Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More
Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City SC (1-1-2, 5 points) and the Philadelphia Union (2-2-0, 6 points) at Subaru Park (7:30 p.m., MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+). This is the first of two regular-season match-ups between the Lions and Union in 2023, with Philadelphia making the return trip to Exploria Stadium on June 21.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
Orlando City is 4-7-5 in the 16 MLS meetings with the Union since the club joined Major League Soccer in 2015, and 5-8-5 in all competitions. The Lions are 2-5-1 against the Union on the road in league play and 2-6-1 at Philadelphia in all competitions.
Strange things tend to happen when the teams meet (and tend to favor the Union), but that’s especially true in Philadelphia. The last two matches at Subaru Park should probably have seen Kacper Przybylko and Jose Martinez sent off for the hosts and the Pro Referees Organization apologized for a winning Union goal that should never have counted on another previous trip to Pennsylvania.
The Union put the Lions to the sword in the last meeting, a dominant 5-1 win by Philadelphia on Sept. 10 of last year. That was Orlando’s first match since winning the U.S. Open Cup title three days earlier. Joao Moutinho’s own goal started the scoring and the Union got goals from Mikael Uhre, Daniel Gazdag (penalty), Alejandro Bedoya, and Jack Elliott. Andres Perea, who is now with the Union, scored for Orlando but the Lions were trailing by 4-0 at the time. Martinez appeared to headbutt Wilder Cartagena in that match but no call was made.
The Eastern Conference foes met on July 23, 2022 at Exploria Stadium. Two controversial video review decisions went against Orlando that night and the Lions were wasteful with their chances in an evenly matched 1-0 Philadelphia win. Daniel Gazdag scored the game’s only goal off a set piece.
The teams also met in U.S. Open Cup play on May 10, 2022, with the Lions winning 2-1 at home. Ercan Kara and Perea hoisted Orlando to a 2-0 lead. Stuart Findlay pulled one back late, but the Lions saw it out and advanced.
The teams met at Subaru Park on Sept. 19, 2021 and the Union prevailed 3-1, largely due to a brace by Przybylko after he got away with what appeared a clear elbow to the face of Rodrigo Schlegel. Instead of being sent off and/or conceding a free kick to Orlando City, the Union scored on the ensuing play and went on to win the match. The teams met in Orlando on July 22, 2021 and the Lions got goals by Benji Michel and Perea on the team’s only two shots on target to win 2-1. Przybylko, who had feasted on Orlando since arriving in Philadelphia, pulled one back for the visitors but the Lions hung on.
The teams met in 2020 in the group stage of the MLS is Back Tournament in the only meeting to date that did not take place in either side’s home stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 draw after a Mauricio Pereyra goal canceled out a strike by Ilsinho. That draw allowed the Lions to win Group A in the competition and they went on to reach the final.
The teams met in what was then known as Talen Energy Stadium on July 7, 2019, with the Lions and Union drawing 2-2. Dom Dwyer and Santiago Patino brought Orlando back from 1-0 down but Przybylko poached a goal in the 90th to capture a share of the points for the Union. That match was postponed by MLS on the night it was set to take place — a move that Orlando City fought against — and instead was played the next day.
The two teams had met just a few days earlier on July 3, ending in Orlando’s 3-1 home loss against the Union. Chris Mueller and Przybylko swapped goals in the first half before Robin Jansson was sent off just prior to the break. Afterwards, the 10-man Lions gave up two more goals — one to Przybylko and the other to Fafa Picault — and then went down another man with Sacha Kljestan seeing red.
The teams drew 2-2 in a wild finish on Sept. 1, 2018 in Orlando. Just when it looked like Picault had lifted the Union to victory with a strike in the 88th minute, Scott Sutter equalized in stoppage time to salvage a point for the Lions. Dwyer and Cory Burke also scored in that match. The Lions prevailed over the Union in Philadelphia on April 13, 2018 by a 2-0 score. Dwyer and Mueller provided the offense. Orlando and Philadelphia also met that season in U.S. Open Cup play, with the Union capturing a 1-0 home win back on July 18, 2018 on a goal by Bedoya.
In 2017, the home side won each match, with Orlando City winning 2-1 at Orlando City Stadium on March 18 and the Union winning an ugly 6-1 match in the season finale for both teams. The Lions were 1-1-1 against Philadelphia in 2016. The team’s first road victory in the series came on Oct. 16, 2016, as the Lions roared, 2-0. The teams played to a 2-2 draw on May 25 in Orlando. Tranquillo Barnetta’s free kick in the 89th minute gave Philly a 2-1 win on March 8 of 2016.
Orlando drew 0-0 at home and lost on the road, 1-0 (on a penalty kick), against Philadelphia in 2015.
Orlando City enters tonight’s match having not won since opening night. The Lions are winless in three league matches (0-1-2) and five games in all competition (0-1-4), with a problematic 2-1 home loss to struggling Charlotte a week ago. City is 0-0-1 on the road in league play so far this season and 0-0-2 away from Exploria Stadium in all competitions.
Philadelphia enters tonight coming off a 3-2 road loss in Montreal last weekend, but the Union are 2-0-0 at home in MLS matches and 3-0-0 in all competitions, outscoring opponents 9-1. Philadelphia has won 12 straight home matches and is unbeaten in its last 24 league home games (19-0-5). You have to go back to Sept. 3, 2021 to find a Union home loss — a 1-0 decision to the New England Revolution. It’s fair to say the Union have turned Subaru Park into the kind of fortress of which Orlando fans can only dream.
Typically the Union like to deploy in a 4-4-2 diamond formation under Jim Curtin but with so many players out — more on that below — we could see something different. We will likely see Perea in the lineup against his former teammates, as the young midfielder has become the team’s backup at the No. 8 position. Uhre will be the danger man that Orlando City must always keep under wraps. On the other end, the stout Union back line is intact and is going to be difficult to break down, while Kai Wagner will present a threat on crosses.
“You always have to be ready no matter what, whether you don’t think you’re gonna play, you think you’re gonna play, you’ve always got to be ready, always being prepared and treating every game like you’re going to be the one playing,” said backup goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar earlier this week. “I think it’s also taught me patience. No situation is permanent and things can change like that. So, I’d say patience and preparedness for sure.”
Stajduhar, who will start tonight barring something unforeseen, was in net the last time the Lions went to Philadelphia, and he got shelled in that 5-1 loss. Philly hasn’t been kind to backup Orlando goalkeepers. Earl Edwards Jr. lost a 6-1 match there in his first MLS start in October of 2017, and Josh Ford lost 1-0 — on a penalty kick goal by Sebastien LeToux in his first MLS start back in 2015.
This is going to be a weird game due to absences. Both teams are missing key players due to international duty and the Union are also dealing with a crucial injury to goalkeeper Andre Blake, while the Lions could be without Kara, who is questionable with a thigh injury. In addition to Black (adductor strain) being listed as out on the availability report, Julian Carranza is suspended after picking up a pair of yellow cards last Saturday in Montreal. The Union will be without Gazdag, Damion Lowe, Martinez, Richard Odada, Quinn Sullivan, Brandan Craig, and Jack McGlynn due to international duty. The only Orlando injury is Kara’s but the team will be without internationals Pedro Gallese, Wilder Cartagena, Facundo Torres, Michael Halliday, Thomas Williams, Alex Freeman, and Favian Loyola.
Mandatory Match Content
- This week’s Intelligence Report features insight into the Union from Joe Lister of SBNation’s Philadelphia blog, Philadelphia Soccer Now.
- The most recent PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for tonight’s game, as well as an interview with Orlando Pride rookie Messiah Bright.
- Our Dave Rohe provided his three keys to victory for Orlando City against Philadelphia.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1),
Goalkeeper: Mason Stajduhar.
Defenders: Luca Petrasso, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Kyle Smith.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Felipe.
Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Mauricio Pereyra, Martin Ojeda.
Forward: Ramiro Enrique.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Rafael Santos, Abdi Salim, Antonio Carlos, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, Gaston Gonzalez, Shak Mohammed, Jack Lynn, Duncan McGuire.
Philadelphia Union (4-4-2 diamond)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Kai Wagner, Jack Elliott, Jakob Glesnes, Olivier Mbaizo.
Midfielders: Andres Perea, Leon Flach, Alejandro Bedoya, Joaquin Torres.
Forwards: Michael Uhre, Chris Donovan.
Bench: Holden Trent, Nathan Harriel, Matthew Real, Jesus Bueno, Jeremy Rafanello.
Ref: Allen Chapman.
AR1: Brian Dunn.
AR2: Justin Howard.
4th: Luis Diego Arroyo.
VAR: Alejandro Mariscal.
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Subaru Park — Chester, PA.
TV/Streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), Accion 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City’s official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
Enjoy the match. Go City!
My First Orlando City Road Match: New York Red Bulls
A trip to Red Bull Arena to see the Lions play created memories that will last a lifetime.
This past weekend I was fortunate enough to take in my first-ever Orlando City away match when the Lions traveled north to Harrison, NJ to take on the New York Red Bulls. The experience was one that I will not soon forget and I wanted to take some time to share a firsthand account of our travels and game day experience.
Early Friday morning prior to the match, I loaded the car up with my wife, 10-month-old son, and enough luggage to support a small army and made the trek from our home in Central Florida to the Orlando International Airport. I had been planning to take in an away game this year ever since the schedule came out, and as destinations go…Red Bull Arena certainly checked off a few must-haves from our family’s travel list. Direct flights (because travel with a little one is just plain easier when you don’t have to connect), a city we have not visited as a family before (what better way to make memories in a new city than to have them tied to an Orlando City victory?), extracurriculars (give us all the good food, drinks, and hot spots to visit). The latter is actually how I talked my wife into the trip. Who could say no to an Orlando City game and Broadway shows to boot?
After a shockingly low-stress travel day, we arrived in Time Square to meet up with my parents, who had journeyed from Michigan to spend the weekend with us (to provide some much appreciated babysitting) and have some fun in the city. After a day exploring downtown New York City, it was time to head to the stadium. If you ever have the chance to go, and I think every fan should if they are capable, just know that if you are staying in Manhattan, it can be quite a Herculean effort to physically make it to the stadium! After a 45-minute Uber ride, my father and I arrived on the doorstep of Red Bull Arena. The stadium was clean, easy to access, and had an outdoor tailgate area within the gates, where a live band provided pregame entertainment.
Being a once-in-a season type of experience, I splurged on two field-level seats for my father and I and could not have been happier with the choice. I don’t think it would have been physically possible to have been closer or more immersed in the action, with the exception of streaking onto the pitch, and no matter our differences, the Red Bull faithful definitely did not deserve that type of show. Looking up at the fans seated around the stadium, small pockets of purple could easily be made out against the sea of red and blue seats and we were even lucky enough to meet an engaged couple who work and live not to far from us back in Orlando and came up to the game to celebrate a special birthday weekend.
The game environment was spectacular and my excitement was only bolstered by our team’s effort on the pitch. A clean sheet victory on the road, and a three-goal effort was enough to justify the whole trip, but the night of memories did not stop after the final whistle. Instead, as my father and I were walking from our seats on the sideline towards the exit tunnel, a joyful Facundo Torres came sprinting over to our corner of the field to celebrate with the Orlando City supporters. As someone who has covered his struggles to start the year, it was clear as day to me to see a sense of relief wash over him in the spirit of celebration, and, with fans cheering him on, he even took a moment to shake my old man’s hand and pat him on the shoulder.
I have been a season ticket member in the City Beautiful for the past three years, and while I love heading to the games week in and week out, there was something different about taking in an away match. Whether we as fans are celebrating the highest highs or dreading the lowest of lows at home, when we leave the stadium, the stress of the real world is waiting just around the corner. The beauty I found of attending an away match was that by turning the experience into a weekend getaway, the joys of the victory were able to linger around for just a bit longer while we were still fully immersed in vacation mode.
Did you make the trip up to Jersey this weekend? Have you gone to any away matches this year or plan to before the end of the season? If so, let us know your favorite destinations and plans in the comments below.
Lion Links: 6/7/23
Orlando City moves up in MLS power rankings, Orlando Pride take on Gotham FC tonight, USMNT announces official Concacaf Nations League roster, and more.
Hello, Mane Landers. How is everyone doing so far this week? I’ve been doing well and keeping myself busy lately. I’ll be working the Dead & Company concert this weekend at Wrigley Field. There is plenty to get to today, so let’s get to the links.
Orlando City Moves Up in MLS Power Rankings
Orlando City moved up five spots to 10th in the latest MLS power rankings. The Lions defeated the New York Red Bulls 3-0 on the road this past Saturday. Ivan Angulo put together a stellar performance and Facundo Torres scored twice in the match to help the Lions extend their unbeaten run to five matches. Around the league, the Columbus Crew also moved up five spots, climbing to sixth after a 4-2 win against Charlotte FC. Cincinnati edged out LAFC for the top spot in the power rankings following its 1-0 shutout win against the Chicago Fire.
Orlando Pride Take on NJ/NY Gotham FC Tonight
The Orlando Pride will play NJ/NY Gotham FC tonight in their third group stage match of the 2023 NWSL Challenge Cup. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Red Bull Arena and you can watch it on CBS Sports Network or stream it on Paramount+. The Pride are at the bottom of their group following a draw and a loss so far in the competition. Ally Watt scored in those first two matches for the Pride, with Summer Yates providing the assists on both of those goals. Gotham is unbeaten in the Challenge Cup and leads the group with four points. The Pride are unbeaten in their last six matches on the road in all competitions against Gotham, including a scoreless draw last month in league play.
USMNT Announces 23-Man Roster for Concacaf Nations League
The U.S. Soccer Federation officially announced the 23-man roster for the U.S. Men’s National Team before the 2023 Concacaf Nations League.
Goalkeeper Josh Cohen, who plays for Maccabi Haifa in Israel, was the lone player dropped from the preliminary roster announced last week. The USMNT will play rival Mexico on June 15 in the Concacaf Nations League semifinals at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. If the U.S. prevails in that match, it will face the winner of the match between Canada and Panama. The final is set to take place in Las Vegas on June 18.
U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals Begin
The quarterfinals of the 2023 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup kicked off last night with two matches. FC Cincinnati defeated the Pittsburgh Riverhounds out of the USL Championship, 3-1, with Brandon Vazquez, Alvaro Barreal, and Santiago Arias all scoring in the second half. The Houston Dynamo also booked their spot in the semifinals after winning 4-1 over the Fire. Nigerian winger Ibrahim Aliyu had a brace for Houston in the road win. Today, we have two more matches to determine who else will move on to the semifinals. Birmingham Legion FC of the USL Championship will take on Inter Miami, while Real Salt Lake will face the LA Galaxy.
- In case you missed it, check out the sights and sounds of Orlando’s road victory at Red Bull Arena this past weekend.
- Concacaf rebranded the Concacaf Champions League to the Concacaf Champions Cup. The prize money also got a boost, as the winner of the competition will receive $5 million.
- English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur has officially appointed Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou as its new manager on a four-year contract.
- Paris Saint-Germain has fired its manager, Christophe Galtier, despite him leading the French club to a Ligue 1 title in his only season.
- Former USMNT interim manager and assistant coach Anthony Hudson signed a two-year contract to become the new manager for Qatari side Al-Markhiya SC.
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.
Lion Links: 6/6/23
Lions earn weekly honors, OCSC headed in the right direction, Kylie Strom lands on NWSL Best XI of May, and more.
Happy Tuesday, everyone. I got absolutely clattered during my Sunday league game over the weekend, and I’ve been hobbling around ever since. Fortunately, my fingers still work just fine, because there are plenty of things to talk through this morning. Let’s get after it.
Lions Earn Weekly Honors
Orlando was well represented on the MLS Team of the Matchday following a 3-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls Saturday night. Facundo Torres and Ivan Angulo were both named to the starting lineup, while Oscar Pareja was given the nod as head coach. Torres scored two goals and Angulo recorded a goal and an assist in the victory. Dave Rohe gave Torres a 7.5 and Angulo an 8, along with the Man of the Match award, in our player grades. It was nice to see other people take notice of the performances they put in. Keep up the good work, fellas!
OCSC Heading in the Right Direction
Orlando City got the complete performance that it’s been looking for in recent weeks, and Oscar Pareja is very pleased with what he saw from his team. He went out of his way to highlight the fact that the Lions stayed vigilant and didn’t relax and give up a goal as the game went on, something that’s been a problem at times this year. While Pareja said that things aren’t perfect yet, he and Torres were both of the opinion that the team is playing better lately, and Torres said that Saturday was OCSC’s best performance of the season.
Kylie Strom Earns Monthly Plaudits
Orlando Pride defender Kylie Strom has been named to the NWSL Best XI for the month of May. Strom started in each of the Pride’s four matches during May and went the full 90 minutes in all but one of them. She helped anchor a back line that only gave up two goals during those four games, but the highlight of her month came during the team’s home game against the Washington Spirit. Strom scored the winning goal in the second half as the Pride handed the Spirit their first loss of the season. Here’s hoping she continues the good form!
Fines and Bans Proposed for Vinicius’ Abusers
The four men accused of hanging an effigy of Vinicius Jr. from a bridge are set to have hefty punishments levied against them. Spain’s anti-violence commission has proposed fines of €60,001 and two-year stadium bans as a result of their actions. Additionally, the three men accused of racially abusing the Brazilian winger during a match against Valencia may be given fines and a one-year stadium ban as well. All seven were arrested and, although they’ve been released, could still face criminal charges, although that would be unprecedented. The Real Madrid player has suffered repeated instances of racial abuse since arriving in Spain. Hopefully the punishments will do something to deter the ugly incidents from occurring.
- Orlando City has picked up more points on the road than any other team in the Eastern Conference.
- Former Lions Daryl Dike and Cyle Larin made the bench of a team of MLS exports who had great seasons abroad.
- Ange Postecoglou is reportedly set to become Tottenham’s next coach.
- Christian Pulisic spoke about the difficulties he had at Chelsea during the past season.
- Real Madrid reportedly sees Harry Kane as the best option to replace Karim Benzema, but knows that signing him will be difficult.
That’s all for me today. Y’all stay safe out there.
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