Welcome to your match preview and live thread for a Sunday night match-up between Orlando City (9-10-6, 33 points) and expansion side Charlotte FC (10-14-2, 32 points) at Bank of America Stadium (7 p.m., FOX 35 Plus). This is the second of two scheduled meetings between the new Eastern Conference foes this season and the only one in Charlotte.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
The Lions are 1-0-0 in the all-time series but have yet to play Charlotte FC in North Carolina. Orlando City won the first-ever meeting between the sides back on April 30. Ruan scored the opening goal and set up Facundo Torres on the counter for the second as the Lions took a 2-0 lead into the locker room. Christian Fuchs scored from the spot after Rodrigo Schlegel was called for a foul in the box in the second half but that was as close as Charlotte got in what was ultimately a 2-1 Orlando victory.
Orlando City enters its second straight road game looking to build on last weekend’s 1-0 win over the New York Red Bulls. Torres scored the lone goal in that match but the defense did a good job of forcing the hosts to take shots from low-percentage locations. With that win, the Lions improved to 4-3-6 on the road.
Charlotte is on short rest after beating New York City FC on the road Wednesday night — just the team’s second road victory of the year. That followed last weekend’s 5-0 loss at LAFC. However, the new side has been good at home, posting a record of 8-4-0 at Bank of America Stadium. Charlotte is the only team in the Eastern Conference other than Orlando City to not record a home draw in 2022. The team did, however, lose its most recent home match — a 3-2 decision against the Chicago Fire on Aug. 6.
As I wrote last time, the primary task for Orlando City won’t be an easy one — shutting down Designated Player Karol Swiderski, who leads Charlotte with eight goals to go along with four assists on the season. The secondary task for the Lions will be closing down Ben Bender, who leads his club with six assists on the year and is tied for third in goals, with three. Orlando City will also need to find a way to beat goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina, who has been solid for Charlotte this season.
“There are a lot of expectations at this point in the season with the way the standings are,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said in his pre-match press conference. “I said this last week against the Red Bulls, but we have that urgency as a team to get momentum to jump over these hurdles and win three points. We’re going to Charlotte with the same mentality. We know as well that it’s a difficult place, but we’re trying to go with confidence, courage, and we’ve seen the team this week working tremendously well.
“Charlotte is a rival that has had ups and downs, as well as many, in that pack of teams looking for qualification [to the playoffs]. They have great energy from their fans, energy from the players too, so we will be prepared for that and try to cope with that energy and overcome any circumstances and bring the points to Orlando.”
Joao Moutinho will miss the match due to suspension for yellow card accumulation while Alexandre Pato (knee) and Joey DeZart (knee) are out with injuries. Ercan Kara (lower leg) is listed as questionable. Charlotte lists Vinicius Mello (left foot surgery), Adam Armour (left knee surgery), Nathan Byrne (visa), and Nuno Santos (visa) as out.
Mandatory Match Content
- 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 went inside the numbers with his scouting report on Charlotte FC.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Ruan.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Junior Urso.
Attacking Midfielders: Jake Mulraney, Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres.
Forward: Ercan Kara.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Michael Halliday, Thomas Williams, Wilder Cartagena, Andres Perea, Ivan Angulo, Benji Michel, Nicholas Gioacchini, Tesho Akindele.
Charlotte FC (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Kristijan Kahlina.
Defenders: Christian Fuchs, Jan Sobocinski, Anton Walkes, Jaylin Lindsey.
Midfielders: Brandt Bronico, Derrick Jones, Quinn McNeill.
Forwards: Kerwin Vargas, Karol Swiderski, McKinze Gaines.
Bench: George Marks, Harrison Afful, Joseph Mora, Adilson Malanda, Ben Bender, Kamil Jozwiak, Jordy Alcivar, Yordy Reyna, Andre Shinyashiki.
Ref: Lukasz Szpala.
AR1: Brian Dunn.
AR2: Kevin Klinger.
4th: Kevin Broadley.
VAR: Drew Fischer.
AVAR: Jonathan Johnson.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m.
Venue: Bank of America Stadium — Charlotte, NC.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ (out of market only) and the LionNation app (in market only).
Enjoy the match. Go City!
The Mane Land has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though The Mane Land and SB Nation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our guiding principles.