Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City and the New England Revolution (7:30 p.m., FOX 35 Plus). This is the second of two scheduled meetings between the two MLS Eastern Conference rivals this season and the only one at Exploria Stadium.
Here’s what you need to know for the match.
The Lions are 2-5-7 in the all-time, regular-season series against New England and 3-6-7 in all competitions. At home, Orlando City is 2-0-5 against the Revs in regular-season matches and 3-1-5 in all competitions, with a win in the U.S. Open Cup and an MLS Cup playoff loss included in that latter total.
The last time the teams met was back on June 15 at Gillette Stadium, where the Revs went ahead on a Carles Gil goal but the Lions pulled that back with a Robin Jansson strike en route to a 1-1 road draw.
In the last meeting in Orlando, the Lions 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 That 3-1 win by the Revs at Exploria Stadium was the first road win for either side in the all-time series in any competition. 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.
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 is experiencing its first normal week in more than a month, having last played Sunday in D.C. That match ended in a devastating 2-1 loss after Urso staked the Lions to an early lead and Orlando’s Benji Michel and Alexandre Pato wasted first-half sitters. Chris Durkin and Taxiarchis Fountas struck in stoppage time to steal all three points. It will be interesting to see how the Lions respond to that performance.
The Lions return home where they are only 5-6-0 this season in league play, with a mark of 8-6-2 in all competitions. The most recent home MLS game was the controversial 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union, which may not be all that bad considering the way Philly has been pummeling teams of late. The team’s most recent home outing of any kind was the enjoyable 5-1 destruction of the New York Red Bulls in USOC action on July 27.
Beware of the Revs. They enter on a six-match winless skid (0-2-4) and are coming off back-to-back scoreless draws at home against Toronto and at Columbus. In fact, three of New England’s six results in this period have been 0-0 draws. The Revolution are 2-5-4 away from Gillette Stadium this season, including 0-2-2 in their last four road matches.
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 the Revs have added Designated Player Giacomo Vrioni at forward. Gil pulls the strings for New England, as usual, and has four goals and 11 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. The Lions will also need to be cognizant of New England’s fullbacks. Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones have a combined three goals and 10 assists in 2022. Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic is emerging as a star player for the Revs as well.
“It is another important week and another important match with it being tight in the standings,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said at his pre-match press conference Thursday. “Surely, we have to recognize the importance of the moment to catch up with points. Playing against a rival that we played not long ago at their place in New England with a good performance. We still enter with motivation to get three points and be urgent.”
Orlando City will be without midfielder Joey DeZart (knee), who underwent surgery this week, but everyone else is off the availability report ahead of this match. New England will be without Jon Bell (head) and Jacob Jackson (ACL), While Bou (leg) is listed as questionable.
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, Antonio Carlos, Ruan.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Mauricio Pereyra.
Attacking Midfielders: Junior Urso, Alexandre Pato, Facundo Torres.
Forwards: Benji Michel.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Andres Perea, Wilder Cartagena, Jake Mulraney, Ivan Angulo, Nicholas Gioacchini, Tesho Akindele.
New England Revolution (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Djordje Petrovic.
Defenders: DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Andrew Farrell, Brandon Bye.
Defensive Midfielders: Matt Polster, Wilfrid Kaptoum.
Attacking Midfielders: Tommy McNamara, Carles Gil, Lucas Maciel.
Forward: Justin Rennicks.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Ben Reveno, Ryan Spaulding, Omar Gonzalez, Christian Makoun, Damian Rivera, Emmanuel Boateng, Arnor Traustason, Giacomo Vrioni.
Ref: Ramy Touchan.
AR1: Felisha Mariscal.
AR2: Brian Poeschel.
4th: Jeremy Scheer.
VAR: Alejandro Mariscal.
AVAR: TJ Zablocki.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Accion 97.9, 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!
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