Orlando City vs DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

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.

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.

Orlando City vs DC United: Team News

Orlando City

❌ 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)

DC United

❌ 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.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Montreal Impact

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

Venue: Camping World Stadium – Sunday, October 2 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Orlando 21/20 – Draw 23/10 – Montreal 5/2

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Montreal Impact to Camping World Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a tie that can have an impact in the race for a playoff finish.

Recent form for Orlando looks likely to have cost them the chance of reaching the playoffs this season, but while it is still mathematically possible they have to continue fighting to make it into the top six in the Eastern Conference.

They’re five points behind the pack with three games remaining, all Jason Kreis can ask of his players is to give it their best and hope results go in their favour.

Orlando ended their three-game losing streak in midweek, drawing 0-0 with Toronto. Before that outing they had conceded 12 goals in three games.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City

Montreal Impact are closing in on a playoff finish. They are currently 4th in the East on 41 points, five above the red line.

Mauro Biello will be pleased with how his side performed in midweek, as they won 3-1 at home against San Jose.

That win was the first in four attempts for Montreal and it should give them the confidence to go on and finish the regular season with some positive results.

Impact are yet to beat Orlando in their regular season meetings in 2016, losing both the previous games, but they will see this as a chance to take all three points.

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Team News

Both Orlando City and Montreal Impact have the luxury of limited injuries. Orlando have a fully-fit squad, while Andres Romero remains the only player out for Montreal.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: W/L/L/L/D

Montreal Impact’s last five: L/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: Orlando City finally stopped the trend of conceding at least four goals. Before their 0-0 draw last time out, they had conceded 12 in three games

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Montreal playmaker bagged his 15th goal of the season in their midweek win. He has had an incredible campaign and will be looking to cause a shaky Orlando defence problems. MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact Ignacio Piatti

Score Prediction

Orlando City 1-2 Montreal Impact – Montreal to pick up their first win of the season against Orlando. The home side have really struggled for form of late and Montreal will fancy their chances of all-but securing their playoff spot.

Patrick Vieira and Fabio Capello early frontrunners to replace Jason Kreis at NYCFC

New York City FC have made their first major decision following the end of their inaugural season in Major League Soccer by “parting ways” with head coach Jason Kreis.

A statement released on the club’s official website last night said: “New York City Football Club can confirm that they have parted company with Head Coach Jason Kreis.

“The announcement comes following a review conducted at the end of a disappointing campaign.

“Prior to the start of the season, it was agreed with the coaching team that the securing of a playoff place was an appropriate target for this year.

“A win rate of less than one in three games and a points tally which was the second lowest in the league is clearly not in line with the targets that were agreed.”

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The decision means NYCFC will need to look for a new man to lead the club in what will be their second season following an expansion campaign that failed to meet expectations.

Manchester City’s position as one of world football’s leading sides means that City Football Group could use the MLS team’s parent club to hire a new coach.

Patrick Vieira is has been strongly linked with the job after coaching Manchester City’s youth, reserve and development squads over the past four years.

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The Frenchman was interviewed for the Newcastle job in the summer but ultimately walked away from any offer. He is believed to be keen on coaching in the Premier League but could be swayed by the challenge of getting NYCFC’s group of stars to click.

Another big name being linked with the Eastern Conference side is former England manager Fabio Capello. The Italian tactician has been out of work since leaving his post as Russia manager in July and hasn’t managed at club level since leaving Real Madrid in 2007.

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NYCFC are believed to have already opened talks with Capello and the Italian is certainly not afraid of managing big-name stars – something NYCFC bosses could see as the primary trait any new coach must possess.

The club are unlikely to rush into a decision, though yesterday’s statement said that any new coach needs to be in place by the time preseason rolls around in January.

“The Club is committed to ensuring that a suitable candidate is in place in good time to prepare for the 2016 season and an announcement will be made when a candidate is confirmed.”

Do you think Jason Kreis deserved to be sacked? Who should NYCFC look to replace him with?

MLS Musings: Vancouver doing it with defence, Chicago’s road horrors continue

By Drew Farmer: Twitter – @CalcioFarmer

Vancouver’s defensive DP getting it done

Tied for the fewest goals in Major League Soccer this season (22), the Vancouver Whitecaps have surged to the top of the Western Conferences thanks to their defensive solidity.

Of course David Ousted and the back four have been good, but it has been the two pivots sitting in front of the backline that have prevented attacks from occurring. Defensive midfielder Matias Laba is averaging 5.2 tackles and 2.6 interceptions per game, according to WhoScored.com. Add in an 84% pass rate and Vancouver has a Designated Player worth every bit of his $325,000 salary in 2015.

Laba’s play and ability to control the game from central midfield shows the importance, if many times unspectacular and overlooked, a good defensive midfielder provides. Something MLS should invest more in.

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Six points seems so far away

After winning the previous week, Chicago Fire got back to losing ways last Friday, losing 1-0 to the Portland Timbers. Frank Yallop’s Fire have scored the third fewest goals in 2015, only Colorado Rapids and Yallop’s former team, San Jose Earthquakes, have scored fewer.

The Fire is still, somehow, only six points away from Montreal Impact in the hunt for the last spot in the MLS Playoff race. Yet, those six points seem so far away and nothing that Chicago has done to this point makes one think the team can reach the postseason.

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Chicago is the only team not to win on the road this season – losing seven away games and scoring a league low eight goals away from home.

With 12 games left to play in 2015, Chicago will play seven on the road. Six of those seven come against teams fighting for a postseason place or for a higher playoff seed. If the Fire makes the playoffs, it will truly be a miracle in the Windy City.

New York City and Jason Kreis

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Real Salt Lake surprised MLS in 2007 when it hired former player Jason Kreis as head coach. Kreis had literally just retired from playing when he became coach. His hire was the first of the current wave of former MLS players quickly becoming head coaches.

Kreis had some success, which with Real Salt Lake, was something new and exciting. In nearly seven seasons, Kreis achieved a 43% win percentage, tallying 102 wins and winning the MLS Cup in 2009.

Kreis gets a lot of respect from peers, pundits and fans. Looking at his MLS record with RSL, Kreis’ last four seasons were his most successful, including a runners-up performance in the MLS Cup 2013.

Kreis is now the man tasked with leading NYCFC’s high-priced DP’s to the promised land. But he is now coaching three players that have done everything in the game and some are questioning whether they are on the same page?

After falling behind to the Red Bulls on Sunday, NYCFC capitulated and were awful in defence as the Red Bulls picked them apart. First a low cross from near the touchline wasn’t dealt with, which defenders should have cleared or the goalkeeper should have claimed, then New York City stood around as Mike Grella dribbled past Frank Lampard and laid off a pass to Felipe to score the Red Bulls’ second goal.

The question is, is Kreis actually the man to lead the Blues forward?

Sporting Kansalona City

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For the second time Sporting KC has signed a former Barcelona youth player. The last time they did that, Oriol Rosell blossomed into a top midfielder and moved to Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon.

Now the club has dipped into La Masia, Barcelona’s famed academy, again and signed Jordi Quintilla. The Spaniard spent last season in France’s Ajaccio in Ligue 2. The attacking midfielder played 20 times, but was unable to register a goal or assist. Sporting KC will expect Quintilla to add to their attacking flavor as the club make a run for both the US Open Cup and the MLS Cup.

Listen to Drew on Radio Yorkshire MLS Monday

Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @Calciofarmer. Drew Farmer is a Manchester, England-based journalist/blogger that writes for World Soccer Talk. Drew has contributed to Radio Yorkshire MLS Monday, Forza Italian Football, Bleacher Report, MLSGB and Soccerly. Originally from southwest Missouri, Drew covers Italy’s Serie A, British football and the USA’s Major League Soccer.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Toronto

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Toronto  

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, July 12 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: New York City FC 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – Toronto 12/5

Match Preview

New York City FC entertain Toronto on Sunday in what could be one of the most viewed ties of weekend. The two sides are separated by just three points in the Eastern Conference.

New York City come into this one off the back of their 2-1 win away at Montreal Impact but they sit three points outside the playoff places and need to keep building on a good run of form.

Jason Kreis will be pleased with the last five regular season games, as he has seen his side pick up four wins and just one loss.

The NYCFC fans will be filled with excitement after the wait for Frank Lampard to make his debut should come to an end.

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David Villa has been in fine form so far this season and he has netted eight times and service for Villa should get even better with the arrival of Lampard.

Toronto come into this one after their 4-0 trouncing at the hands of LA Galaxy, a result Greg Vanney will want to move on from quickly.

That loss was their first in five away games and Vanney knows his side have been in good form on the road of late, something NYCFC will be more than aware of.

Vanney has seen his side win just two of their last five regular season outings and they are winless in their last two.

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Sebastian Giovinco has also netted eight so far in his debut season and he has been one of the most exciting players to watch since his arrival in MLS.

Team News

New York City FC will be without Tony Taylor and George John through injury. Connor Brandt, Jason Hernandez and Josh Williams are all doubts. Frank Lampard will be expected to make his debut.

Toronto have two injury concerns; Clement Simonin and Steven Caldwell are both out.

Key Points

New York City FC’s last five: W/W/W/L/W

Toronto’s last five: W/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: David Villa and Sebastian Giovinco are both on eight goals so far this season.

Key Player: David Villa – Star striker Villa is in fine form and will want to show the NYCFC faithful he can overshadow Sebastian Giovinco.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 Toronto – A tight tie with New York City coming out on top.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, June 13 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City 5/4 – Draw 23/10 – Montreal Impact 11/5

Match Preview

New York City FC take on Montreal Impact on Saturday evening with both sides coming into this one off the back of wins.

NYCFC won their first Major League Soccer tie in 11 attempts away at Philadelphia Union last weekend and they have to build on that positive result.

Jason Kreis will be desperate for his side to find their first home win in six as they are still sitting bottom of the Eastern Conference.

Patrick Mullins netted the dramatic late winner last weekend and has the same number of goals, three, as David Villa this season.

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Montreal Impact have won four of their last five and won their last two on the bounce. They beat Columbus Crew away last weekend and will feel they have a good chance of making it three wins from three in this tie.

Impact have continued to close the gap for a playoff spot and are now just two points off sixth place. A win here could see them finish the weekend in the top six.

Frank Klopas still has an injury hit squad but his players showed their desire to win last weekend with their backs against the wall.

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Montreal’s win last weekend was their first away victory in 21 attempts. They need to make sure they do not go on another run like that if they want to continue their improvement as they are now one of the inform sides in MLS.

Team News

George John, Tony Taylor, Josh Williams, Javier Calle, Khiry Shelton and Connor Brandt are all out for NYCFC. Mix Diskerud could return but played and scored in the USMNT win over Germany on Wednesday and Adam Nemec is still on international duty.

Montreal Impact’s injury woes are looking a little better but eight players could still miss out. Justin Mapp, Adrian Lopez, Cameron Porter, Kenny Cooper are set to be unavailable, while Dominic Oduro, Hassoun Camara, Eric Miller and Dilly Duka are doubts. Ambroise Oyongo and Maxim Tissot are both away on international duty while Marco Donadel will also miss out as he is suspended.

Key Points

New York City FC’s last five: L/D/L/D/W

Montreal Impact’s last five: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: New York have failed to win in their last six home Major League Soccer outings.

Key Player: Patrick Mullins – The forward’s confidence will be sky high after his winner last weekend and he will be looking to give the home fans something to cheer about.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 1-1 Montreal Impact – The sides to share the points, NYCFC to continue their poor run of home form and Impact to build steadily on their first away win of the season.

New York City looking to bolster defence with signing of US defender

New York City FC are looking to bolster their defence with the addition of U.S. International defender Oguchi Onyewu on a free transfer.

The 33-year-old centre-back has just left Championship side Charlton Athletic after spending most of the season there, making just three league appearances, and is now looking for his fifth club in three years.

He has never played in MLS but could be on the verge of completing a move to expansion franchise New York City FC.

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Onyewu is currently on trial with Jason Kreis’ side and was in training with the first-team squad yesterday.

He is currently a free agent and can therefore sign for NYCFC on a free transfer if he impressed on trial.

New York City are in need of defensive reinforcements as they have not kept a clean sheet in their last nine games, and haven’t won one of those matches.

They sit bottom of the Eastern Conference after 12 weeks and are also bottom of the MLS Supporters’ Shield standings.

Though, reinforcements are on the way as Frank Lampard will join up with the squad in July, while the likes of Didier Drogba, John Terry and Andrea Pirlo are being linked with moves to the Big Apple.

Would Oguchi Onyewu be a good signing for New York City FC?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. New York City FC

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, May 23 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 19/20 – Draw 23/10 – New York City 3/1

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake welcome former manager Jason Kreis back to Rio Tinto stadium this weekend with his New York City FC side.

Salt Lake are in desperate need of a win after an embarrassing 4-1 loss to Montreal Impact last weekend and come into the game with only one win in seven.

Another key aspect of RSL’s poor form in their lack of goals recently, managing just four in their last seven games in MLS. Salt Lake do have reason for optimism however, as star striker Joao Plata has resumed full training.

Real Salt Lake’s 2015 MLS record: P11 – W3 – D5 – L3

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New York City are arguably the worst team in MLS at the moment. They have failed to register a win in their last nine outings and three red cards in their last four MLS matches suggests that they are having a disciplinary crisis.

New York City’s 2015 MLS record: P11 – W1 – D4 – L6

Jason Kreis’ men are lacking motivation and need a win to keep their season afloat, and at the moment, they seem like a club that are waiting for Frank Lampard to save them.

Team News

Real Salt Lake’s Chris Schuler is out. Javier Morales, Sebastien Jaime and Boyd Okwuonu are also doubts. Joao Plata is back in full training following injury, so could start. Jordan Allen is away on international duty.

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New York City are without George John, Tony Taylor and Josh Williams, while Javier Calle and Kwame Watson-Siriboe are doubtful. Ned Grabavoy is a slight doubt but could be fit to play. Patrick Mullins is expected to start ahead of Khiry Shelton up top.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/D/D/W/L

New York City’s last five: L/L/L/L/D

Key Stat: There has been a red card in seven of New York City’s 11 matches this season.

Key Player: Josh Saunders – The NYC goalkeeper returns to Rio Tinto stadium at the weekend after a brief spell there in 2013. He will need to be at his early season best to keep New York City in this game.

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Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 2-0 New York City – New York City have failed to win in nine and it’s tough to see them changing that away from home.

Jason Kreis focusing on NYCFC ahead of Real Salt Lake return

By Keave Tollington: Twitter – @KeaveT

New York City FC will travel to Utah this weekend to play head coach Jason Kreis’ former side, Real Salt Lake. The travelling NYCFC squad include former RSL veterans Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert with Sebastian Velasquez, Kwame Watson-Siriboe and Josh Saunders all playing under Kreis at Real Salt Lake.

Grabavoy played 159 matches for RSL, scoring 10 goals, while defender Chris Wingert recorded 204 appearances. The pair helped RSL win the 2009 MLS Cup and reach the finals in the 2013 season, as well as enjoying time in the 2012 CONCACAF Champions League and 2013 U.S. Open Cup.

Chris Wingert paid tribute to his eight seasons at RSL this week in an interview with RSL’s weekly radio show: “I felt appreciated by the club and really thankful that they kept me around for that long. It will always be a really special place for me. In a perfect world I will always keep a home there.”

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Despite spending nine successful years in Utah as both a player and head coach Kreis told the Salt Lake Tribune that he will not be focusing on his RSL history this weekend: “I don’t think that there is a whole lot of pride in it yet, because I’m still very busy trying to take the next step [at NYCFC].”

Both sides will be wanting to put history aside during the game as NYCFC desperately try to find their second MLS win and put an end to a poor run of form, while RSL will look to bounce back from their humiliating 4-1 defeat to Montreal last Saturday.

With both teams eager for three points it is hard to see this tie ending in a goalless draw.

Real Salt Lake vs. NYCFC kicks off at 03:00AM (UK Time) on Saturday night/Sunday morning.

Will Jason Kreis’ history at RSL help NYCFC get their second win in MLS?