Major League Soccer: Orlando City vs DC United
Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, March 3rd 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)
Orlando City vs DC United: Preview
The opening game of Orlando City’s 2018 MLS season is to be played at home. They welcome fellow Eastern Conference side DC United to Orlando City Stadium as both sides kick off the new season with reason for optimism.
There have been some major changes to the Orlando roster during the offseason. Kaka has retired after his contract ended, which is a huge blow for the Lions. However, they have acted quickly to bring in a quality replacement in the form of Sacha Kljestan.
Orlando are yet to make it to the playoffs since their inception into MLS three years ago. The pressure is on them to make that happen this season. Jason Kreis has revamped his midfield and knows his side need to be more consistent. A home win in their season opener would go a long way to giving his new look side, and the fans, confidence.
— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) February 27, 2018
DC United are in a similar position to Orlando for the start of the new season. They too have made improvements to their roster in the offseason. These were the bottom two sides in the East last season and will both be eager to show they are going to have a better 2018.
Making the playoffs will be the main aim for DC this campaign. They won’t want to make it two on the bounce where they fail to make the post season competition.
Ben Olsen will be expecting his side to show what they can do in this tie. However, DC have only won once in Orlando and they’re going to need to make a vast improvement on their away form from last season, where they came away with all three points on just three occasions.
— D.C. United (@dcunited) March 1, 2018
Orlando City vs DC United: Team News
❌ Suspensions: Sacha Kljestan (Red Card) – following his red card for his altercation with Jozy Altidore in the Eastern Conference semifinal, Kljestan serves the first of his two match ban.
❓ Doubts: None
🚑 Out: Uri Rosell (fitness), Dillon Powers (ankle), Josue Colman (thigh bruise) and Dom Dwyer (quad strain)
(Take a look at all Orlando City’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)
❌ Suspensions: Luciano Acosta (Red Card)
❓ Doubts: Darren Mattocks (Calf)
🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee sprain) and Taylor Kemp (sports hernia surgery)
(Take a look at all DC United’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)
Orlando City vs DC United: Key Stats
Orlando City’s MLS form: N/A
DC United’s MLS form: N/A
Key stat: Orlando City have won their last three home games against DC United.
Orlando City vs DC United: Prediction
Orlando City 2-1 DC United: An opening weekend win for Orlando looks a likely outcome for this one. Both sides are missing key playmakers through suspension but given DC’s poor away record last season and their inability, so far, to cause Orlando major problems, this is a game may well follow suit.