Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: Camping World Stadium – Friday, May 6 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Orlando 5/4 – Draw 5/2 – NY Red Bulls 2/1
New York came from behind to beat Orlando 3-2 at Red Bull Arena in that game, though Orlando felt aggrieved as they thought Karl Ouimette should have been sent off for a last-man tackle on Cyle Larin when they led 1-0.
Orlando fans will be desperate to see their side bounce back with a win here. The Lions have not won in four and could certainly do with the three points as they look to remain in the playoff places.
Adrian Heath’s side showed great spirit last weekend, twice coming from behind to earn a late point in the 2-2 draw with New England and winning a second home game of the season will now be the priority.
The New York Red Bulls have suddenly turned their season around over the last two weeks. They followed up their victory over Orlando with a stunning 4-0 win over FC Dallas last Friday and are only five points off top spot in the East, despite sitting eighth.
Jesse Marsch will be delighted with the recent recovery as the Red Bulls looked to be in big trouble after losing six of their opening seven.
Injuries haven’t helped their cause so far this term but with key players nearing returns, things are looking up for last year’s Supporters’ Shield winners.
This will be the fourth ever meeting between the two sides. Their only previous clash in Orlando saw the Red Bulls win 2-0 back in July 2015.
Orlando City will be without Conor Donovan once again, while Kaka remains a doubt with a groin problem but is expected to play in Friday’s game. Cyle Larin will spearhead the attack as he is now fully fit once again.
New York Red Bulls boss Jesse Marsch will be slightly happier with his current injury situation, as a few key players are close to returning. Gideon Baah is almost ready to return to the side but is officially listed as a doubt for Friday, while the same applies to Connor Lade and Gonzalo Veron. Damien Perrinelle and Ryan Meara are both definitely out.
Orlando City’s last five: W/L/D/L/D
New York Red Bulls’ last five: L/L/L/W/W
Key Stat: Orlando City are unbeaten in their last ten home games in MLS (W5 D5). Their last defeat at home actually came against the New York Red Bulls last July.
Key Player: Cyle Larin – The Orlando striker continues to impress and is now back to full fitness after a short spell on the sidelines. He has four goals from six starts this term and will need to be at his best if the home side are to get past the Red Bulls on Friday night.
Orlando City 2-2 New York Red Bulls – Both sides will be looking for all three points on Friday night as they look to mount a challenge for the Eastern Conference title over the remainder of the season. Orlando are a tough nut to crack at home, but they haven’t won in four and may struggle to beat a resurgent Red Bulls outfit. That said, New York have lost all four of their away games so far and so recording a third-straight league victory may be a step too far. Score draw.