In pictures: NYCFC keep up 100% home record as Orlando City suffer fourth-straight loss

New York City FC handed Orlando City their four consecutive defeat, winning 3-0 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night. The visitors squandered a great chance to level the game from the penalty spot but missed that golden opportunity as their miserable run continues.

NYCFC’s victory made it six wins from six at home this season. The result saw them move into second place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Atlanta United.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi scored a brace to help the hosts to victory, with Maxi Moralez adding a late third to rubber stamp the result. But the biggest moment of the game came just after the second-half began, with the score at 1-0. Orlando were awarded a penalty when Alex Callens pulled down Chris Mueller inside the box. Sacha Kljestan stepped up but saw his penalty strike the post.

For Orlando City, that moment summed up their form of late as another concerning result leaves them clinging on to their playoff spot. They are still sixth in the East but are at risk of dropping further down the table after taking no points from a possible 12.

The Lions have suffered four-straight losses – all to Eastern Conference rivals – so Jason Kreis knows he need to turn their form around very quickly. They travel to Vancouver to take on the Whitecaps next weekend, while NYCFC host Atlanta United in a crucial clash at the top of the East.

Check out exclusive photos from Saturday’s game below, courtesy of Ashley Marshall:

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Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes

Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, April 21 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Preview

Orlando City host San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night, looking to make it four wins in a row against a Quakes side desperately looking to snap their winless run of four.

The Lions started the season in worryingly bad form. They picked up just one point from two-straight home games to open the 2018 season, before losing away at NYCFC. However, since then they’ve picked up and have managed to put together three consecutive wins heading into Week 8.

Jason Kreis described last week’s 2-0 win at Philadelphia Union as Orlando’s “most complete game of the year” and he wasn’t wrong. They picked up their first clean sheet of the campaign and looked comfortable after racing to a two-goal lead before halftime. Sacha Kljestan was particularly impressive and will be looking to pull the strings again here.

San Jose have perhaps been unfortunate to have won just one of their opening five matches. The Quakes have scored in all five games but have been conceding far too many. They’ve shipped ten so far – an average of two per game – and must shore up at the back to have any chance of building some form.

San Jose come into Saturday’s game off the back of a 2-2 home draw with Houston Dynamo. The Quakes led early before throwing away the advantage and required an 85th-minute Jahmir Hyka strike to earn a point. They have enough fight in the team but defensive quality has been evidently lacking so far.

Neither of these sides have yet to register a win over each other in MLS. The three previous clashes have all ended level, with last season’s lone meeting ending 1-1 at Avaya Stadium after late goals from Carlos Rivas and then Chris Wondolowski.

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Team News

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Scott Sutter (lower body), Jonathan Spector (concussion).

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), RJ Allen (hamstring)

San Jose Earthquakes

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Tommy Thompson (illness).

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Key Stats

Orlando City’s MLS form: L/L/W/W/W

San Jose Earthquakes’s MLS form: W/L/L/D/D

Key stat: San Jose Earthquakes have not won away at an Eastern Conference side since August 2015 (2-0 at DC United).

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Prediction

Orlando City 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes: Orlando will win this game if they can build on last week’s performance at Philadelphia. They have shown defensive frailties of their own this term but they were solid last week and should make the most of home advantage to pick up a first victory over the Quakes. San Jose will expect to find the net once again, but their problems at the back will make it difficult for them to leave with any points come the end of Saturday’s contest.

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.

2018 Key Transfers: Orlando City

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we have been running through the standout transfers for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at Orlando City and their key signings ahead of the 2018 MLS season…

To say it’s been a busy winter at Orlando City would be an understatement. The club have been one of the busiest in MLS since their 2017 campaign came to an end. Plenty have gone, and plenty more have come in as the Lions prepare for a new-look team this season. The outcome appears to be positive. Jason Kreis has revamped his midfield. They started last season with six wins from seven but then completely dropped off, eventually finishing 10th in the East with 39 points. They need to be more consistent and will hope their new-look squad can fire them into the playoffs for the first time. This will be their fourth MLS campaign, so it’s time to start delivering.

Key Signings

Sacha Kljestan: The big question this winter was: ‘Who is going to replace Kaka for Orlando?’ The answer is Sacha Kljestan. The Lions made a big move for the Red Bulls star, sending Tommy Redding and Carlos Rivas the other way. In Kljestan, Orlando have acquired the league’s leading assist provider from both the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. At 32, there are some concerns about his fitness but he has played 97 regular season games over the past three seasons in New York – an average of 32 games a season. This one makes a lot of sense.

Lamine Sane: The Lions made a major move to strengthen their defence with the signing of 30-year-old Senegalese international Sane. The centre-back joins from Werder Bremen, where he scored two goals in 40 appearances. Prior to moving to Germany, he enjoyed a seven-year stay with French side Bordeaux. He will bring vital experience to Orlando and should be a great addition to the backline, so long as he can adapt quickly.

Justin Meram: The signing of Meram has to be one of the best this offseason by any MLS side. The winger is dangerous out wide or in a more central playmaking position and knows the league inside out. All seven of his professional seasons to date have been spent in Columbus but he wanted a new challenge and got his wish as Orlando made a major move for him. They sent $1.05 million in allocation money to the Crew, as well as an international roster spot. Meram has 40 goals and 35 assists in 200 league and playoff appearances and should be a really good addition.

Josue Colman: Another exciting attacking addition for Orlando comes in the form of Paraguayan winger Colman. The 19-year-old joins as a Young DP and will hope to nail down a regular starting role under Kreis in 2018. He joins the club from Cerro Porteno in Paraguay’s top flight after helping them win the Clausura title last year. He will have the right players around him to ensure he fulfils his potential in Florida.

Oriol Rosell: Orlando have signed a great accompaniment to all their attacking moves in Uri Rosell. The former Sporting Kansas City midfielder joins from Sporting CP in Portugal. A total of $400,000 was sent to FC Dallas so that Orlando could secure the No.1 spot in the league allocation order. Rosell is a tough-tackling holding midfielder, who knows the league and at 25, should be a great addition.

Notable Departures

Kaka: Undoubtedly the biggest loss for the Lions this offseason was Kaka. The Brazilian legend retired after his three-year contract with the Lions ended. He failed to lead the Lions to the playoffs as he had hoped but he was an incredibly instrumental figure in and off the pitch, helping to shape Orlando’s identity in MLS and on the world map. He was a three-time MLS All-Star and recorded 24 goals and 22 assists in 75 games.

Giles Barnes: Another attacking player to move on is Barnes. The English-born Jamaican international has joined Liga MX side Club Léon after his option was declined. He scored three goals and added two assists in 34 games last season and leaves MLS after six seasons in which he represented Houston, Vancouver and Orlando.

Antonio Nocerino: The Italian midfielder had his option declined at the end of the 2017 season after failing to ever live up to his billing. He joined from AC Milan and was expected to impress but scored just one goal in 52 games and didn’t register a single assist in two seasons.

Carlos Rivas: Rivas was sent to the Red Bulls along with Tommy Redding in exchange for Kljestan. His departure released a Designated Player slot for the Lions but his dynamic play style might be missed. He played 78 games over three seasons with Orlando, scoring eight goals and picking up 13 assists. Those numbers aren’t DP level though and that’s why he’s been allowed to move on.

Cyle Larin: Larin’s departure couldn’t have gone less smooth. The Canadian striker travelled to Turkey in January to train with Besiktas, without the consent of Orlando. He was contracted to the Lions through 2019 but decided to ignore his contract and tried to force through a move to Besiktas. He eventually got his way as Orlando accepted at least $2.3 million from the Turkish giants. But bad feelings aside, Larin led the team in goals in each of his three seasons and his presence will likely be a big miss in attack.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Atlanta United vs Orlando City

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs Orlando City 

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Saturday, September 16 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Match Odds: Atlanta 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – Orlando 5/1

Atlanta United vs Orlando City: Preview

Atlanta United welcome Orlando City to Mercedes-Benz Stadium after their record-breaking mid-week win. The home side equalled the highest ever winning margin in Major League Soccer last time out.

That 7-0 thrashing of New England made it ten goals in just two games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for Atlanta. That is as many goals as Orlando have managed in their last 12 games.

There will be even more of a buzz around the ground considering the records that were broken. Josef Martinez’s hat-trick was Atlanta’s third of the season, the most in an inaugural season by an expansion team.

Orlando City have been in a rut of form. However, they did pick up three points last time out. That was their first win in nine games.

The Lions’ faithful have reason to be concerned. They haven’t seen their side make progression this season and are up against an Atlanta side who are just two points away from equally their best tally of 44 points in their two MLS campaigns.

This looks a huge ask for Orlando. If they lose here and results go against them, they could find themselves second bottom in the East.

Atlanta United vs Orlando City: The Lions will be eager to celebrate again this weekend

Atlanta United vs Orlando City: Team News

The home side have a clean bill of health ahead of their third home game in a row. Gerardo Martino will be expected to stick with the same starting XI he did last time out, for obvious reasons.

Orlando City have four injury concerns for the trip. Richie Laryea and Josh Saunders are out. Jonathan Spector’s fitness is being assessed, while Cristian Higuita is a doubt.

Atlanta United vs Orlando City: Key Points

Atlanta United’s last five: D/L/D/W/W

Orlando’s last five: L/D/L/L/W

Key Stat: Atlanta United have scored ten goals in their opening two games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Key Player: Josef Martinez – The Atlanta forward netted a first-half hat-trick in that emphatic 7-0 win, taking his tally in the new stadium to four in two.

Atlanta United vs Orlando City: Prediction

Atlanta United 3-0 Orlando City – Another big win for Atlanta looks like it could be on the cards here. They are the second highest scorers in MLS, while Orlando’s struggles over the last two months have been there for all to see.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Orlando City

Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs Orlando City

Stade Saputo – Saturday, August 5 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Orlando 14/5

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Preview

Montreal Impact host Orlando City in a key Eastern Conference battle on Saturday evening. Both sides come into the weekend outside the playoffs. But both know a win could fire them straight back into contention.

Montreal come into Week 22 in 10th place in the East. They are closer to DC in last place than they are to Columbus in 6th, highlighting how tough a year it’s been so far for the Canadian side.

The upside for the Impact right now is that they’ve played 20 games. That’s the fewest in the conference and means a win over Orlando on Saturday would leave them three points behind the Lions with two games in hand.

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But with just one with from their last four MLS outings, it’s tough to see where the Impact’s late season surge towards the playoffs is going to come from.

Orlando City are in a better position coming into the final three months of the season. They are just two points outside the playoffs coming into the weekend and have been boosted by the signing of Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City.

Dwyer’s arrival has injected life back into the Lions’ season. The fans are optimistic and you’d expect them to kick on and make the playoffs for the first time this year. But they must find a way to win road games such as this one if they are to make it.

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Orlando are winless in their last three. They were desperately unlucky to concede away at Atlanta in stoppage time last weekend. That Hector Villalba goal stunned them but they must show character and respond with a win here.

With neither side in any kind of strong form, this is a really tough game to call. Both teams have potential match-winners at their disposal. And so this could come down to which stars shine brightest in what should be a hard-fought battle.

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Team News

Montreal Impact will still be without Ambroise Oyongo, while Victor Cabrera remains doubtful. New signing Samuel Piette should be in line to start after joining the club on Thursday.

Orlando City remain without Rafael Ramos. Kevin Alston is a doubt. Jason Kreis will likely start Dwyer alongside Larin once again as he tries to get the best out of two of Major League Soccer’s most talented strikers.

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Key Points

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

Orlando City’s last five: L/W/L/L/D

Key Stat: Differentials – Montreal Impact are five points worse off than they were at the same stage last season. Orlando City are four points better off than they were at the same point last year.

Key Player: Dom Dwyer – There’s no question that Dwyer will be at the centre of attention again here. The returning Orlando hero kept an incredible summer going with a goal for the MLS All-Stars against Real Madrid on Wednesday. He’ll be desperate to open his tally with the Lions in MLS. And you’d expect him to, given the fact the Impact have the East’s third-worst defensive record.

Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-2 Orlando City – This is a really tough one the call. Both sides are in poor form. Both need a win to pick back up. But it’s unclear exactly where the magic spark is going to come from. Dwyer’s signing has left Orlando fans in a better mood than Montreal’s coming into the game. That could well be enough to separate the sides, as the visitors’ attack could be too much if they start to find form.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Atlanta United

Major League Soccer: Orlando City vs Atlanta United

Orlando City Stadium – Friday, July 21 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Orlando City 11/8 – Draw 5/2 – Atlanta United 17/10

Orlando City vs Atlanta United: Preview

Orlando City take on Atlanta United for the first time in history on Friday night. The two sides are separated by just a point in the Eastern Conference, so this could prove to be a real six-pointer.

Neither side has played a game for over two weeks as a result of the Gold Cup break. Atlanta come into Friday’s game in fourth, one point and two places higher than Orlando.

The Lions know the pressure is on them to get a win in front of their own fans. They can leapfrog Atlanta with a victory and put themselves well on track for a first-ever playoff spot.

Orlando City fell 3-1 at home to Toronto in their last game before the break. That result stretched their home winless run to four games, with a 3-1 US Open Cup defeat to Miami FC included.

Jason Kreis has had a long time to prepare for this game. A victory will put the Lions back on track. A defeat would leave them in trouble at a vital stage of the season.

Atlanta should come into Friday’s match in good spirits. They picked up a 4-2 win over San Jose before the two-week break. That victory came just days after they won 2-0 at Columbus Crew.

Despite being an expansion side, Atlanta have impressed from the word ‘go’. They have a strong squad, with difference-makers across the midfield and attack.

They will undoubtedly fancy their chances of leaving Orlando with all three points. Although even a draw would leave the visitors in a prime position to secure postseason soccer at the first attempt.

This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides. Although given the attacking nature of both teams, this has the potential to be a thriller. Orlando and Atlanta have goals in them, so you don’t want to miss this one.

Orlando City vs Atlanta United: Team News

Cyle Larin was called up to the Canada squad for their quarter-final clash with Jamaica on Thursday night so he will be unavailable for Orlando. Rafael Ramos is still ruled out through injury. Jose Aja is one booking away from suspension and will need to watch his step.

Atlanta United are set to see Brad Guzan between the sticks for the first time. The long-time Premier League goalkeeper was released from USMNT duty after the group stages of the Gold Cup, so is expected to start here. The visitors will be without Romario Williams, who has been at the Gold Cup with the Jamaica squad for the past few weeks. They will still be without injured trio Jacob Peterson, Kenwyne Jones and Alec Kann.

Orlando City vs Atlanta United: Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/D/L/W/L

Atlanta United’s last five: W/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: Atlanta are in the best form of their season, having won three-straight MLS games. They have scored seven in that time, conceding twice.

Key Player: Josef Martinez – The Atlanta striker has been excellent when fit this season. He netted twice in the win over San Jose last time out and should be raring to go here. His pace will cause Orlando all kinds of problems on the counter-attack.

Orlando City vs Atlanta United: Prediction

Orlando City 1-3 Atlanta United – Both sides know a win here would put them in a really strong position in the East. However, it’s tough to predict how both sides will cope after a long break from action. Atlanta have goals in them and will look to pick Orlando off on the break. While the loss of Cyle Larin will take away a real threat for the Lions. Atlanta to make it three wins on the spin.

Gallery: Exclusive photos from the Sounders’ dramatic 1-1 draw with Orlando City on Wednesday

Seattle Sounders were seconds away from securing a fourth-straight MLS win at home by a 1-0 scoreline on Wednesday night. But then Scott Sutter headed in to earn Orlando a dramatic late point at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle will be devastated to not have taken all three points after standing firm for so long defensively, while carving out numerous openings themselves, with Joe Bendik putting in a great shift for Orlando.

Will Bruin opened the scoring in the 19th minute as fired a low and accurate drive into the bottom-left corner. But the visitors managed to stay in the game and waited for that one moment, which came in stoppage time as Kaka stepped up and delivered a dangerous cross from a free-kick, with Scott Sutter heading in to score his first MLS goal at a crucial time.

The result leaves Seattle outside the playoffs in the West, while Orlando sit in fourth in the East, six points off Toronto FC at the top of the standings.

Check out exclusive photos from Wednesday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographers Denise McCooey and Paul Kahl.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs New York City FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. New York City FC
Venue: Orlando City Stadium – Sunday, May 21st – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Orlando 23/20 – Draw 12/5 – NYCFC 21/10

Match Preview

Orlando City host New York City for the third time already this season on Sunday night with both sides looking to get back to winning ways after a disappointing couple of weeks.

Orlando came flying out of the blocks this season, winning six of their opening seven games to lead the Supporters’ Shield standings. However, they’ve managed no wins in their last four and come into the weekend off the back of a 1-1 draw at San Jose.

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They have still yet to lose at home this season, although their 2-2 draw with Sporting KC last weekend means their 100% home record at the new Orlando City Stadium has now gone. The aim this weekend will be to get a win over NYCFC – just as they did in the inaugural match at the new stadium back in Week One.

The visitors know they have another tough test coming up. NYCFC fell 2-1 at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night, despite taking the lead in that game, and must look to bounce back with a first win in three attempts over Orlando this season.

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The two sides met on opening weekend, with Orlando picking up a 1-0 win before then winning 2-1 at Yankee Stadium just a month ago. New York City have only won one of their nine MLS games against Orlando since both sides entered the league in 2015.

A fierce rivalry has developed between these two and Sunday’s game will be their last meeting of the year, unless they meet in the playoffs later on in the year, so expect this one to be entertaining from the word ‘go’.

Team News

Orlando City’s only injury concern coming into the weekend is Kevin Alston, who will miss out with an ongoing knee injury.

New York City FC remain without Ronald Matarrita, while Khiry Shelton is still listed as ‘questionable’ as he struggles with a hamstring strain.

Key Points

Orlando City’s form: W/L/L/D/D

NYCFC’s form: L/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: NYCFC have yet to win a game away at Orlando City, losing their last three on the bounce.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The Canadian star loves scoring goals against New York City. He’s now scored nine times in seven games against them – his best record against any team in MLS. If anyone was going to prove the difference again here, it would surely be Larin.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-1 New York City FC – It’s difficult to see the trend changing this weekend as Orlando look to remain unbeaten at home against an NYCFC side that struggle to overcome them. Strong chances can be made for both, but ultimately, the Lions look set to make it three out of three this season with another home victory.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Orlando City
Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, May 3rd – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Toronto FC 3/5 – Draw 14/5 – Orlando City 4/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC welcome Orlando City to BMO Field in a pivotal midweek clash at the top of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night.

Both sides have started the season well, picking up just one defeat each, and know a win in this fixture would really send out a message to the rest of the conference.

Toronto hadn’t looked convincing through six games but back-to-back home victories over Chicago and Houston have fired them into fifth place in the East. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore have snapped into form and will now be looking to tear teams apart on a weekly basis, as they did so often last term.

The Reds remain unbeaten at home and will be looking to pick up a third-straight win against an Orlando side that are running away at the top of the East at this early stage of the campaign.

Jason Kreis has watched his men win six of their opening seven matches, with the new Orlando City Stadium proving to be a fortress so far.

The Lions’ only loss so far this term did come on the road however. They lost 2-0 at Columbus but have since won 2-0 at Yankee Stadium and have only shipped five goals in total this season so far.

Orlando are the only side yet to draw a game in 2017 but they’d be happy to leave Toronto with a point to keep them atop the standings heading into a tricky weekend game in Houston.

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They have yet to win at Toronto in MLS, losing twice before a 0-0 draw last September. Their only goal at BMO Field came in a 4-1 loss two years ago so they must try and forget about their recent record if they are to get anything from Wednesday’s game.

Team News

Toronto FC remain without Chris Mavinga and Drew Moor, although the centre-back is close to returning. Clint Irwin, Ashtone Morgan and Jason Hernandez are also expected to miss Wednesday’s game. Greg Vanney might rotate his squad ahead of the weekend trip to Seattle.

Orlando City welcomed back Kaka for the first time since opening weekend as he scored in their 2-0 win over Colorado and the Brazilian will be looking to start after coming off the bench on Saturday. Kevin Alston remains out, while Rafael Ramos and Jose Aja are doubts. The Lions face a trip to Houston at the weekend so Jason Kreis might look to rotate his team too. Former Toronto duo Joe Bendik and Will Johnson will be looking to shine against their former employers.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s form: D/D/L/W/W

Orlando City’s form: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Defensive stand – Toronto and Orlando are two of only four teams to have conceded less than a goal-per-game so far this season, along with Sporting KC and FC Dallas.

Key Player: Jozy Altidore – The powerful Toronto striker has started the season in great form, scoring five goals in eight games. He has proven too good for Orlando in the past, netting five in four appearances against the Lions and will look to hurt them again here.

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 1-0 Orlando City – This has the makings of being a low-scoring affair between two sides that have defended impressively through the opening weeks of the season. Both have players capable of winning this game but Toronto have home advantage and have made the count the past two weeks. If anyone is likely to take all three points here, it’s the Reds. But you can expect this to be close.