Orlando City vs. Nashville SC: 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 (2-1-2, 8 points) and Nashville SC (2-2-1, 7 points) at Exploria Stadium (7:30 p.m., MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+). It’s the first meeting of 2023 between the two sides, with the Lions making the return trip to Nashville on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Nashville is back in the Eastern Conference this season, so a big three points are on the line.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
The Lions are 1-1-4 against Nashville in MLS matches and 1-2-5 in all competitions. Orlando is 1-1-1 at home in the series in league play and 1-1-2 at Exploria Stadium in all competitions. The odd quirk continues between the two sides in that the team to score first has never won the match.
The teams did not meet in regular-season play last year, meeting only in the U.S. Open Cupin Orlando on June 29, 2022. Hany Mukhtar scored in the 52nd minute and that looked like it would be enough until Rodrigo Schlegel equalized deep in stoppage time. After a scoreless 30 minutes of extra time, the Lions won the ensuing penalty shootout, 6-4.
The teams last met in the 2021 postseason in Tennessee, with Orlando scoring first through Daryl Dike’s early goal but Nashville won 3-1 on Nov. 23, 2021 to knock the Lions out of the playoffs. Mukhtar tied it up before halftime on a fluky deflected goal off of Antonio Carlos and then put his team up in the 74th minute on a counter attack. Jhonder Cadiz put things away deep in stoppage time.
The last time the teams met in the regular season came on Oct. 3, 2021 and ended in a 1-1 draw after referee Allen Chapman’s Halloween Heist chalked off Andres Perea’s apparent stoppage-time winner. The referee’s excuse for overturning the goal was an imagined foul on Daryl Dike, who, if anything, was the fouled party. The decision cost the Lions a valuable home playoff match, which instead sent Orlando to Nashville. Mukhtar scored for Nashville to equalize in the second half after Dike’s first-half goal.
The teams met in Nashville on Sept. 29, 2021 with a late rally by the Lions earning the team a 2-2 road draw at Nissan Stadium. The hosts had taken a 2-0 lead on goals by Mukhtar — scoring off the rebound of his own saved penalty — and Randall Leal, but a penalty by Dike and a stoppage-time own goal by Brian Anunga turned the game around. On Aug. 18 the teams finished in another 1-1 draw. C.J. Sapong put the hosts ahead in the first half and Carlos leveled the score in the second half. The Lions, who played poorly in the opening 45, were the better team throughout the second half and Tesho Akindele’s shot off the crossbar was inches from providing a winner for Orlando.
The teams met on Decision Day of 2020 at Exploria Stadium, with Orlando melting down late, allowing two goals from the 88th minute on, and falling 3-2 at home on Nov. 8, 2020 — the team’s only home loss on the season. Dike and Nani goals sandwiched a strike by Daniel Lovitz, giving the Lions a lead until late. Headers by Mukhtar (in the 88th minute) and Cadiz (in the 93rd minute) turned the game on its head.
In the Lions’ first trip to Nissan Stadium, the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 2, 2020. Benji Michel put the Lions ahead with a stunner of a goal, but Leal knotted things up and that’s the way the match ended.
That 1-1 draw came a week after a 3-1 Orlando City win on Aug. 26 at Exploria Stadium. Dave Romney had opened the scoring for Nashville with a header off a free kick but Orlando scored the last three. Dike took a star turn for Orlando City, scoring a brace, and Chris Mueller also scored for the Lions.
The Lions are coming off a 2-1 win at Philadephia last Saturday night. That victory snapped a three-match winless streak (0-1-2) in league play and a five-game skid (0-1-4) in all competitions for Orlando City. The club is 1-1-1 at home this year in MLS and 1-1-2 in all competitions at Exploria Stadium, with just two goals in the run of play — plus a Facundo Torres penalty in the opener — and only one in MLS competition.
Tonight’s visitors have seven straight results in all competitions against Orlando (2-0-5) and five consecutive in the regular season (1-0-4). Nashville enters tonight’s game off of a 1-0 home loss to FC Cincinnati a week ago. The club has lost two consecutive 1-0 games and is 0-1-1 away from Nashville this season. This is a team that is in every game because it doesn’t concede. Nashville has allowed only two goals through five matches — tied with Seattle for the fewest in the league.
As usual against Nashville, the Lions’ concentration will be tested for 90+ minutes tonight and any success Orlando may have will be tied to not giving the ball away. Nashville’s biggest threat is Mukhtar on the counter attack and since he hasn’t gotten a goal yet this year — and loves to score against the Lions — ball security is vital. Gary Smith’s team has made a living out of staying compact defensively and simply letting his forwards do their thing in transition, where they have been lethal.
On the other side, Orlando City has to find a way to score goals. The Lions have always struggled to put more than one goal in the net against Nashville since the first meeting and they’ve not managed more than two goals in any game this season. Orlando did score twice in the first nine minutes last week but then blew several chances to put the match away.
With Nashville preferring to play without the ball, it seems like a chance to get rookie striker Duncan McGuire back in the starting lineup against those big center backs, including USMNT defender Walker Zimmerman.
“Nashville is like any other team in the league (in) that we have faced each other (already), and since they have a coach that has been there for a while — it’s the same with us, and we know each other,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “(Nashville) is a team that has very bold characteristics too, as Philadelphia had, in the way that they do things. We would like to have control of those things, and with the experiences that we’ve had with them we can expose them and we can use the good attributes of our team to hurt them. That is our focus.”
Striker Ercan Kara (thigh) remains questionable on Orlando’s availability report. Nashville lists two players out — Leal (lower body injury) and Nick DePuy (lower body injury).
Mandatory Match Content
With our domain transfer in flux, anything we link right now will likely turn into a broken link later, so let’s just say you can read Dave Rohe’s three keys to an Orlando City victory and Ben Miller’s Intelligence Report on either this site or our old one and you can listen to our key match-ups and score predictions on this week’s episode of The Mane Land PawedCast, along with our interview with McGuire — available on this site, the old site, or wherever podcasts are available.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Luca Petrasso, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Kyle Smith.
Defensive Midfielders: Felipe, Cesar Araujo.
Attacking Midfielders: Martin Ojeda, Mauricio Pereyra, Ivan Angulo.
Forward: Ramiro Enrique.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Rafael Santos, Abdi Salim, Antonio Carlos, Wilder Cartagena, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson, Gaston Gonzalez, Facundo Torres, Duncan McGuire.
Nashville SC (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Willis.
Defenders: Daniel Lovitz, Jack Maher, Walker Zimmerman, Shaq Moore.
Midfielders: Luke Haakenson, Sean Davis, Anibal Godoy, Fafa Picault.
Forwards: Hany Mukhtar, C.J. Sapong.
Bench: Elliot Panicco, Taylor Washington, Josh Bauer, Dax McCarty, Tah Anunga, Jan Gregus, Jacob Shaffelburg, Teal Bunbury.
Ref: Chris Penso.
AR1: Kathryn Nesbitt.
AR2: Jeremy Hanson.
4th: Kevin Klinger.
VAR: Geoff Gamble.
AVAR: Cameron Blanchard.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando.
TV/Streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+.
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), Acción 97.9 FM, 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 game. Go City!
Orlando City at New York Red Bulls: Three Keys to Victory
What does Orlando City need to do to earn all three points on the road at Red Bull Arena this Saturday night?
Orlando City is back on the road this Saturday with a match against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ. The Lions have four results in the last four matches, but only one win. That needs to change if this team is going to be a serious contender once the playoffs come around.
Orlando City defeated the Red Bulls 1-0 to begin the 2023 MLS regular season at Exploria Stadium. Now the Lions have a chance to sweep the Eastern Conference rival in the regular season with another victory. What does Orlando City need to do to get all three points on the road this weekend?
Take Advantage of Tired Legs
The Red Bulls are coming off a midweek away match against Inter Miami, and a flight back to New Jersey. That means that new Red Bulls skipper Tony Lesesne won’t have as much time to game plan as Oscar Pareja will with a full week between matches. It also means that there may be some tired legs on the Red Bulls’ side of the pitch.
If Orlando City can get through the first half with either the lead, or at least even on the scoreboard, it will be tougher for New York in the second half, especially once the hour mark hits. Use possession and passing to make the Red Bulls run as much as possible and then hit them with the fresh legs of Duncan McGuire to finish them off.
Score First, Score Second
We saw what happens when Orlando City doesn’t find a way to get a second goal in the last match against Atlanta United. They don’t call them the Cardiac Cats for nothing. The Lions must get the early lead to make New York chase the match, but they also need to get a second goal before the Red Bulls can get their first.
If Orlando City can go up by two goals, it will be demoralizing for a team that is playing twice in four days, and will have the tired legs mentioned above. It will also give the Lions the mental confidence to potentially get a third goal, as the club did against Inter Miami. Finishing the chances and putting the match to bed early is a big key to victory.
Keep a Clean Sheet
The Red Bulls haven’t scored a ton of goals this season, nor do they have any player lighting things up on the offensive side of the ball. Orlando City hasn’t earned a clean sheet since the April 29 match against the LA Galaxy. The Red Bulls are the type of opponent that could help the Lions solve that dilemma.
Doing so will mean Pedro Gallese must continue being one of the best keepers in MLS. Many of the goals conceded this season are not on him — not all, but certainly many. Michael Halliday will still be with the USMNT U-20 squad this weekend and we might see Oscar Pareja employ three at the back in his absence. If so, it will be contingent upon whoever is lined up on the right to deal with John Tolkin when he presses up the pitch, which he will.
If the three center backs do their job, and if Cesar Araujo plays like he usually does, then the attack will likely come from the flanks. It is contingent upon the wingbacks to make sure they don’t neglect the defense, especially later in the match.
That is what I will be looking for this Saturday night as the Lions look for a fifth straight result. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Lion Links: 6/1/23
MLS All-Star voting is underway, midweek MLS results, Sevilla wins Europa League, and more.
Welcome to June, Mane Landers! I hope May treated you well as we get ready for another month filled to the brim with soccer. The Florida summer is heating up, so make sure to stay hydrated out there as we break out the beach umbrellas and dust off the grills. But for now, let’s jump into today’s links!
MLS All-Star Voting Begins
Voting is underway for the 26 players who will be selected for the MLS All-Star Team this summer. Of those 26 players, 12 will be chosen from a combined vote from fans, media, and current players. Orlando City defensive midfielder Cesar Araujo was noted as a candidate who could make this year’s team. Personally, I think goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, center back Robin Jansson, and forward Ercan Kara have a real shot at playing in the All-Star Game if they keep up their form. This year’s MLS All-Star Game will take place against Arsenal in the nation’s capital, with D.C. United Head Coach Wayne Rooney at the helm.
MLS Midweek Action Brings Plenty of Goals
The Lions weren’t in action for this midweek round of games, but there was still plenty of soccer to enjoy from the other MLS teams. Atlanta United and the New England Revolution battled to a 3-3 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Carles Gil and Bobby Wood gave the Revs a 2-0 lead heading into halftime. Atlanta then scored three times in the second half, only for Gil to find an equalizer in stoppage time. It wasn’t the only high-scoring game of the evening either, as the Columbus Crew won 3-2 over the Colorado Rapids thanks to a goal and two assists from midfielder Lucas Zelarayan. Elsewhere in the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati beat New York City FC 3-1 and D.C. United and CF Montreal played to a 2-2 draw. Orlando City’s next opponents, the New York Red Bulls, won 1-0 at Inter Miami.
Sevilla Wins Seventh Europa League Title
It took a penalty shootout to decide the winner of this year’s Europa League final, with Sevilla beating AS Roma in Budapest. It was the Spanish club’s seventh time lifting the Europa League trophy. This win salvaged a rough La Liga season for Sevilla and it will play in the Champions League next year. Paulo Dybala gave Roma the lead in the first half, but an own goal levelled things in the 55th minute. Chris Smalling nearly gave Roma the win in extra time, but his header hit the crossbar. It was Jose Mourinho’s first defeat in six European finals and Roma will aim to qualify for the Europa League again when it takes on Spezia in its final Serie A game of the season on Sunday.
More Teams Claim Spots in U-20 World Cup Quarterfinals
Host Argentina was bounced from the U-20 World Cup after a 2-0 loss to Nigeria in the U-20 World Cup. After a scoreless first half, Nigeria struck twice and will face either Ecuador or South Korea in the next round. The other South American nations in action fared a bit better than Argentina, with Brazil cruising past Tunisia, 4-1, in a match that included three goals in stoppage time, and Colombia beating Slovakia, 5-1. In a clash between European sides, Italy won 2-1 over England after Cesare Casadei scored from the spot in the 87th minute. In the quarterfinals, the U.S. will face the winner of today’s match between Gambia and Uruguay.
- Orlando City B moved up a spot to seventh in the MLS NEXT Pro power rankings.
- Orlando City’s U-12 team is returning to Orlando with some new silverware.
- St. Louis City midfielder Eduard Löwen won MLS Goal of the Matchday for his free kick goal against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
- Lesle Gallimore was named as OL Reign’s next general manager after serving as commissioner of the club’s girls academy since 2020.
- Rumors are swirling that Inter Miami and FC Barcelona will join forces to sign Lionel Messi, with Miami signing him as a free agent and then loaning him to Barcelona.
- Arsenal forward Beth Mead will not play for England in this summer’s Women’s World Cup as she continues to recover from her ACL injury.
- American coach Jesse Marsch, who was dismissed from Leeds United earlier this year, has been linked with a move to AS Monaco in Ligue 1.
- Dundee United announced that American midfielder Ian Harkes is one of six players who will leave the club after it was relegated. Harkes has played for the Scottish club since 2019, joining from D.C. United.
- The Soccer Tournament kicks off today and you can check out the full slate of games.
That’s all I have for today. I hope you all have a wonderful start to June!
Lion Links: 5/31/23
Nani will return to Exploria Stadium for celebrity match, Amanda Allen scores again for Canada, U-20 USMNT defeats New Zealand, and more.
Hello, Mane Landers. I hope all is well with you down in Florida. There’s not much new with me up here in Chicago. Now that high school sports have finished up for the school year, I’ll be busy this summer working at Wrigley Field. There is plenty to get to today, so let’s get to the links.
Nani Will Return to Exploria Stadium for Celebrity Match
Former Lion captain Nani will return to Exploria Stadium on June 23 to participate in the celebrity soccer match called The Beautiful Game. The 36-year-old expressed his thoughts on his return to Orlando and taking part in this match next month.
“For me it is an honor to be back in Orlando and be with the fans one more time,” said Nani. “I can’t wait to see my friends from the club, The Wall and all Orlando City supporters again. I’m thankful for this opportunity to play one more time with Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, and so many legends.”
Nani played three seasons for the Lions, recording 28 goals and 23 assists in 77 appearances for the club. The match will feature icons such as Ronaldinho, Roberto Carlos, Carlos Valderrama, Javier Mascherano, and Rivaldo as well. The match will also have halftime entertainment, and more additions to the rosters set to be announced at a later date.
Amanda Allen Scores Again in Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship
Orlando Pride forward Amanda Allen made the starting lineup again for Canada in the 2023 Concacaf Women’s U-20 Championship in the Dominican Republic. In Canada’s final group stage match against the U.S., Allen converted a penalty kick for Canada’s first goal in what finished as a 5-2 loss for her side.
It was Allen’s second goal of the tournament, but she was injured in this match as well. Canada finishes second in the group, with the U.S. on top. On Friday, the U.S. will play Costa Rica and Canada will face Mexico in the semifinals.
U-20 USMNT Advances to World Cup Quarterfinals
Orlando City defender Michael Halliday came on as a substitute in the 71st minute for the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team in its U-20 World Cup match against New Zealand. The U.S. shut out New Zealand 4-0 to advance to the quarterfinals in Argentina. That victory gives the U.S. its fourth-consecutive shutout in the tournament. Austin FC midfielder Owen Wolff, San Jose Earthquakes forward Cade Cowell, FC Dallas defender Justin Che, and Hajduk Split midfielder Rokas Pukstas all scored for the Americans. In the quarterfinals on Sunday, the U.S. will face the winner of tomorrow’s match between Gambia and Uruguay.
Interim Head Coach Anthony Hudson Leaves USMNT
The U.S. Soccer Federation announced that Anthony Hudson is leaving his role as the USMNT’s interim head coach to pursue a new opportunity. Hudson is reportedly set to take a head coaching role with a club in the Middle East. He was the head coach of the U.S. U-20 team in 2020 and had been an assistant under Gregg Berhalter for the USMN before being named interim head coach in January. Hudson will be replaced by B.J. Callaghan, who will be the interim head coach for the USMNT for the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup competitions this summer. Callaghan has been an assistant coach with the USMNT over the last four years and was previously an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Union.
USMNT Will Host Ghana and Germany for October Friendlies
The USMNT will play two international friendlies in October against Germany and Ghana. The U.S. will take on four-time World Cup Champion Germany on Oct. 14 in East Hartford, CT. The last time the USMNT played Germany was in 2015, with the Yanks winning 2-1. On Oct. 17, the USMNT will face Ghana in Nashville. The Black Stars will look to get their first win on American soil against the Stars and Stripes. Ghana eliminated the Americans in the World Cup in 2006 and 2010, but the U.S. defeated Ghana in the group stage at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The last time these two sides met was in 2017, when the USMNT edged Ghana, 2-1.
- The latest MLS Power rankings were released. The Lions moved down one spot to 15th after their 1-1 draw against Atlanta United.
- The LA Galaxy parted ways with President Chris Klein. Head Coach and Sporting Director Greg Vanney will remain with the club. The Galaxy have missed the playoffs in four of the last six seasons.
- Former Netherlands forward Quincy Promes will be prosecuted for his involvement in drug trafficking. Promes is accused of allegedly smuggling 1,360 kilos of cocaine in 2020.
- Juventus is reportedly emerging as the leader in the race to acquire Christian Pulisic on a transfer from Chelsea. Pulisic has one-year remaining on his contract with the English Premier League side.
- Forbes.com’s James Nalton shared his insights on five potential USMNT players to watch during the U-20 World Cup .
- An arrest warrant has reportedly been issued in Brazil for LA Galaxy midfielder Douglas Costa for unpaid child support.
- Is it just me or did The Athletic forget to mention our beloved Lions’ U.S. Open Cup run last year?
That will do it for me today, Mane Landers. Enjoy your Wednesday and I’ll see you next time.
Orlando City at New York Red Bulls: Three Keys to Victory
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