Welcome to your match thread and preview for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City (8-10-6, 30 points) and the New York Red Bulls (10-7-7, 37 points) at Red Bull Arena (6 p.m., FOX 35 Plus). This is the second scheduled league match between the sides this season and the third time in all competitions that the teams will play in 2022. They won’t meet again in the regular season.
Here’s what you need to know for the match.
The Lions are 5-9-2 in 16 league meetings with the Red Bulls in the all-time series (6-9-2 in all competitions), with a 2-5-1 mark on the road. Although Orlando City has struggled in recent regular-season games against New York, the most recent meeting saw the Lions score five unanswered goals to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 5-1 romp in the U.S. Open Cup semifinals on July 27 at Exploria Stadium. Cesar Araujo scored his first two professional goals on set pieces, while Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres, and Benji Michel also found the net.
Orlando is on a four-game winless streak (0-3-1) in the regular-season series. The most recent indignity came on April 24, when the Lions were walloped 3-0 at home on goals by Luquinhas, Cristian Casseres Jr., and Lewis Morgan, and Orlando City failed to get any of its measly three shot attempts on target.
The Red Bulls swept the season series in 2021, handing Orlando City its first home loss of last year as well as the Lions’ first loss overall. The teams met at Exploria Stadium last year on July 3, with New York taking home a 2-1 win. Casseres 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. Pereyra’s poor penalty was saved by Carlos Coronel, which 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, 2021. 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 3-3-6 on the road in 2022. Orlando City is on a poor run of form with just two wins since May 14 and currently riding a three-game losing streak and a five-game winless skid in league play (0-3-2) since squeaking out a 1-0 win on a stoppage-time own goal by Damion Lowe of Inter Miami. Had that gaffe not occurred, the Lions’ winless run would be 0-5-4.
The lone bright spot in the last several weeks was that home USOC match against the Red Bulls. After an evenly played first half that saw the teams taking turns controlling play, both teams scored in stoppage time just before the break. Then Orlando blew New York away in the second half. The team has not performed anywhere near that level since, although it was in position to do so at D.C. United and then missed the net continually on excellent scoring opportunities.
Meanwhile, the Red Bulls are just 3-4-4 at home this season. Like the Lions, they have been better away from home in 2022. New York sits fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference standings. The Red Bulls are 0-1-1 in their last two matches, coming off a scoreless draw against D.C. United at Audi Field last weekend but at least stopped the defensive bleeding after conceding 13 times in their previous three competitive matches. New York has lost its last two at home against Colorado and New York City FC.
Casseres is always unusually dangerous against Orlando, so he’ll be a man to watch, but certainly not the only one. Lewis Morgan has 10 goals and four assists on the season, including a screamer against Orlando in the U.S. Open Cup match last month. Brazilian midfielder Luquinhas has five goals and three assists and was about a yard away from a hat trick with near misses in that cup match. Patryk Klimala has four goals and three assists and hit the woodwork twice against Orlando City last month. Omir Fernandez has been New York’s top setup man, with six assists in 2022 to go along with two goals.
New York will likely continue to do what it’s done over the years — relentlessly 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. On the other end, Orlando City will need to deal with a back line led by Aaron Long, Jon Tolkin, and Sean Nealis in front of goalkeeper Carlos Coronel.
“Here we are in front of our next challenge which is the New York Red Bulls, a team we have played already two weeks ago in the Cup game,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said in his Thursday press conference. “Obviously they are a tough rival, but we have the motivation to go and fight for the three points. Our readiness is high. The team already knows when we faced them last we got a good result, but it would be great to confirm again that it was not just one day, but it was something we deserved and the boys can get those three points in New York.”
Orlando City will be without Joey DeZart (right knee), while Ercan Kara (lower leg) has been elevated to questionable. New York is also mainly healthy, with A.J. Marcucci (shoulder) and Serge Ngoma (hamstring) listed as out.
Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report gets the inside scoop on the Red Bulls from Ben Cork, managing editor of SBNation’s New York blog, Once a Metro.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for today’s match.
- Our David Rohe gave his three keys to an Orlando City victory in this match.
- Josh Munsey went inside the Red Bulls’ numbers in his latest scouting report.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Mauricio Pereyra.
Attacking Midfielders: Facundo Torres, Alexandre Pato, Junior Urso.
Forward: Benji Michel.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Ruan, Rodrigo Schlegel, Wilder Cartagena, Andres Perea, Jake Mulraney, Ivan Angulo, Nicholas Gioacchini, Tesho Akindele.
New York Red Bulls (3-4-2-1)
Goalkeeper: Carlos Coronel.
Defenders: Kyle Duncan, Aaron Long, Sean Nealis,
Defensive Midfielders: John Tolkin, Cristian Casseres Jr., Dru Yearwood, Luquinhas.
Attacking Midfielders: Lewis Morgan, Frankie Amaya.
Forward: Patryk Klimala.
Bench: Ryan Meara, Dylan Nealis, Andres Reyes, Daniel Edelman, Steven Sserwadda, Tyler Pasher, Omir Fernandez, Cameron Harper, Tom Barlow.
Ref: Rubiel Vazquez.
AR1: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho.
AR2: Jason White.
4th: Elijio Arreguin.
VAR: Joe Dickerson.
AVAR: Cameron Blanchard.
How to Watch
Match Time: 6 p.m.
Venue: Red Bull Arena — Harrison, NJ.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (local only).
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), Acción 97.9 (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ (out of market only) and on the LionNation app (locally only).
Enjoy the match. Go City!
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