minute in an emotional match that ended in a 2-2 draw. It was the first home match following the Pulse nightclub tragedy and what appeared to be a storybook ending to a cathartic win turned sour on a last-gasp equalizer by Shea Salinas. Seb Hines opened the scoring for Orlando only to see Chad Barrett tie it up. Julio Baptista restored the lead in stoppage time but Salinas ruined everything.
The two teams also drew in the first meeting, a 1-1 affair at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, with the Lions down to 10 men after Brek Shea was sent off in the first half. Kaká (64’) and Wondolowski (68’) each scored from the penalty spot in that initial meeting.
Orlando City got back in the win column Saturday night just one match after sustaining its first loss of the 2021 season. The Lions are 2-0-2 in home matches this season and 3-0-2 in all games played in Exploria Stadium. Against Toronto, Orlando had its first multi-goal offensive output since a 3-0 win over FC Cincinnati on May 1 — and just the second time this season — but the Lions also conceded more than one goal for the second straight game.
San Jose is 1-2-1 on the road in 2021 after Saturday’s draw in Austin. The Earthquakes are on a five-match winless streak (0-4-1) in which the team has scored just one goal. The current slide comes on the heels of a 3-0-0 run in which San Jose scored nine times. So the Quakes are capable of offense but have not seen much of it in recent games. San Jose can also play well defensively, conceding only once in the last two games.
Matias Almeyda has brought his exotic man-marking system to San Jose and the idea is to create chaos on the field and score goals out of that in transition. The results have been mixed. When the Earthquakes are in sync, it can be quite effective.
“(San Jose) is a team who surely is new for us since we haven’t faced them,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said during Sunday’s press conference. “They have a great coach and they have been getting better and better, and they have a particular way to play. So we have to adjust and accommodate our pieces. Always we ask the players just to impose your way to play and the things that normally work for us are what we need to be consistent on. We will make sure of what are the tendencies of marking of San Jose — if they’re chasing, if they’re marking man-to-man — how long they do that. So, it is a challenge but I think it’s something that will make us richer too, on trying to resolve those kinds of problems and look for those solutions that make our game model (to) be the protagonist of the game.”
Late leads against San Jose are never safe. The Lions have seen this firsthand on three occasions already, but the “Goonies” never say die and often pull back points late in dramatic fashion, so concentration will be key — especially for tired bodies and minds on a short turnaround — if Orlando has a late lead of one or two goals.
Orlando City should have everyone available except Ruan and Alexandre Pato (both lower body injuries), Pedro Gallese and Sebas Mendez (both on international duty), and Rodrigo Schlegel (death in the family). Pareja said that Mauricio Pereyra is fine although he had a slight limp when leaving the pitch Saturday night. As of Monday morning, the San Jose injury report listed Marcos Lopez out on international duty and all of the following Earthquakes were listed as questionable: Jacob Akanyirige (right hip), Luciano Abecasis (right thigh), Carlos Fierro (right thigh), Benji Kikanovic (right thigh), and Tommy Thompson (right knee).
Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about San Jose with help from Alicia Rodriguez of SBNation’s Earthquakes blog, Center Line Soccer.
- Last week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions and some more insight on San Jose by Alicia Rodriguez.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Brandon Austin.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith.
Midfielders: Benji Michel, Junior Urso, Andres Perea, Chris Mueller,
Forwards: Nani, Daryl Dike.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Michael Halliday, Rio Hope-Gund, Joey DeZart, Uri Rosell, Alexander Alvarado, Mauricio Pereyra, Silvester van der Water, Tesho Akindele.
San Jose Earthquakes (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: JT Marcinkowski.
Defenders: Paul Marie, Oswaldo Alanis, Florian Jungwirth, Tommy Thompson.
Defensive Midfielders: Judson, Jackson Yueill.
Attacking Midfielder: Chris Wondolowski, Javier Lopez, Cristian Espinoza.
Forwards: Andres Rios.
Bench: Matt Bersano, Daniel Vega, Tanner Beason, Luciano Abecasis, Jacob Akanyirige, Shea Salinas, Jack Skahan, Benji Kikanovic, Cade Cowell.
Ref: Chris Penso.
AR1: Jeremy Kieso.
AR2: Brooke Mayo.
4th: Marcos de Oliveira.
VAR: Guido Gonzales Jr.
AVAR: Kyle Longville.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.
TV: UniMas, TUDN.
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Accion 97.9 FM, 810 AM (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on Univision NOW and the TUDN app.
Enjoy the match. Go City!