MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City SC vs. New England Revolution

Venue: Orlando Citrus Bowl – Sunday, April 17 – 15:30 ET (20:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando 23/20 – Draw 5/2 – New England Revolution 9/4

Match Preview

Orlando City host New England Revolution in an all-Eastern Conference clash on Sunday afternoon with the sides separated by just one point heading into the contest.

Orlando come into this one off the back of their 2-1 away loss against Philadelphia Union so will be looking to bounce back here following their first defeat of the campaign.

The Lions sit third in the Eastern Conference and were looking like a strong side until last week’s loss. Fans will be expecting them to mount a strong challenge for the playoffs this season so continuing their strong run of home form is essential.

Orlando are yet to beat New England Revolution, drawing once and losing once in their two meetings last year. However, Adrian Heath will be optimistic they can take all three points this time around.

Embed from Getty Images

New England Revolution have had an inconsistent start to the 2016 regular season but are sitting fourth in the East after losing just one game from six so far.

This fixture last season ended in a 2-2 draw and so the Revs will know just how difficult a place the Orlando Citrus Bowl is to visit.

New England come into this one off the back of their 1-1 draw with Toronto last time out. Jay Heaps will be hoping his side can build upon what was a good point last time out and possibly take all three here as they look to climb further up the Eastern Conference.

The Revs will need to tighten up their defence, an issue Heaps will have been addressing, as they have conceded eight goals in their six outings so far.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Orlando City have four injury concerns. Conor Donovan, Cyle Larin and Tommy Redding are expected to miss out while Cristian Higuita is a doubt. Julio Baptista came on for the final minute last week but will be hoping to make his full debut in front of the home crowd on Sunday.

New England Revolution have just the one injury concern as Darrius Barnes is a doubt heading into this tie.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/D/W/W/L

New England Revolution’s last five: D/L/D/W/D

Key Stat: Fortress – Orlando are unbeaten in their last nine home outings in Major League Soccer.

Key Player: Kaka – The Orlando captain has netted one in his two appearances this season and there is added pressure on him to provide here in the absence of in-form forward Cyle Larin. Kaka can turn any game in an instant and will hope to perform as he did in Orlando’s excellent 4-1 home win over Portland two weeks ago.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 New England Revolution – A repeat of last season’s scoreline between these two at Orlando Citrus Bowl could be on the cards. There isn’t much to split them by coming into this tie and we expect it to be that way throughout, although goals are to be expected.

Advertisements

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Chicago Fire

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire

Venue: Orlando Citrus Bowl – Friday, March 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Orlando 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Chicago 5/2

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Chicago Fire to the Citrus Bowl in the first Friday night fixture of the 2016 MLS season this week in what promises to be an entertaining Eastern Conference clash.

Both sides were involved in two of the most dramatic games on opening weekend, with Orlando scoring two stoppage time goals to draw 2-2 with Real Salt Lake, while Chicago fell 4-3 to NYCFC in a seven-goal thriller.

The Lions will expect to build upon their very late showing against RSL by beating Eastern rivals Chicago on Friday night, but will have to do so without Kaka as he remains out with a thigh problem.

Embed from Getty Images

Adrian Heath’s side are a dangerous attacking unit, proven by the fact they have scored ten goals in their last five home games in MLS. They should cause the Chicago defence plenty of problems based on the Fire’s showing against New York City last week.

Veljko Paunovic will be disappointed with the way life started as Chicago head coach in Sunday’s home opener, but he did oversee an encouraging preseason run and will be looking for an important win in Florida this week.

The Fire may have looked vulnerable at the back, but they attacked well and have major attacking threats in David Accam and Kennedy Igboananike.

Embed from Getty Images

This will be the fifth meeting between the two clubs in less than a year after they faced off four times over the course of Orlando’s inaugural season.

The Lions did not lose to the Fire in any of the three regular season meetings (W2 D1) but did fall 3-1 in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup. The two sides met once at the Citrus Bowl, playing out a 1-1 draw in late August and both sides will expect to find the net once again here.

Team News

Orlando will be without Darwin Ceren following his red card picked up in last week’s draw with Real Salt Lake. Adrian Heath will also be without star man Kaka for the second-straight week, as the Brazilian playmaker is struggling with a thigh strain. Conor Donovan and David Mateos also remain sidelined through injury, while Bryan Rochez is a doubt. The positive for Orlando is that new signing Antonio Nocerino should make his debut for the club following his move from AC Milan this winter.

Chicago will be sweating over the fitness of striker Gilberto as he is struggling with a calf strain picked up in the defeat to New York City last weekend. Eric Gehrig remains out with a foot injury but other than that Veljko Paunovic has a full squad to choose from.

Key Points

Orlando City’s form: D

Chicago Fire’s form: L

Key Stat: Chicago have not won a regular season game on the road in their last 25 attempts (D7 L18) – a stretch that has now lasted 20 months.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The Orlando striker scored one and assisted one of Orlando’s two stoppage time goals last weekend and looked a threat throughout. He will expect to find the net against a Fire defence that looked unorganised as they shipped four against NYCFC last week.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Orlando City 3-1 Chicago Fire – Orlando should be able to get off the mark for the 2016 season with a home win at the second attempt here. They rallied late to earn an extraordinary point last week and should build on that with a better showing over 90 minutes on Friday. The Fire looked extremely poor in defence last weekend and may struggle to contain Cyle Larin. Antonio Nocerino is expected to make his debut and will also expect to hurt the Fire’s backline. Both sides should find the net but the Lions look set to edge an entertaining encounter. Chicago’s hideous away record will do little to increase their supporters’ confidence.

Orlando City record fifth-highest attendance in world football this weekend

The opening day of the 2016 Major League Soccer season was an exhilarating one from start to finish, with a league-record 36 goals going in the first round of matches.

One of the most dramatic games came in Orlando, as the Lions rallied to score two stoppage time goals in the space of a minute to earn a 2-2 draw with Real Salt Lake on Sunday afternoon.

For the second-straight season, Orlando City left it incredibly late to seal a point from their home opener – something the 60,147 fans in attendance would have been delighted with.

That incredible attendance figure was the largest in MLS on opening day by some distance. Seattle came closest to matching it with 39,525 in attendance for their clash with Sporting KC, with the league average standing at 26,152 from the ten games on Sunday.

But more impressively, Orlando’s attendance figure on Sunday was the fifth-highest in the world over the past weekend.

Ten highest attendance figures in world football (March 4-6) via Soccer America Daily:

81,359 – Borussia Dortmund-Bayern Munich (Germany)
68,467 – Real Madrid-Celta (Spain)
67,420 – Club America-Morelia (Mexico)
63,578 – River Plate-Boca Juniors (Argentina)
60,147 – Orlando City-Real Salt Lake (USA)
53,892 – Manchester City-Aston Villa (England)
52,815 – Monterrey-Tigres (Mexico)
52,107 – Newcastle United-Bournemouth (England)
49,300 – FC Cologne-Schalke 04 (Germany)
48,855 – Chongqing Lifan-Guangzhou Evergrande (China)

Fans flocked into the Orlando Citrus Bowl for their season opener, much as they did last year for their first-ever MLS game at home to NYCFC, in which 62,510 fans turned out.

Despite only entering their second season in MLS, Orlando now have two of the top 16 highest attendance figures in Major League Soccer history.

They will hope to beat last year’s average attendance of 32,847 (second-highest in MLS in 2015) over the course of the season, and with the incredible drama witnessed on Sunday, fans are sure to return.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Saturday, October 3 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando City 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Montreal Impact 11/4

Match Preview

Orlando City entertain Montreal Impact in an important clash in the Eastern Conference this weekend as the race for a playoff spot is set to further intensify.

Orlando are outsiders for a playoff place as it stands, sitting 7th and trailing their opponents Montreal, who sit 6th, by four points.

The home side come into this one off the back of their impressive 5-2 away win over the New York Red Bulls, making it three wins on the bounce. They will need to win all of their remaining fixtures, and have other games go their way, if they are to stand any chance of making the playoffs in their inaugural season.

This is the first regular season meeting between the sides at the Orlando Citrus Bowl, with the earlier meetings in the regular season both being away ties for Orlando. They are yet to beat Montreal, drawing one 2-2 and losing the other 2-0.

Embed from Getty Images

Montreal Impact have also won three on the bounce and are unbeaten in their last six in total. They come into this one off the back of their 2-0 home win over DC United and look to be in good shape.

Montreal know their fate is in their own hands and they just need to continue this great run of form to ensure they remain in the last remaining playoff spot.

A loss in this one would not a catastrophic result due to their two games in hand over Orlando but they will be desperate to increase the gap to seven points over their opponents and continue to send out the message that they mean business as the regular season draws to a close.

This is the first of four away games in succession for the Impact, so they need to remain high in confidence in this tough run of fixtures. They will hope Didier Drogba can carry on his impressive scoring record to strike fear into opponents away from Stade Saputo.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Orlando City have six injury concerns ahead of this one. Kevin Molino and Conor Donovan are out, while Harrison Heath, Corey Ashe, Pedro Ribeiro and Seb Hines are all doubts. Discipline is going to be key for Orlando here as they have Darwin Ceren, Cristian Higuita, Brek Shea and Rafael Ramos all one booking away from suspension.

Montreal Impact are expected to be without Cameron Porter and Kenny Cooper, while Justin Mapp is a doubt. Laurent Ciman and Andres Romero are both suspended and Marco Donadel is one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five in MLS: D/L/W/W/W

Montreal Impact’s last five in MLS: D/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Homesick – Montreal have failed to win 28 of their last 30 away matches in MLS.

Key Player: Didier Drogba – Montreal’s talisman has netted seven goals in his first six regular season outings for the club. He has quickly become a fan-favourite and is always deadly in front of goal.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 Montreal Impact – Another tight tie between the sides to end with the same scoreline we saw earlier in the season.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew 

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Saturday, August 1 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando City 6/5 – Draw 13/5 – Columbus Crew 19/10

Match Preview

Orlando City host Columbus Crew this weekend in the third regular season meeting between the sides this term. The home side are yet to beat the Crew in a regular season game but were victorious in their meeting in the US Open Cup.

Adrian Heath’s side have lost their last three games on the bounce and this will be a real test for the eighth placed Orlando City.

Orlando have struggled to find home form this season, having won just three of their 11 ties at the Citrus Bowl and that is affecting their playoff chances.

Despite being six places behind the Crew in the league, Orlando are only seven points worse off than their opponents. Heath will be expecting his side to finish in the playoff spots and victory here would be a welcome result to end their four-game winless run.

Embed from Getty Images

Columbus Crew are sitting in a respectable second place in the Eastern Conference and know they cannot afford any slip-ups in the coming games as they will risk dropping down the table.

Crew SC have been in good form of late, losing just once in their last eight outings. Worryingly though, they have only won one regular season away game this campaign.

Gregg Berhalter’s side come into the game off the back of the 3-3 draw with Toronto last weekend, in which they squandered a 3-0 lead and so the players will need to respond immediately to keep the pressure on DC United at the top of the Eastern.

Embed from Getty Images

The MLS game between the two at the Citrus Bowl back in May ended in a 2-2 draw, while Columbus beat the Lions 3-0 at MAPFRE Stadium in April.

Team News

Orlando City will be without Kevin Molino, Tony Cascio, Brek Shea and Harrison Heath. Carlos Rivas is one caution away from suspension.

Columbus Crew have no injury concerns but do have three players one caution away from suspension. Mohammed Saeid, Kei Kamara and Waylon Francis are all treading on thin ice. Kamara suffered a knock in the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday night but should be fit to start here.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five in MLS: W/D/L/L/L

Columbus Crew’s last five in MLS: W/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: Columbus Crew have won just once away from home this season in MLS.

Key Player: Kaka – The midfield maestro played and scored in the midweek MLS All-Stars clash against Tottenham Hotspur and is unplayable when in the mood. Expect him to impress in front of his own fans on Saturday evening.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Orlando City 1-2 Columbus Crew – Columbus Crew to take all three points with their second away win on the bounce against an Orlando side struggling to find any form.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City SC vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City SC vs. FC Dallas

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Saturday, July 11 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando City 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – FC Dallas 19/10

Match Preview

Orlando City take on FC Dallas on Saturday night for the first time in MLS at the Citrus Bowl.

Orlando are back on home soil after their 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake last weekend, which has seen them draw on level points with Columbus Crew and New England Revolution. However the Lions have played two games less than their Eastern Conference opponents.

Although they sit third in the Eastern, the teams are split by fine margins, with second to seventh place separated by just four points.

Adrian Heath was under enormous pressure to turn things around, and three wins in their last five outings has seen his side on the up.

Embed from Getty Images

Top scorer Kaka, will miss the game due to suspension after his red card last weekend. While second top scorer Cyle Larin is in Gold Cup action with Canada. Leaving Orlando light in front of goal.

FC Dallas play away from home for the sixth time in eight matches but bounced back after their impressive 3-0 rout over New England Revolution at Toyota Stadium last weekend.

Like Orlando, FC Dallas’ top scorer Blas Perez is unavailable as he is on International duty with Panama in the Gold Cup.

FC Dallas’ away form is something that does need to be addressed, in eight games on the road they have won just twice and lost six, which been their achilles heel.

Dallas will be hoping to capitalise on the fact Larin and Kaka are missing for Orlando and take all three points.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Plenty of absentees from both teams due to Gold Cup commitments, Orlando City have Cyle Larin and Darwin Ceren away. Injuries to Kevin Molino (ACL), Martin Paterson (knee), Tony Cascio (back) Aurelien Collin (hamstring) and Brek Shea (groin) weaken the squad. Kaka’s suspension doesn’t make things any easier.

FC Dallas are without five players away on international duty; Tesho Akindele, Kyle Bekker, Moises Hernandez, Je-Vaughn Watson and Blas Pérez. They have no injury concerns.

Key Points

Orlando City last five in MLS: W/W/L/W/D

FC Dallas last five in MLS: D/L/D/W/W

Key Stat: Leaky – The two sides they have conceded forty five goals between them this season.

Key Player: Fabian Castillo – The Columbian has seven goals this season and five assists. He is Dallas’ leading scorer in the absence of Perez and he could take advantage of Orlando’s weakened squad.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction: 

Orlando City 0-1 FC Dallas – A tight affair between the two, but the one goal could sneak it especially with both teams light due to injuries and international commitments.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Wednesday, June 24 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Orlando City 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – Columbus Crew 14/5

Match Preview

Orlando City host Colorado Rapids in their midweek clash with the home side heading into the tie off the back of a defeat.

Head coach Adrian Heath can be pleased with his side and their performances have seen them rise to a respectable third place in the Eastern Conference. Their loss last weekend to Montreal Impact was their first defeat in five outings and they need to respond quickly.

Orlando are just four points behind New England Revolution, with a game in hand, and will be hoping they can continue to apply the pressure to the two sides above them as they look on track to make the playoffs in their first ever season.

Embed from Getty Images

This is a game Orlando will be expecting to win but they cannot afford any complacency, despite being in a far better position than their opponents.

Colorado Rapids have had a dismal season so far and sit bottom of the Western Conference as a result. They have won just two games, the least of any side in Major League Soccer.

Pablo Mastroeni will be willing his side to put together a run of form but knows they will be up against it in this tie away from home.

The Rapids have won just once in their last ten outings and things aren’t looking any easier, with some difficult games approaching. On the bright side in those last ten they have picked up six draws, and so things could be worse.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Orlando City are set to be without three players as Kevin Molino, Martin Paterson and Tony Cascio are sidelined. Brek Shea is one booking away from a suspension.

Colorado Rapids could be without three players as Axel Sjoberg and Juan Ramirez are out and Vicente Sanchez is a doubt. Sam Cronin and Bobby Burling are both one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/D/W/W/L

Colorado Rapids’ last five: W/L/L/D/D

Key Stat: Colorado have failed to win in 27 of their last 29 MLS games. 

Key Player: Kaka – The Brazilian playmaker has been brilliant for Orlando this season and has netted seven goals so far this campaign. His performances are vital to the side.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-1 Colorado Rapids – A win which most would predict with Orlando heaping more misery on Colorado as they look to remain third in the Eastern Conference.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Columbus Crew

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Saturday, May 30 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST – Sunday, May 31)

Match Odds: Orlando City 5/4 – Draw 12/5 – Columbus Crew 21/10

Match Preview

Orlando City and Columbus Crew clash in MLS for the second time this season when they meet at Citrus Bowl on Saturday evening.

Head coach Adrian Heath can be very happy with Orlando’s last two results as they picked up a valuable point in a 1-1 draw away at San Jose Earthquakes last weekend, and thrashed LA Galaxy 4-0 at home the week before.

The win over the Galaxy was the Lions’ first ever victory at home and they’re now sixth in the Eastern Conference standings with 13 points from their opening 12 games.

Embed from Getty Images

If Orlando avoid defeat in this game, it will also be the first time they have strung together a run of three games without defeat.

Columbus Crew are fourth in the Eastern Conference with 15 points and drew their last game at home to the Chicago Fire in disappointing fashion as they let a two-goal lead slip, conceding a devastating last-minute equaliser to tie the game.

The Crew have managed just one victory in their last four games (D1, L2) and also haven’t won a game away from home yet this season, so they’ll be looking to break that trend (D2, L3).

Embed from Getty Images

Gregg Berhalter’s Columbus side eased to a 3-0 victory when these two sides met in the reverse fixture in April, thanks to goals from Federico Higuain, Justin Meram and Kei Kamara.

Team News

Orlando City will be without Pedro Ribeiro (hamstring) and Kevin Molino, while Lewis Neal (neck), Tony Cascio (back) and Aurelien Collin (hamstring) are all doubts. Brek Shea will miss the game through suspension after his red card against San Jose.

Columbus Crew midfielders Wil Trapp (concussion) and Ethan Finlay (toe) are both doubtful.

Embed from Getty Images

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: L/D/L/W/D

Columbus Crew’s last five: W/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: Columbus Crew have conceded at least two goals in their last four matches in MLS.

Key Player: Kaka – The Brazilian has been excellent in Orlando’s recent good performances and will be vital to his side once again.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 Columbus Crew – Orlando are full of confidence after their last two games and there’s always goals when Columbus play, but they just can’t win away from home. A high scoring draw could be the order of the day.

Former Burnley man feels Citrus Bowl ‘can be a fortress’ for Orlando

Orlando City finally won their first MLS home game this weekend, thumping LA Galaxy 4-0 in front of a 40,000 crowd at the Orlando Citrus Bowl.

Orlando’s Martin Paterson made his debut in the 83rd minute, replacing Brek Shea. The 28-year-old Northern Irish striker suffered a hamstring injury, causing him to miss the opening of the season, and he was delighted with his teams win.

The Lions are now fifth in the Eastern Conference after winning three, drawing five and losing three and the stadium oozed relief after the long wait came to an end for that elusive first home win. Paterson has urged his team to build upon this result and turn the Citrus Bowl into a place teams dread visiting.

Embed from Getty Images

“It was only a matter of time until we turned this tide at home,” he is quoted as saying by MLSsoccer.com.

“I think we got what we deserved, and our players got what we deserved. I don’t think the next team will look forward to coming in here. I think this can be a fortress, and now we can turn the tide and really put teams to the sword.”

It is early doors to suggest that the Citrus Bowl can be a fortress given this was Orlando’s first home win but it is exactly what the Lions’ fans want to hear from their players.

Their next home game is against Eastern Conference rivals Columbus Crew on May 30.

Can the Orlando Citrus Bowl become a fortress?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs DC United

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Friday, April 3 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Saturday, April 4)

Match Odds: Orlando City 5/4 – Draw 23/10 – DC United 11/5

Match Preview

Orlando City host DC United on Friday night in their third MLS home game of the season in what they will be hoping will be their first win at the Citrus Bowl.

Orlando have definitely made their mark on MLS so far this season and most notably their star signing Kaka has stolen all of the headlines.

With only one point separating the two sides, this is a chance for Orlando to set the tone for their season as Brek Shea and Rafael Ramos return to the side after being away on international duty.

Embed from Getty Images

With Kaka being a doubt, there is a chance he may not play and it will be interesting to see if Adrian Heath’s side can cope without their talisman.

Orlando City’s record in MLS 2015: P4 – W1 – D2 – L1

DC United have had an indifferent start to 2015 having managed to win both home games and lose the one away game.

It seems that this DC side is suffering with the suspension of Fabian Espindola who was instrumental in their 2014 campaign that saw them win the Eastern Conference.

Embed from Getty Images

They are seemingly lacking a creative spark in the final third but are still managing to grind out results. And with only a few weeks left on the Espindola ban, you can’t help but feel that DC will be a force once again this season.

DC United’s record in MLS 2015: P3 – W2 – D0 – L1

Team News

Orlando City’s Tally Hall and Martin Paterson remain sidelined. Christian Higuita, Carlos Rivas, Lewis Neal, Tony Cascio and Kaka are all doubts for this one but are expected to be pushing to start if they can. Brek Shea and Rafeal Ramos are expected to start after returning from international duty.

Embed from Getty Images

DC United’s Fabian Espindola is still serving his six-game ban. Eddie Johnson and Markus Halsti remain out, while Steve Birnbaum suffered a sprained ankle against LA Galaxy and will miss the next 4-6 weeks, so Kofi Opare is expected to come in. Luis Silva remains doubtful, while Chris Pontius and Jairo Arrieta are set to continue up front.

Key Points

Orlando City’s form: D/W/L/D

DC United’s form: W/L/W

Key Stat: Orlando City are yet to win at home in MLS.

Key Player: Kevin Molino – The midfielder is back from international duty with Trinidad and Tobago and should be as threatening as ever. His pace could prove the difference in this clash.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Orlando City 1–1 DC United – DC United haven’t won on the road this season, while Orlando are yet to win at home, so everything is pointing towards a draw, although we can expect a couple of goals.