Welcome to your match thread for a Wednesday night match-up between Orlando City and the New England Revolution (7:30 p.m., FOX 35 Plus). This is the first of two scheduled meetings between the two MLS Eastern Conference rivals this season and the only one at Gillette Stadium. The Revs will make the return trip to Orlando on Aug. 6.
Here’s what you need to know for the match.
The Lions are 2-5-6 in the all-time, regular-season series against New England and 3-6-6 in all competitions. Orlando is still looking for its first road victory in the all-time series, with a terrible 0-5-1 record against the Revs at Gillette Stadium in the regular season.
The last time the teams met, Orlando built a 2-0 lead through goals by Nani and Daryl Dike, but two late Adam Buksa goals allowed the Revs to steal a point in a 2-2 draw at Exploria Stadium on Oct. 24, 2021. The teams met at Gillette Stadium just over a month prior to that draw in Orlando with Nani’s missed penalty a costly one in a 2-1 Revs home win. The Revolution jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a goal by Buksa and an own goal off of Rodrigo Schlegel, in which the referee was quite lenient with the big Designated Player’s treatment of the Orlando defender in the lead-up to Tajon Buchanan’s cross. Dike pulled one back for the Lions and won a penalty but Nani’s attempt to go down the middle was read at the last second by Matt Turner, who got his shoulder to it to preserve the lead. Orlando played well in that match but wasn’t clinical enough with its chances.
New England ended the Lions’ season at Exploria Stadium in the 2020 playoffs, knocking Orlando City out of MLS Cup contention in the conference semifinal round on Nov. 29, 2020, in a 3-1 win at Exploria Stadium. It was the first road win for either side in the all-time series. Carles Gil put the Revs up early from the penalty spot after a call against Uri Rosell and Gustavo Bou doubled the lead eight minutes later, finishing a play that started with a Nani turnover the captain believed should have been called a foul. Junior Urso pulled a goal back before the halftime whistle, but Mauricio Pereyra was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Matt Polster at the hour mark. Still, Nani had a chance to equalize from the spot, but a poor penalty was saved by Turner. Bou added a late insurance goal.
In the pre-pandemic times, the teams met at Exploria Stadium on Sept. 14, 2019, with the Lions overcoming a Tesho Akindele own goal and two deficits — the second by two goals — and rallying for a 3-3 draw. Akindele’s own goal opened the scoring 15 minutes in but Nani tied things up in the 22nd. Cristian Penilla and Bou scored goals five minutes apart just before halftime to seemingly give the visitors control. But Dom Dwyer pulled one back after the restart and Nani tied it up in the 54th minute.
The teams also met at Gillette Stadium in 2019 on July 27, and the Revs put the Lions on full blast, 4-1. Bou scored within the first two minutes of the game and the Revolution got more goals from Penilla, Gil, and Diego Fagundez. Akindele pulled one back to avoid the shutout.
The teams met at Exploria Stadium in U.S. Open Cup action back on June 19, 2019, with the Lions scoring twice in a 30-minute extra time session and holding on for a 2-1 victory. Benji Michel and Akindele staked Orlando to a 2-0 lead before Justin Rennicks pulled one back off a Gil back-post cross. City was able to see the game out.
The last meeting of 2018 saw the Revs top a depleted Orlando side, 2-0 in Gillette Stadium on Oct. 13. Penilla and Fagundez provided the offense. In the first match-up of 2018, the teams combined for six goals in a 3-3 draw at Orlando City Stadium on Aug. 4. Orlando battled back from a 2-0 deficit after Juan Agudelo and Penilla found the net. Dwyer pulled one back and Amro Tarek scored his first MLS goal to level things. Teal Bunbury restored the Revolution’s lead, but Scott Sutter headed home a Yoshimar Yotún set piece delivery in the 93rd to rescue a point for the Lions.
City completed a 6-1 demolition of 10-man New England at home Sept. 27, 2017. Kaká scored a brace, with Dwyer getting his first home goal as an MLS Lion and Yotún and Antonio Nocerino each scoring their first-ever goal with OCSC. Seb Hines also scored for Orlando and Lee Nguyen got the Revs’ only tally on a free kick. New England won at Gillette Stadium that year by a 4-0 count and it could have been worse. Kei Kamara netted a hat trick and Bunbury also scored, with Nguyen assisting on all four goals to tie an MLS record. Jose Aja was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.
Orlando beat the Revs at home in Jason Kreis’ debut as the Lions’ coach on July 31, 2016, as Kevin Molino scored a brace for City in a 3-1 win. Cyle Larin also scored to more than offset Kamara’s strike. The teams also drew 2-2 twice in 2016 (and three times in the first four meetings), starting with the weird affair in Orlando back on April 17, 2016, in which the teams reached a controversial 2-2 final score. It was leveled by a very late Nguyen penalty for a handball in the box on Servando Carrasco, who didn’t touch it with any part of his hand or arm. Kaká opened the scoring on a penalty and Molino scored in the 92nd minute. Between those two goals, Bunbury scored off a corner that should have been ruled a goal kick.
The second 2016 meeting reached the same final score on April 30 in New England. This time the Revs appeared the better side for much of the game, but the Lions fought back twice from one-goal deficits on goals by Molino and Carlos Rivas to nullify scores by Fagundez and Agudelo.
The teams met twice in 2015, with Orlando City rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the final 17 minutes to draw 2-2 (there’s that score again) at the Citrus Bowl in April. Larin and Aurelien Collin provided the goals for the Lions. The Sept. 5 rematch at Gillette Stadium didn’t go as well, with New England taking a 3-0 win. Fagundez, Agudelo and Chris Tierney scored for the Revolution.
Orlando City hasn’t played since May 28, when a second-half FC Dallas rally led the visitors to a 3-1 win over the Lions. That snapped Orlando’s three-game unbeaten streak in league play (2-0-1, which could have been 3-0-0 if not for some “creative” officiating at Austin) but extended the current winless streak to three matches (0-1-2) in all competitions. One of those draws was made more palatable with the Lions winning a postgame penalty shootout against Inter Miami to advance in the U.S. Open Cup following the 1-1 draw.
The Lions are 3-1-3 on the road in 2022, which is good, but 0-4-3 in all MLS competitions against the Revolution (with the U.S. Open Cup win in extra time thrown into that time frame) in the last seven meetings, which is bad. The Lions last tasted victory over New England in an MLS match on Sept. 27, 2017. Perhaps New England has referred back to that 6-1 loss for extra motivation since then.
The Revs played on Sunday and claimed a late 2-1 win over 10-man Sporting Kansas City on the road. It was, unfortunately, former Lion Rosell who was shown a second yellow, helping the Revs’ cause that day. New England is on a fine run of form, riding a current unbeaten streak of six games (3-0-3) dating back to April 23. The Revolution have a 3-2-2 home record this season and are unbeaten in their last four (2-0-2) at Gillette Stadium.
While the sale of Buksa to RC Lens in Ligue 1 may be cause for Orlando City fans to celebrate, Bou hasn’t gone anywhere and is the likely interim replacement at the top of the New England formation for the time being. The Argentine scored on Sunday and his shot that Tim Melia couldn’t handle set up the game-winning goal as well. Bou has goals in each of his last two outings. While he may not have the same imposing frame as Buksa, he does more things well because he can create his own shot or chances for others. Gil pulls the strings for New England, as usual, and already has three goals and seven assists on the year. Cesar Araujo and whoever partners with him in central midfield will have to try to deny him the ball and close him down quickly when he does get it. With Turner away on international duty, the Lions won’t miss him, but Djordje Petrovic is starting to emerge for the Revs.
“We are preparing against New England after this break and it certainly has been productive since we got some time to recover the players after that marathon that we had at the end of the last two weeks of competition. We’re good, happy, and getting ready,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said at his pre-match press conference Monday.
Orlando will be down to its third goalkeeper in all likelihood. Pedro Gallese played for Peru on Monday in Qatar in a heartbreaking penalty shootout loss after a scoreless draw with Australia. Mason Stajduhar underwent jaw surgery after being injured in training during the international break and will be out for several weeks. That makes Adam Grinwis the presumed starter. Although Pareja indicated Gallese would make it back, the club signed OCB goalkeeper Javier Otero to a short-term contract today as an insurance policy.
In addition to Stajduhar, the Lions are still without defender Antonio Carlos (thigh), who at least has resumed training, and Silvester van der Water (lower leg), while Benji Michel (lower leg) has been upgraded to questionable. New England’s availability report is a short one, with defender Henry Kessler (leg) listed as questionable and Turner out on international duty.
Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info on the Revs from Jake Catanese from SBNation’s New England blog, The Bent Musket.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for the match.
- David Rohe provided his three keys to victory for Orlando City against the Revs.
- Josh Munsey went inside the numbers in his New England scouting report.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Kyle Smith.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Junior Urso.
Attacking Midfielders: Jake Mulraney, Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres.
Forwards: Alexandre Pato.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Ruan, Thomas Williams, Joey DeZart, Sebas Mendez, Andres Perea, Benji Michel, Tesho Akindele, Ercan Kara.
New England Revolution (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Djordje Petrovic.
Defenders: DeJuan Jones, Jon Bell, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye.
Defensive Midfielders: Wilfrid Kaptoum, Matt Polster.
Attacking Midfielders: Dylan Borrero, Carles Gil, Sebastian Lletget.
Forward: Gustavo Bou.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., AJ DeLaGarza, Ryan Spaulding, Omar Gonzalez, Maciel, Emmanuel Boateng, Tommy McNamara, Arnor Traustason, Jozy Altidore.
Ref: Ramy Touchan.
AR1: Gianni Facchini.
AR2: Ryan Graves.
4th: Fotis Bazakos.
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic.
AVAR: Craig Lowry.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Gillette Stadium — Foxborough, MA.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Accion 97.9 (Spanish), 810 AM.
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ (out of market only) and the LionNation app (in market only).
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
Enjoy the match. Go City!