New York City FC is looking to make it three wins from three on Saturday when Orlando City SC travels to Yankee Stadium.
As for the Lions, they are still on the hunt for their first win of the season and things will not be easy against Patrick Vieira’s side.
City faced off against LA Galaxy last weekend and managed to win 2-1. Anton Tinnerholm was on target for City in the 22nd minute, David Villa made it 2-0 shortly after in the 33rd minute and rounded off a dominant first half display.
Jonathan dos Santos netted what was only a consolation goal in the 60th minute, as NYCFC picked up their second win of the season in as many games.
Orlando picked up their first loss of this MLS season, losing 2-1 to Minnesota United. Ethan Finlay bagged himself a brace in the game, while Yoshimar Yotún converted from the penalty spot for Kreis’ side but it wasn’t enough for the Lions in the end.
The Last Time We Met
NYCFC and Orlando both entered the MLS at the same time, and since have had quite a heated rivalry. Though Orlando have the most victories over previous meetings, The Pigeons were victorious the last time the two sides faced off against each other.
City managed to secure a 3-0 victory, in what was a relatively simple task for the Blues – two goals from David Villa (14′, 82′), as well as one goal from Rodney Wallace (35′) was all it took for City to secure the three points last time we met.
Yangel Herrera will have to be on top of his game in midfield if City are to take all three points. He will be responsible for driving the ball from defence into the final third where Villa, Jesus Medina and Wallace can flourish.
Not only will Herrera be key to speeding up City transitions from defence to attack, but he will be key in retaining possession of the ball, and keeping it away from Orlando’s danger man, Sacha Kljestan.
There’s no surprise who Orlando’s key player is when facing City. Kljestan has had an abundance of success against the Blues. Kljestan has recorded 10 assists against NYCFC which is a league record, for most assists recorded by one player against any one side.
The American international will also be making his debut after being traded by New York Red Bulls and serving a two match suspension for an altercation with Toronto FC during the 2017 playoffs. He’ll be looking to make a good first impression in front of Orlando’s travelling fans.
Maxime Chanot will return from his suspension, after missing the LA Galaxy game.
Orlando have been hit hard with injuries and suspensions so far this season, and nothing has changed here too. They are without: Dom Dwyer, Mason Stajduhar, Josue Colman and Oriol Rosell who are all injured. Stefano Pinho is a doubt for the game, and Pierra da Silva is suspended for the match.
Also notably absent from this matchup will be NYCFC nemesis Cyle Larin, who left the team in the offseason to join Turkish side Beşiktaş – much to the joy of City fans everywhere.
NYCFC (4-2-3-1): Johnson; Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Matarrita; Ring, Herrera; Medina, Moralez, Wallace; Villa.
Orlando City (4-3-1-2): Joe Bendik; Sutter, Tarek, Spector, El-Munir; Johnson, Lindley, Yotun; Kljestan; Mueller, Meram.