Welcome to your match thread and preview for a Sunday afternoon match-up between Orlando City (4-2-2, 14 points) and the New York Red Bulls (3-2-2, 11 points) at Exploria Stadium (3:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPN Deportes). It will be the first of the two scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2022, with the Lions making the return trip to Red Bull Arena on Aug. 13.
Here’s what you need to know for the match.
The Lions are 5-8-2 in 15 meetings with the Red Bulls in the all-time series, with a 3-3-1 mark at home. Orlando is on a three-game winless streak (0-2-1) in the series.
The Red Bulls swept the season series in 2021, handing Orlando City its first loss of any kind last year as well as the Lions’ first home loss. The most recent meeting came at Exploria Stadium last year on July 3, with New York taking home a 2-1 win. Cristian Casseres Jr. opened the scoring just six minutes in, but Chris Mueller pulled the Lions level early in the second half. Fabio’s late goal lifted the visitors. Mauricio Pereyra’s poor penalty was saved by Carlos Coronel, which may have cost Orlando City a better result.
The Red Bulls handed Orlando City its first loss of the 2021 season, a 2-1 affair at Red Bull Arena, on May 29 in the teams’ first match-up of the season. Nani was suspended for that match and it showed, as the Lions were sloppy in possession and lacked composure on the ball. New York took the lead on goals by Caden Clark and Casseres, before Silvester van der Water pulled one back late. The Dutchman had a golden opportunity to tie the match moments later but skied his shot well over the bar.
The Lions got a road draw on Oct. 18, 2020, with Brian White equalizing deep in stoppage time in a 1-1 match. Nani had put the Lions ahead in the second half with a penalty kick goal and Orlando clinched its first ever MLS playoff spot despite spilling those late two points. That was the last match in the club’s record 12-match unbeaten streak in MLS play.
Orlando got the better of New York at Exploria Stadium on Oct. 3, 2020, winning 3-1 on goals by Daryl Dike, Junior Urso, and Antonio Carlos. Florian Valot scored for New York.
The Red Bulls won 1-0 at Exploria Stadium on July 21, 2019. White’s goal stood up as Carlos Ascues, Tesho Akindele, and Sacha Kljestan each hit the woodwork in the second half. Prior to that, the Lions eked out a 1-0 win at Red Bull Arena on Kljestan’s goal on March 23, 2019. Before that game, the home team had won each of the previous five home games in the series, splitting a pair of matches during the 2017 and 2018 seasons.
The Red Bulls grabbed a 1-0 result in the 2018 season finale to capture the Supporters’ Shield. It kicked off three consecutive 1-0 matches but the games used to be a bit more high scoring.
Prior to the 2018 finale, the clubs met in Orlando on March 31, 2018. The Lions pulled off a 4-3 home victory. Dom Dwyer marked his season debut with a brace and Will Johnson and Josué Colmán added goals to lift Orlando — the latter actually was a shot by Scott Sutter that went off the Paraguayan’s back. Valot, Derrick Etienne, and Aaron Long scored for New York.
The teams met three times in 2016, with New York going 2-0-1. The teams split two games in 2015, with the road team winning both times, including Orlando City’s 5-2 win in New Jersey behind a Cyle Larin hat trick.
The Lions are 2-2-0 at home in MLS play this season and 3-2-0 in all competitions after Wednesday night’s U.S. Open Cup win over the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Orlando has won its last two at home counting the USOC game.
The Red Bulls are a perfect 3-0-0 on the road this season but are winless in their last two matches (0-1-1) — both at home.
Lewis Morgan, Tom Barlow, and Omir Fernandez have been the danger men for the Red Bulls so far this season, having scored seven of the team’s nine goals between them. Frankie Amaya and Patryk Klimala have three assists apiece, so they’ll bear watching as well from the Orlando defense.
New York will likely continue to do what it’s done over the years — press high, look to force turnovers, and try to create overloads and odd-man situations in the attacking third. Lazy or off-line passes by Orlando’s back line or midfield will be punished.
“We certainly think that New York will bring an intensity to the game,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “We know from the prior games that we need to be 100% concentrated and try to match that intensity. At the same time, pay attention to the quality of our game and the quality of our team, knowing that we’re at home. We’re looking for those points.”
Orlando City will be without Antonio Carlos (hamstring), while Tesho Akindele (thigh) is listed as questionable. As of Thursday, New York’s injury list showed Andres Reyes (foot), Caden Clark (knee), and Serge Ngoma (hamstring) as out.
Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides more information on the New York Red Bulls from Ben Cork of SBNation’s Once a Metro.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for today’s match.
- Dave Rohe outlined his three keys to victory for Orlando City in this match.
- Josh Munsey provided a scouting report on the Red Bulls.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Ruan.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Junior Urso.
Attacking Midfielders: Facundo Torres, Mauricio Pereyra, Alexandre Pato.
Forward: Ercan Kara.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith, Thomas Williams, Sebas Mendez, Joey DeZart, Andres Perea, Silvester van der Water, Benji Michel, Jack Lynn.
New York Red Bulls (3-5-2)
Goalkeeper: Carlos Coronel.
Defenders: Aaron Long, Sean Nealis, Tom Edwards.
Midfielders: John Tolkin, Cristian Casseres Jr., Luquinhas, Frankie Amaya, Lewis Morgan.
Forwards: Ashley Fletcher, Omir Fernandez.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Lucas Monzon, Dylan Nealis, Daniel Edelman, Dru Yearwood, Zach Ryan, Tom Barlow, Patryk Klimala.
Ref: Alex Chilowicz.
AR1: Nick Uranga.
AR2: Micheal Barwegen.
4th: Tori Penso.
VAR: Timothy Ford.
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert.
How to Watch
Match Time: 3:30 p.m., Sunday, April 24.
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes.
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on WatchESPN and ESPNDeportes+.
Enjoy the match. Go City!