MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Colorado Rapids
Venue: Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, April 29 – 15:55 ET (20:55 BST) 
Match Odds: Orlando 3/4 – Draw 5/2 – Colorado 7/2

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Colorado Rapids to Orlando City Stadium on Saturday afternoon as they’re looking to continue their 100% home record in the 2017 season.

The Lions come into this fixture after their 2-1 win over NYCFC, that result has put them top of the Eastern Conference despite having played the joint least amount of games in 2017.

Jason Kreis will be delighted with how his side have been playing and will see this as a more than winnable game. However, they cannot afford to let their great run of from change their approach and must see this is a huge opportunity to continue their challenge for the Eastern Conference title.

Colorado Rapids are struggling. They are bottom of the Western Conference and their only win of the season came on the opening weekend.

The Rapids look a shadow of the side they were last season. They’ve lost all three of their games on the road in 2017 and given Orlando’s home form, that run looks set to continue here.

Pablo Mastroeni will be disappointed with how the opening six games have gone for his side but there is plenty of time to turn things around. Their main focus must be finishing in the top six and a positive result at Orlando would go a long way to start to rebuild some confidence at Colorado.

Team News

Seb Hines remains on the sidelines through injury, while Rafael Ramos, Jose Aja and Kaká are being assessed from day to day.

Axel Sjoberg and Bismark Adjei-Boateng are out, while Dillon Serna is a doubt for the visit to Orlando.

Key Points

Orlando City’s form: W/L/W/W/W

Colorado Rapids’ form: L/D/L/L/L

Key Stat: Fortress – Orlando have won all four of their games at home so far this season.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The Orlando striker netted twice again last weekend against NYCFC, he’s in fine form and you can expect him to take any chances that come his way in this fixture.

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-0 Colorado Rapids – Another win for the machine that is Orlando City. Their home form has been outstanding and given the stats ahead of this game it would be a shock to see Colorado come away from Orlando City Stadium with anything.

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Orlando City 
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, April 23 – 13:30 ET (18:30 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – Orlando 15/4

Match Preview

New York City welcome Orlando City to Yankee Stadium in one of the standout fixtures of gameweek eight, the Eastern Conference sides are separated by just two points ahead of the clash.

NYCFC come into this one having won 2-0 away at Philadelphia. David Villa scored one of the goals of his career, an incredible strike from distance.

Patrick Vieira’s side are unbeaten at home so far this season and they will want to keep that run going this weekend. They should be competing to top the Eastern Conference and will need to be beating sides like Orlando to do so.

Orlando City are one point off top spot in the East despite playing two games less than leaders Columbus. They have scored just six goals in their five games this season, but have been resolute at the back.

The Lions are looking fierce and resilient early on this season but to win here is going to be a huge ask. Their only away game of 2017 was a 2-0 loss against Columbus and they only won three times on the road last season.

Cyle Larin has enjoyed some great success in front of goal against NYCFC, netting seven in the last six meetings between the two sides.

Team News

Khiry Shelton and Ronald Matarrita look set to be the only absentees for NYCFC against the visiting Orlando this weekend.

Orlando could be without up to five players for this fixture as Kaká, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos and Jose Aja are all out, while Antonio Nocerino remains a doubt.

Key Points

NYCFC’s form: W/D/W/L/W

Orlando City’s form: W/W/L/W/W

Key Stat: David Villa and Kyle Larin have both scored four times so far this season, their reliability in front of goal may well be key to decide who wins this one.

Key Player: Jack Harrison – The NYCFC forward has had a good start to the season, he netted his second goal of 2017 last weekend and will be hoping to get on the scoresheet once again here.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-2 Orlando City – Score draw. NYCFC will continue their unbeaten run at Yankee Stadium and not lose any ground against their Eastern Conference rivals this weekend. Orlando to pick up their first away point of the season, albeit this is only their second game on the road.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, April 15 – 14:30 ET (19:30 BST) 
Match Odds: Orlando 5/4 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 2/1

Match Preview

Orlando City host LA Galaxy on Saturday night as they look to keep their 100% home record intact against a Galaxy side that have been hit and miss through the first few weeks of the 2017 season.

Orlando enter Week 7 with the second-best points-per-game record in MLS so far. They’ve only played four games but have won three – all of which have come at their new stadium.

They known that making Orlando City Stadium a fortress will ensure they have a strong chance of making the playoffs for the first time and beating the Galaxy on Saturday would keep them well on track at the top end of the Eastern Conference.

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Jason Kreis will be pleased with his team’s performances so far, especially considering star man Kaka has been out since the opening day. They edged past the New York Red Bulls 1-0 last weekend and have only conceded one home goal in three games so far.

LA Galaxy picked up their second win of the campaign at home to Montreal last weekend, getting their first home points of the season in the process. Their only other win came away at Real Salt Lake but disappointing defeats to Vancouver, Portland and Dallas mean it’s hard to judge exactly where the Galaxy are as a team at this stage.

Curt Onalfo has the quality at his disposal to challenge for trophies once again, as the Galaxy always expect, but they need to start finding some consistency to build a platform for success this term.

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A win in Florida this weekend would put them in a strong position, but defeat would leave them with plenty more questions to answer.

This will be just the third meeting between these two sides. Orlando beat LA 4-0 at home in the first ever clash in 2015 before the Galaxy got revenge with a 4-2 win in California last season.

Team News

Orlando City will be without Matias Perez Garcia on Saturday as the playmaker is suspended. Kaka remains sidelined through injury, along with Tony Rocha, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos and Jose Aja. Antonio Nocerino is a doubt after picking up a calf injury last weekend.

LA Galaxy will be without Jose Villarreal as he serves the first of a two-match suspension. Robbie Rogers and Sebastian Lletget remain out injured.

Key Points

Orlando City’s form: W/W/L/W

LA Galaxy’s form: L/L/W/L/W

Key Stat: There have been 10 goals in the two previous meetings between these sides – an average of five per game – so another attacking contest is expected on Saturday.

Key Player: Romain Alessandrini – The French winger has stepped up for LA Galaxy in recent weeks, scoring three goals and picking up two assists in his last three outings. If LA are to take anything away from Orlando on Saturday, they’ll need the French DP to deliver once again.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-1 LA Galaxy – Both sides will fancy their chances of walking away with three points from this one. Orlando have looked strong at home and have been tough to break down at the back. The Galaxy have the attacking players to cause them problems but ultimately haven’t looked good enough to win a game like this at this stage of the campaign. Orlando look set to edge it.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, April 1 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) 
Match Odds: Columbus 3/5 – Draw 3/1 – Orlando 4/1

Match Preview

Columbus Crew welcome Eastern Conference rivals Orlando City to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a matchup that has a history of being high in goals.

The hosts are top of the East following their impressive start to the 2017 regular season. They’ve lost just once in four outings and have won back-to-back games. Columbus come into this one having picked up an impressive three points against Portland last weekend and are favourites to get past Orlando here.

That fixture last week means Columbus have already played two more games than the Lions this season, but it shouldn’t be a problem. They’ve had the best part of a week to recover and legs should be fresh this early on in the campaign.

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Orlando City head into this fixture having won both of their games, although both have been at home so a win here would send out a serious signal of intent to the rest of the conference.

The Lions were tipped to struggle with the absence of their injured skipper Kaka, but they have looked good value for both of their wins so far and have shown an early ability to grind out results.

This is Orlando’s first away game of their 2017 campaign. They won just three times on the road last season, something they will need to improve on to ensure they battle for a playoff place this time around.

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Team News

Gaston Sauro and Dilly Duka are both unavailable through injury and Jonathan Mensah is a doubt for the game this weekend. Kekuta Manneh has been signed by the Crew in a trade that has seen Toni Tchani head to Vancouver, so the pacey winger may be in contention to start here.

Tony Rocha, Kaká and Seb Hines all miss the trip to Columbus, while Kevin Alston and Rafael Ramos are both questionable.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s form: D/L/W/W

Orlando City’s form: W/W

Key Stat: There have been a staggering 33 goals in the seven previous meetings between these sides in all competitions.

Key Player: Ola Kamara – The Columbus Crew striker has already found the back of the net three times this season and e will be looking to continue his impressive form in front of goal on Saturday evening.

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Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-1 Orlando City – This fixture has provided plenty of action in the past and you can expect it to be a lively one yet again. Columbus will expect to take all three points seeing as they’re at home, but know they’re going to be in for a tricky afternoon against an Orlando side who are causing their opponents problems with their patient approach to games.

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC
Venue: Orlando City Stadium – Sunday, March 5th – 17:00 ET (22:00 GMT) 
Match Odds: Orlando 13/10 – Draw 23/10 – NYCFC 19/10

Match Preview

Orlando City and New York City kickoff their third MLS campaign this weekend, as the two Eastern Conference rivals face off in a historic tie in what will be the first competitive game at the brand new Orlando City Stadium.

Orlando failed to make the playoffs once again in 2016 and will be hoping for a better campaign this time around. Former New York City FC head coach Jason Kreis is starting his first full season in Florida and will be looking to take an immediate step forward in what is a really tough opener here.

The Lions had a mixed preseason, winning two of their five games, but they will need to be far more consistent than that if they are to make the playoffs for the first time in 2017. Orlando won just nine games last season and they’ll have to make a dramatic improvement to avoid giving their fans another season without much to shout about.

OCSC haven’t lost a competitive home game against New York City since they joined MLS and if they can avoid defeat in their opener it will provide a promising start to the season against a rival side expected to make the postseason for the second successive year.

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The 2016 campaign was an ‘almost’ season for New York City FC, who made the playoffs but were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals in devastating fashion, so they’ll be looking to go one better this time around.

Patrick Vieira’s side lost three on the bounce in their six-game preseason but finished strongly with a win over Sporting KC. The departure of both Frank Lampard and Jason Hernandez has lowered the age of the side, but with Andrea Pirlo and David Villa still in the ranks they still have plenty of experience.

This could be a transitional season considering the departures and arrivals to Vieira’s squad but it shows he is trying to build for the future. The acquisition of Designated Player Maximiliano Moralez is an exciting prospect for the City faithful and preseason offered a look into the potential link up between him and Villa, something that will be vital for success in 2017.

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Key Points

Orlando City’s preseason form: W/D/L/L/W

New York City’s preseason form: W/D/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: New York City FC are yet to win away in this fixture and given this is the first regular season game at the new Orlando Stadium it would be surprising to see that record broken.

Key Player: Kaka – It’s the obvious choice but this is a huge game for Kaka. A lot will be expected of him to lead Orlando to their first MLS win at Orlando City Stadium and throughout the rest of the season.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City SC 2-2 New York City FC – With previous results in mind and shake-ups for both of these squads during the offseason it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a draw here. Orlando are in for a tough season so they need to make their new home a fortress. New York City FC have a difficult task of reaching the same heights as they did in 2016 but they have the class in the squad, it all depends on how quickly the new-look team gels. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Toronto FC

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

Match Odds: Orlando City 13/10 – Draw 12/5 – Toronto 15/8

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome Toronto to Citrus Bowl on Wednesday night as these two sides play out a game in hand.

If Orlando avoid defeat in this tie they will move up into 6th in the Eastern Conference but will have played a game more than DC in doing so.

Jason Kreis will be relatively pleased with a point last time out against Colorado who have proved to be tough opposition this season. However, worryingly for Orlando, they have won just once in their last nine outings.

Orlando won the last meeting between these sides at the Citrus Bowl in dramatic fashion just two months ago. A late Kaka penalty saw them take all three points and they will be hoping for a repeat of that victory to keep their challenge for a playoff place in the balance.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City

Toronto FC come into this one battling at the top of the Eastern Conference. They are in second place but can go top with a win. This is a great opportunity for them to start their push for a top spot finish in the East but there is still a lot of work to do.

Greg Vanney will be confident of Toronto’s chances in this one, they have scored at least twice in their last four ties against Orlando in all competitions.

Toronto have been in incredible form of late, they’re unbeaten in their last six games, winning five. This will be tough tie away from home but they’re the inform team.

This is one of three remaining away games for Toronto this season, a win here will put them in a really strong position to go on and finish top in the East.

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Team News

Orlando City have six injury concerns heading into this tie as Pedro Ribeiro, Harrison Heat, Rafael Ramos and Cristian Higuita are all out, while Kevin Molino and Matias Perez Garcia are doubts.

Toronto could be without seven through injury as Clint Irwin and Mark Bloom are out, while Benoit Cheyrou, Will Johnson, Eriq Zavaleta, Justin Morrow and Daniel Lovitz are all doubtful for this tie.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/W/L/D/D

Toronto’s last five: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Form – Toronto are unbeaten in their last six, picking up 16 points out of a possible 18.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – Orlando’s goalscorer has netted 12 in 23 games this season and his teammates will be hoping they can supply him so he can come up with the goods to propel them to three points here.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City Cyle Larin

Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 Toronto – Despite Orlando City’s poor form over recent weeks they have the ability to frustrate Toronto here. A draw isn’t the worst result for either side but both will be desperate for a win here, which ultimately could cause them to make mistakes.

MLS has ‘significant money’ available in chase for United star

There is no hiding the fact that a number of Major League Soccer franchises have the ability to tempt world-class players into a move to the US. The latest name to be linked with a high-profile move is Wayne Rooney.

Portland Timbers owner Merritt Paulson has stated clubs in MLS have been monitoring Rooney’s situation at Manchester United with a view to bettering offers from China, the Daily Mirror reports.

Rooney’s current contract at United ends in 2019 and he has previously spoken of the possibility of a move to MLS at the end of his playing days in Manchester.

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Paulson feels Rooney still has a lot to offer but that a move would be tempting for the United captain. “I would argue he still has some good soccer ahead of him. I think he would be a great signing for MLS.”

The Timbers’ owner is excited at the prospect of another high-profile player coming at an earlier stage of their career. “Keeping in mind that he is a very talented footballer, who has quality soccer ahead of him, you are not talking about a 34 or 35 year old.

“I get excited about the impact he would have in the MLS more than a guy who is coming in later in his career.”

There is evidently the funding available to attract some of the biggest names in world football. Paulson revealed that Orlando City are one of the latest clubs to have been in talks for high value deals.

“MLS is offering significant money. There were conversations with some guys who are as big a name as Rooney recently. Orlando City had some high profile discussions with some players, guys in his age range. There are some big-dollar numbers that have been put out.”

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China has been attracting some big names to the Chinese Super League in the last year but Paulson feels MLS has more to offer and that it is still a more favourable move for any potential signing.

“I think America compares really favourably. I wouldn’t want to play soccer in Beijing right now. I am not saying that because I don’t like China but the air quality issue is something they have to deal with in a sport which requires fitness.

“Players need to determine where they want to play and what is going to be best for their legacy and lifestyle, where they want to live.”

Rooney has had a good start to the season under new boss Jose Mourinho and a move away looks unlikely at this stage.

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Would a move to MLS suit Rooney? What club should he join if he decides to make a move stateside?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Seattle Sounders

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Seattle Sounders 

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Sunday, August 7 – 00:00 BST (19:00 EDT)

Match Odds: Orlando City 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – Seattle Sounders 11/5

Match Preview

Orlando City host the Seattle Sounders on Sunday in a clash between two sides that need to improve. Both sides have lacked form recently but will feel this is a chance for three points.

With a win in their last game and Kaka’s injury worries hopefully gone, Orlando are in a good position to push on now under new head coach Jason Kreis.

Currently sitting in sixth in the Eastern Conference. Orlando will be hoping for more comfort in those playoff spots in the coming weeks and need to keep their solid home record up with another positive result against Seattle on Sunday.

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Last week’s 3-1 victory over New England ended a five-game winless run for the Lions and they now need to build on that display.

Seattle Sounders have been dismal this year and you don’t have to dig too far to know why. They have lost key players in Obafemi Martins, Marco Pappa, Gonzalo Pineda and Lamar Neagle and have failed to replace them.

The losses of these key players has added to the responsibility of Clint Dempsey and he has struggled to keep his side competitive throughout.

Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union

The major boost is that new DP Nicolas Lodeiro looked excellent on his MLS debut against LA Galaxy last weekend and he will have Seattle fans excited for the remainder of the campaign.

The Sounders played much better last weekend but still couldn’t find the win as they settled for a 1-1 draw with LA. They still sit ninth in the West but new head coach Brian Schmetzer will be looking to turn their season around with a miraculous run of form, starting on Sunday in Florida.

Team News

Orlando City are without four first teamers as Pedro Ribeiro, Harrison Heath, Rafael Ramos and Tommy Redding are all injured.

Seattle Sounders will be without Roman Torres and Aaron Kovar, who are both out with injuries. Erik Friberg is a doubt with an ankle sprain. The positive for Seattle is that Roman Torres is closing in on a return after a long time on the sidelines.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: D/L/D/D/W

Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/W/L/L/D

Key Stat: Orlando are unbeaten in their last 17 home matches in MLS – a run which began on August 1 last year.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The 2015 no.1 draft pick has lived up to the hype so far as Orlando’s primary striker. He has not suffered a sophomore slump and already has 11 goals this season. It would be surprising to see him not add to his tally here.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 1-1 Seattle Sounders – Both sides are out of form and are struggling to stay consistent. Orlando come into this one off the back of a win and will expect to edge it as Jason Kreis continues to get his philosophies across to his new side. However, both sides have positives to build on from last weekend and we expect honours to be even in a tense match.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Orlando City

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Wednesday, July 13 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 8/15 – Draw 100/30 – Orlando 9/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome Eastern Conference rivals Orlando City to Red Bull Arena on Wednesday evening in one of six regular season midweek games.

The Red Bulls saw their five-game home winning streak come to an end at the weekend as they only managed a 0-0 draw with Portland.

That result has left New York Red Bulls without a win in their last four, drawing two and losing two. They are currently fourth in the East, trailing top spot by six points.

New York have been very tough to break down at Red Bull Arena and have kept five consecutive clean sheets. They will be feeling confident of getting back to winning ways in this tie.

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Orlando City have struggled for form on the road in recent weeks and their winless away run has extended to six games.

OCSC come into this one off the back of their 0-0 draw with Houston and have now managed just one win in their last six outings.

Orlando are now sitting eighth in the East, one point outside the playoff places and three points off the Red Bulls heading into this tie, so a victory would push them right back into the mix.

Worryingly for Orlando, they have conceded at least two goals in their last six games on the road. They’ll know they cannot afford to give the Red Bulls anything to boost their confidence early in this tie otherwise they risk seeing their struggles on the road worsen.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City

Team News

New York Red Bulls could still be without as many as three players as Damien Perrinelle, Kemar Lawrence and Tyler Adam are all carrying injuries. Aurelien Collin and Chris Duvall are both set to return after they served their suspensions last time out.

Orlando City have three injury concerns heading into this tie, as Pedro Ribeiro and Kaka are both still expected to be out, while Rafael Ramos is a doubt.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/L/D/L/D

Orlando City’s last five: D/D/W/L/D

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last six home matches in Major League Soccer, winning five and drawing the other.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls forward has netted five in his last six games at Red Bull Arena. He will be eager to get back amongst the goals here after going two games without hitting the back of the net.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City Bradley Wright-Phillips

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Orlando City – New York Red Bulls to continue the theme of putting two goals past Orlando City as a visiting side. This looks like it has the makings of a tight tie with New York likely to edge it considering their strong home form.

MLS Preview and Prediction: FC Dallas vs Orlando City

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

Venue: Toyota Stadium – Monday, July 4 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Dallas 8/13 – Draw 14/5 – Orlando 9/2

Match Preview

FC Dallas take on Orlando City in an Independence Day showdown on Monday evening, with both sides looking for back-to-back victories in what is an intriguing clash.

Dallas are a tough nut to crack at Toyota Stadium – a statement backed up by their current 16-game unbeaten run in regular season MLS matches.

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Oscar Pareja’s men eased to a 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake last weekend and remain second in the West, one point behind Supporters’ Shield leaders Colorado.

The problem for Dallas of late has been their inability to score enough goals. They have only netted three in their last four – which is a poor return for a side renowned for their attacking output.

Orlando are unbeaten in five-straight games and have scored at least two goals in each of those matches.They edged past Toronto 3-2 last weekend, thanks to a dramatic late Kaka penalty, and will be looking to record back-to-back wins for just the second time this season on Monday.

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Adrian Heath’s men are sixth in the East heading into the weekend and know they need to start winning more regularly to guarantee a first-ever playoff campaign.

This will be the third meeting between these sides. Dallas beat Orlando in the US Open Cup in 2011 before claiming a 2-0 MLS win last July.

Team News

FC Dallas will be without Zach Loyd, who is ruled out with concussion, while Ryan Hollingshead is a doubt with the same problem but is expected to return to the side.

Orlando are still without Pedro Ribeiro, who is out for months following back surgery. Carlos Rivas and Brek Shea are both one booking away from suspension and need to be careful.

Key Points

FC Dallas’ last five: W/D/D/L/W

Orlando City’s last five: W/D/D/D/W

Key Stat: Fortress – FC Dallas are unbeaten in 16 home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Mauro Diaz – The Dallas playmaker picked up a bicycle-kick assist in last weekend’s win over Real Salt Lake. He will be looking to provide the creative spark once again for the hosts here against an Orlando side that has kept just one clean sheet all season.

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Score Prediction

FC Dallas 2-2 Orlando City – There is little to split these sides heading into an intriguing Independence Day clash. Dallas are tough to break down at home, although Orlando look to be in good shape themselves so this should be a close battle. However, goals are expected between two sides with plenty of star attacking players. Score draw.