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Orlando City vs. New York City FC: Final Score 2-0 as Lions’ Unbeaten Run Ends with a Thud

The Lions struggled yet again on a baseball field in an awful-looking road loss to NYCFC but clinched a playoff spot anyway.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps. It was the Lions who chose to sleep tonight, as the lads in purple turned in a performance as ugly as the pitch at Citi Field in a 2-0 loss to a New York City FC team that hasn’t been able to buy a goal recently. Mounsef Bakrar and Talles Magno scored on either side of halftime to lead the hosts to the win.

Orlando City saw its six-match unbeaten run snapped and fell to 7-8-7 in the all-time series, missing an opportunity to gain points on FC Cincinnati and allowing Columbus to close within two points. However, D.C. United’s draw against Atlanta United clinched the Lions a spot in the MLS Cup playoffs for the fourth straight season.

“We would have loved to celebrate (making the playoffs) with a victory today and a better result and a better performance but we couldn’t. We have no excuses,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “We’re responsible for the things we do good and the things that we don’t do good. We played against a good team. I think they had the best chances. We had a few. We were not sharp in that end but we were not sharp in our defensive side either.”

Pareja’s starting lineup was nearly the same as in Saturday’s win over Columbus. Pedro Gallese was in goal behind a back line of Rafael Santos, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. Wilder Cartagena returned to the lineup, replacing Felipe alongside Cesar Araujo in central midfield. Facundo Torres was also back in the starting lineup, replacing Martin Ojeda on the attacking midfield line with Ivan Angulo and Mauricio Pereyra, while Ramiro Enrique got his second straight start up top.

Despite the strong lineup, the Lions could hardly have had a worse performance or result with a heavily rotated side and now the starters will be tasked with playing their third match in eight days when Inter Miami visits this weekend. On a small pitch, where movement has to be quicker and more precise, the Lions were neither.

The first few minutes of the game consisted of the teams fouling each other in the midfield. The hosts then got the game’s first big chance off of one of those fouls. New York City FC played a long-distance set piece short and worked it to the middle of the field before sending a chipped ball over the top. Orlando’s deefending was awful and two NYCFC players got in behind. Former Lion Andres Perea took a pass from Richie Ledezma and fired a shot from point-blank range. However, Gallese made a huge stop on his former teammate in the fourth minute.

Moments later, Perea whiffed on his initial shot attempt near the top of the area, then sent a half-volley, follow-up shot well over the bar as Orlando City struggled to get into the attacking half, as has often been the case on these baseball fields up north.

Orlando did get forward for the first time in the seventh minute, winning a corner, but Torres left his cross too close to Freese, who knocked it away.

The Lions managed their best attack of the half in the 22nd minute, as the ball was sent from right to left, where it ended up with Torres. The Uruguayan found his countryman Pereyra near the top of the area, but the captain’s first-time shot deflected off a defender and out for a corner. The ensuing set piece found Santos at the near post but his redirected shot hit the outside netting.

NYCFC’s second excellent opportunity came two minutes later. Andres Jasson was well covered near the right sideline but somehow got in an accurate cross and Schlegel lost track of Bakrar, but the home team’s forward headed it over the bar.

The breakthrough went the hosts’ way after an Orlando turnover in the middle of the pitch. Enrique followed Santiago Rodriguez down the left sideline and when the opposing attacker cut into the box, Schlegel came over to close the play down. Before the defender got there, Rodriguez’s foot made contact with Enrique’s. The referee initially gave a goal kick but then took a brief look himself before awarding a penalty.

Gallese made a terrific diving save to stop the Rodriguez penalty, but Bakrar was first to the ball and headed it into the far corner to make it 1-0 in the 37th minute. Orlando players appealed for an encroachment call but the goal stood.

“I got the ball, played it into (Enrique’s) feet and was going to go for a one-two,” Thorhallsson said about the play that led to the penalty. He played it behind me and then he was tracking back and I was right behind him. I didn’t see the penalty but it looked like a penalty. And then Pedro saves the penalty, and I would say me and Rodri made the mistake of not blocking the guy to get the ball. So, just a fiasco and something we need to look into — me and everybody. Me especially.”

Neither team got a clear-cut look for the rest of the half but Torres earned a free kick in a dangerous spot in stoppage time. Pereyra went for goal but fired over the bar on the last chance of the opening period.

Orlando City finished with more first-half possession (56.4%-43.6%) but most of that was kicking it around the back line, looking for a way to break out on the narrow field. The Lions also somehow managed more shot attempts (6-5), although it didn’t seem like it, as most of them were of the non-dangerous variety, won more corners (2-1), and had the edge in passing accuracy (84%-81.3%). However, again, that’s largely due to passing it around the back line and back to Gallese. NYCFC fired more shots on target (3-1).

The Lions nearly equalized two minutes after the restart. A good cross from Santos found its way through traffic to Torres, but the ball was a bit behind him and he couldn’t direct it on frame as it fizzed wide.

Gallese then made a good save in the 51st minute when a shot from outside the box by Bakrar was deflected by Jansson’s foot. Perea got a free header on the ensuing corner but hit his shot right at his former teammate in goal.

Pareja sent fresh attackers on in the 59th minute, introducing Ojeda, Duncan McGuire, and Luca Petrasso for Cartagena, Enrique, and Santos. Seconds later, a ball fell kindly for Pereyra outside the box but he squibbed his shot badly off target.

Orlando appealed for a handball in the 62nd minute off a long throw by Araujo but there was no whistle. The Lions then had a prolonged spell of poor defense. It started with a free look for Magno in the box but he slipped while cutting inside for a better shot. He got his goal three minutes later as he found himself between an inattentive Schlegel and Thorhallsson, with neither player actually marking him.

The Lions learned nothing from the previous open looks by NYCFC and left Perea unmarked on a corner in the 77th minute. The former Lion sent his shot right at Gallese, however. Two minutes after that, Birk Risa was the man free for a header but sent it over the bar with Araujo not paying him closely enough.

Orlando got on the front foot down the stretch but couldn’t create anything dangerous from its possession. Ojeda won a couple of corners. Schlegel sent one of those headed just wide of the right post. Petrasso had a shot blocked late and the game’s last chance was a soft pop-up header by McGuire that went down as just the team’s second shot on target of the night.

There were no late-match heroics on this night.

Orlando City held the final edge in possession (59.5%-40.5%) and passed more accurately (83.6%-78%), but NYCFC finished with more (16-11), way more shots on frame (7-2), and corners (6-5). The only two shots on frame by the Lions couldn’t have been easier for Freese to handle.

“I don’t think we had a spark today, but I think we were a little predictable,” Pareja said. “I thought we had more problems today with dealing with the spaces and trying to put ourselves into the map of the field. We have to be able to do it, but we couldn’t do it. New York neutralized those things. They condensed with many numbers in behind. We tried to do the same but we were not effective.”

“It’s a little bit hard to be happy,” Thorhallsson said about clinching a playoff spot. “We can say sweet and sour emotion but of course it’s a little more sour because we lost the game.”


The Lions have another short turnaround, returning home for a Sunday night Tropic Thunder showdown against Inter Miami at 7:30 p.m.

Orlando City

Orlando City vs. New England Revolution: Final Score 3-1 as Lions Finally Win at Gillette Stadium

Lions erase halftime deficit with three second-half goals to pick up their first-ever win at Gillette Stadium.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

It’s been a long time coming. Despite a poor start and a halftime deficit, Orlando City dominated the second half and defeated the New England Revolution 3-1 to pick up the franchise’s first win at Gillette Stadium.

Since Orlando City joined Major League Soccer in 2015, home games against the Lions (8-9-6, 30 points) have been the Revolution’s (7-13-1, 22 points) free space on their Bingo card, but that was not the case tonight, as Facundo Torres sandwiched two brilliant left-footed goals around a set-piece strike by Ramiro Enrique to more than cancel out Giacomo Vrioni’s first-half goal.

It was Orlando’s third consecutive win and its fourth in five matches, with the Lions scoring 18 times over the course of their last six games overall.

“Very excited with the three points. Very proud of the character of the team and the players that brought us back after an irregular first half,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said after the match. “The second half was what we wanted, and the reaction was outstanding from the players. It seems like our confidence keeps raising, and finding the net is helping us to believe that this is a team who can keep that rhythm and just get into the playoffs.”

Pareja’s lineup included only one change from the side that beat D.C. United 5-0 a week ago. Pedro Gallese started in goal behind a back line of Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, and Dagur Dan Thorhallsson. Cesar Araujo and Wilder Cartagena made up the central midfield partnership behind an attacking line of Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, and Torres, with Enrique starting up top in place of Duncan McGuire, who is on international duty.

As is typically the case when the Lions visit Gillette Stadium, they were sloppy with the ball, weighting passes improperly and often losing the ball in their feet to ruin promising attacks. Whether it’s the trip to the Boston area, the artificial surface, something else, or a combination of all of that, the first half looked like so many other trips to play New England. Orlando City wasted multiple opportunities to take an early lead and eventually coughed up the first goal.

Ojeda took the first shot of the match just four minutes in but he hit his shot over the bar. It was an omen of things to come. Angulo tried to play in Enrique in the 11th minute with Ojeda to his left. Enrique was a few yards offside but the Colombian didn’t seem to notice when weighing his options.

Orlando was fortunate not to concede at the other ends seconds later. Smith and Jansson were turned inside out by Vrioni and he slid the ball in for Jack Panayatou, who seemed poised to score but Jansson deflected it behind for a corner.

Esmir Bajraktarevic fired a shot right at Gallese in the 13th minute and then the Lions wasted a number of attacks that could have led to an opener. The first came in the 15th minute when Enrique couldn’t get to a dangerous cross by Angulo, who was easily the best attacking player of the opening period.

Ojeda gave the ball away cheaply on a pair of good transition opportunities in the 19th and 21st minutes when the Lions had numbers in the attack but didn’t so much as get a shot attempt off. That allowed the Revs to break the scoreless deadlock.

Thorhallsson drifted too far inside away from DeJuan Jones on the initial cross, so that the heavy touch by the Revs fullback didn’t cost the hosts possession. The ball cycled around to the attacking right and a routine back-post ball from Bajraktarevic found Thorhallsson in perfect position to deal with it, but he was far too passive on the play, allowing an easy cross from Jones in front to Vrioni for a tap-in while Schlegel was caught marking no one.

“I thought in the first half we conceded a lot of freedom for New England players and that first goal is something that we need to correct,” Pareja said.

The Icelandic fullback had a chance to immediately make up for his mistake on the attacking end, making a nice move to get to the end line, but he sent his cross right at the goalkeeper as the wasteful first half continued. Moments later, it was Smith getting dispossessed in the offensive end.

Angulo did well to steal the ball and jumpstart the attack in the 34th minute and the Lions poured forward with numbers. However, Enrique got impatient while approaching the box and sent a weak, long-range shot toward goal that gave Aljaz Ivacic no trouble. Seconds later, Orlando took possession again and Araujo attempted a long-range shot that missed badly to the left of goal.

The best chance for Orlando in the opening half came in the 42nd minute. Angulo did well to lose his defender and get to the end line, sending in a cross to Thorhallsson in front, but the fullback sent his shot right at Ivacic, who made the save. Angulo got another good cross in two minutes later, but the defense was there to clear it and after a minute of injury time, the half came to an end with the Lions again looking up at a deficit on the Gillette Stadium scoreboard.

The Revs had the halftime advantage in possession (52.5%-47.5%) and corners (2-1), while the Lions fired more shots (7-2) and passed more accurately (93.3%-89.7%). Each side put two shots on target.

“In the break, we decided just to push our lines way higher and just bring more stamina for those actions and dueling, passing, landing in the box,” Pareja said. “And I saw that team that we have seen the last two games, with more chemistry, but at the same time with more passion and energy. That allowed us to dominate the game and score our goals.”

Pareja sent Rafael Santos on for the second half, withdrawing Smith, who had an ineffective first half. His first involvement was a good cross in for Enrique, who lost sight of it and couldn’t make good contact, allowing the ball to bounce harmlessly to Ivacic.

Torres equalized moments later, however. A foray into the penalty area looked to have been snuffed out by the defense, but the ball bounced back to Angulo, who sent it to Torres near the top of the area. The Uruguayan fired it just inside the left post to level the match at 1-1 in the 51st minute.

Ojeda tried to give Orlando the lead two minutes later but Ivacic did well to make the save and the flag came up anyway. Torres then sent a blast from outside the box that sent Ivacic diving to his left to save. However, seconds later, the Lions took the lead on the ensuing corner kick.

From the right corner, Ojeda sent in a back-post ball and Araujo rose to head it back in front of goal. Enrique swooped in and touched it home with center back Henry Kessler on the line, keeping the play onside. The Lions led 2-1 in the 59th minute on Enrique’s second goal of the season and his sixth career MLS goal.

“The play developed as we had been working on together,” Enrique said. “But as a forward, knowing that the ball was going to the far post, you always have to stay active in the area to be able to get onto the end of it. And it fell right in the perfect spot where I was staying moving and active. That’s just how we want to run those plays.”

Enrique had a shot at a brace four minutes later. Santos sent in a good cross and the Argentine made a diving effort at the near post but Dave Romney did well to get his head in front to nod it behind for another corner. The set piece cross came straight to Araujo, who volleyed it toward goal but hit it just over in the 62nd minute.

New England started throwing numbers forward in an effort to get back on level terms and had some longer spells of possession as a result. Panayotou sent a screamer just wide of the left post from distance in the 64th minute, although Gallese appeared to have it covered, pulling out of his dive.

A minute later, a ball got through to Vrioni at the top of the area but Jansson blocked the shot. The rebound fell for Ian Harkes, who volleyed the follow-up effort over the bar. Panayotou then danced his way past Araujo and Thorhallsson to get to the top of the area but Schlegel blocked the New England attacker’s shot in the 67th minute. After the teams exchanged unsuccessful corners, Panayotou sent a shot at Gallese in the 73rd minute.

Orlando then started to look dangerous on the counter. Substitute Luis Muriel tried to curl a shot around Ivacic from the left in the 75th minute, but the New England goalkeeper made a good diving save. The Lions then won a free kick that came to Jansson. The Swede’s header was blocked and Schlegel was subsequently booked for a tactical foul to break up the counter.

The Lions used the counterattack to put the game away in the 81st minute. After taking the ball away in the attacking half, the ball found Muriel, who dribbled toward the box. With two defenders between him and the goal, the Colombian sent a pass to Torres on the right. With his first touch, Torres sent a gorgeous, curling shot around Ivacic and inside the left post to make it 3-1.

The Uruguayan is on fire, scoring his sixth goal — to go along with four assists — in his last six matches.

From that point, Orlando City did its best to stay organized and look for more opportunities to counter. David Brekalo subbed on late to give the Lions five defenders on the back line. Jeorgio Kocevski also spelled Araujo early in stoppage time, but there weren’t any real chances for either side after Torres’ second goal.

There may have been a chance for Torres to pick up a hat trick late on an Orlando takeaway, but Kocevski’s pass for the Uruguayan near the top of the area was offline as the two players weren’t on the same page. Moments later, the game was over.

Due to Orlando staying organized with the lead, New England racked up a huge advantage in possession (73.5%-26.5%) by the end of the match. However, Orlando City finished with the edge in shots (15-8), shots on target (7-3), corners (4-3), and passing accuracy (90.7%-87.9%).

“The connections were much better, sharper, the way we moved the ball,” Pareja said about the second half. “I think the way Rafa came up in that second half helped us a lot just to have more freedom, more connections, and be more dangerous there. I think that left leg that he provided us definitely changed the game, and then we found the net again with the players.”

“I’m very happy right now, especially because it was a really tough and complicated game for us,” Enrique said. “The first half cost us a bit, but thankfully in the second half we were really start playing together. And thankfully we were able to complete the comeback, and obviously I’m very happy to score tonight in the win.”

“This is the first time that the team wins here in New England, and that means a lot of respect for the players too that achieved that,” Pareja said.”
“This is the first time that the team wins here in New England, and that means a lot of respect for the players too that achieved that,” Pareja said.


The Lions have a quick turnaround with another road match coming up Wednesday at Nashville SC.

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Orlando City vs. New England Revolution: Preview, How to Watch, TV Info, Live Stream, Lineups, Match Thread, and More

The Lions continue to hunt their first win at Gillette Stadium against a surging Revolution squad.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night matchup between Orlando City and the New England Revolution (7:30 p.m., MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+ (free)). This is the first of the two scheduled meetings between the two MLS Eastern Conference rivals this season, with the Revs set to make the return visit to Inter&Co Stadium on Sept. 14.

Here’s what you need to know for the match.

History

The Lions are 3-7-7 in the regular-season series against New England and 4-8-7 in all competitions. However, on the road Orlando City has been abysmal, compiling an ugly record of 0-6-2 in eight away matches on the plastic grass of Gillette Stadium. Woof (both to the record and to playing on fake grass).

The last meeting between the teams took place in Orlando on Oct. 7, 2023, with the Lions winning 3-2 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Orlando City clinched second in the Eastern Conference as Duncan McGuire and Facundo Torres built a 2-0 lead. Pedro Gallese gave up a soft goal from distance to Carles Gil, but Ivan Angulo pulled that one back three minutes later. Gil added a second deep in stoppage time to improve the result cosmetically.

New England got the better of the Lions in the previous matchup of the 2023 season, winning 3-1 at Gillette Stadium on June 17. After a scoreless first half, the Revs went up by two with goals from Emmanuel Boateng and Gustavo Bou 18 minutes apart. McGuire pulled one back late but Gil scored the dagger five minutes later.

These teams met at Exploria Stadium on Aug. 6, 2022 and the previously struggling Revolution whipped Orlando City, 3-0. New England got goals from unlikely sources, as central midfielders Matt Polster and Wilfrid Kaptoum and center back Henry Kessler provided the offense. The teams met at Gillette Stadium on June 15 of that year, and the Revs went ahead on a Gil goal, but the Lions pulled that back with a Robin Jansson strike en route to a 1-1 road draw.

New England went unbeaten in the 2021 season series. The teams played to a 2-2 draw at Exploria Stadium on Oct. 24, 2021. The Lions built a 2-0 lead through goals by Nani and Daryl Dike, but two late Adam Buksa goals allowed the Revs to steal a point. The teams met at Gillette Stadium just over a month prior to that draw in Orlando, with Nani’s missed penalty a costly one in a 2-1 Revs home win. The Revolution jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a goal by Buksa and an own goal off of Rodrigo Schlegel, in which the referee was quite lenient with Buksa’s treatment of the Orlando defender in the lead-up to Tajon Buchanan’s cross. Dike pulled one back for the Lions and won a penalty, but Nani’s attempt to go down the middle was read at the last second by Matt Turner, who got his shoulder to it to preserve the lead.

The Revolution ended the Lions’ season at Exploria Stadium in the 2020 playoffs, knocking Orlando City out of MLS Cup contention in the conference semifinal round on Nov. 29, 2020. That 3-1 win by the Revs was the first road win for either side in the series in any competition. Gil put the Revs up early from the penalty spot after a call against Uri Rosell, and Bou doubled the lead eight minutes later, finishing a play that started with a Nani turnover. Junior Urso pulled a goal back before the halftime whistle, but Mauricio Pereyra was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Polster at the hour mark. Still, Nani had a chance to equalize from the spot, but a poor penalty was saved by Turner. Bou added a late insurance goal.

In the final year of the pre-pandemic times, the Revs went 1-0-1 in the season series. The Lions and Revolution met at Exploria Stadium on Sept. 14, 2019, with Orlando overcoming a Tesho Akindele own goal and two deficits — the second by two goals — and rallying for a 3-3 draw. Akindele’s own goal opened the scoring 15 minutes in, but Nani tied things up less than 10 minutes later. Cristian Penilla and Bou scored goals five minutes apart just before halftime to seemingly give the visitors control. But Dom Dwyer pulled one back after the restart and Nani tied it up with more than a half hour to play.

The teams also met at Gillette Stadium in 2019 on July 27, and the Revs put the Lions on full blast, 4-1. Bou scored within the first two minutes of the game, and the Revolution got goals from Penilla, Gil, and Diego Fagundez. Akindele scored to avoid the shutout.

The teams also met at Exploria Stadium in U.S. Open Cup action that year on June 19, with the Lions scoring twice in a 30-minute extra time session and holding on for a 2-1 victory. Benji Michel and Akindele staked Orlando to a 2-0 lead before Justin Rennicks pulled one back off a Gil back-post cross. City was able to see the game out.

The last meeting of 2018 saw the Revs top a depleted Orlando side, 2-0 in Gillette Stadium on Oct. 13. Penilla and Fagundez provided the offense. In the first matchup of 2018, the teams combined for six goals in a 3-3 draw at Orlando City Stadium on Aug. 4. Orlando battled back from a 2-0 deficit after Juan Agudelo and Penilla found the net. Dwyer scored the first, and Amro Tarek added his first MLS goal to level things. Teal Bunbury restored the Revolution’s lead, but Scott Sutter headed home a Yoshimar Yotún set piece delivery in stoppage time to rescue a point for the Lions.

Orlando City and New England split the season series in 2017. City completed a 6-1 demolition of 10-man New England at home Sept. 27, 2017. Kaká scored a brace, with Dwyer getting his first home goal as an MLS Lion and Yotún and Antonio Nocerino each scoring their first-ever goal with OCSC. Seb Hines also scored for Orlando and  Lee Nguyen got the Revs’ only tally on a free kick. New England won at Gillette Stadium that year by a 4-0 count and it could have been worse. Kei Kamara netted a hat trick and Bunbury also scored, with Nguyen assisting on all four goals to tie an MLS record. Jose Aja was sent off after receiving two yellow cards.

The Lions went 1-0-2 in the series in 2016, winning 3-1 at home on July 31. The teams played a controversial 2-2 draw in Orlando on April 17, 2016. The second 2016 meeting reached the same final score on April 30 in New England.

The teams met twice in 2015, with Orlando City rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the final 17 minutes to draw 2-2 at the Citrus Bowl in April. The Sept. 5 rematch at Gillette Stadium didn’t go as well, with New England taking a 3-0 win. Fagundez, Agudelo and Chris Tierney scored for the Revolution.

Overview

Orlando City has won two straight games and three of its last four, including a 5-0 dismantling of D.C. United a week ago, with five different Lions finding the net. The club struggled to score for most of the season but has put the ball in the net 15 times in the last five matches. That offense took a hit with McGuire’s departure for the U.S. Olympic team, but the attacking midfielders have been gelling of late. Orlando’s road record of 4-4-3 is respectable, with a 2-1 win at Toronto in the last away game pulling the Lions to .500 in road matches.

The Revolution, like Orlando City, have improved of late. New England is a very un-Revs-like 4-6-1 at home this season, but has won five of its last seven matches, although two of those losses have come in the team’s last three games, including a 2-0 loss at Seattle a week ago. However, two of those wins have come at the expense of FC Cincinnati and the New York Red Bulls.

Having any success against New England usually demands that the opposition keeps tabs on Gil, one of the league’s most lethal playmakers and a guy who can score goals of his own as well. Gil has five goals — just two behind Revs’ leading scorer Giacomo Vrioni — and leads New England with six assists. However, he’s listed as out on the availability report. Vrioni becomes the key focal point for the Orlando defense to stop, although fullbacks Brandon Bye and DeJuan Jones can turn any New England attacker into a threat with their play on the outside.

“First, try to keep improving the level like always. The results obviously give us more confidence to continue winning games and adding important points,” Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja said ahead of the match. “The flexibility of the team is much better, and the cohesiveness we’ve found in the last two games has given us optimism. Keep working, the journey is still in front of us. We must keep improving and maintaining this level of playing well and confidence in front of the goal. It’s been great to see.”

In addition to McGuire, Orlando City will be without Michael Halliday (knee) and Mason Stajduhar (lower leg). New England will be without Carles Gil (leg), Nacho Gil (knee), Dylan Borrero (hip), Thomas Chancalay (knee), and Nick Lima (groin). In addition, Buck (quad), Emmanuel Boateng (hamstring), Mark-Anthony Kaye (hip), and Tommy McNamara (hamstring) are questionable.

Match Content


Official Lineups

Orlando City (4-2-3-1)

Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.

Defenders: Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel, Dagur Dan Thorhallsson.

Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Wilder Cartagena.

Attacking Midfielders: Ivan Angulo, Martin Ojeda, Facundo Torres.

Forwards: Ramiro Enrique.

Bench: Javier Otero, Rafael Santos, Alex Freeman, David Brekalo, Felipe, Jeorgio Kocevski, Nico Lodeiro, Luis Muriel, Jack Lynn.

New England Revolution (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Aljaz Ivacic.

Defenders: DeJuan Jones, Dave Romney, Henry Kessler, Brandon Bye.

Midfielders: Ian Harkes, Matt Polster, Tommy McNamara.

Forwards: Esmir Bajraktarevic, Giacomo Vrioni, Jack Panayotou.

Bench: Earl Edwards, Jr., Andrew Farrell, Jonathan Mensah, Ryan Spaulding, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Marcos Diaz, Malcolm Fry, Bobby Wood.

Referees

REF: Sergii Boiko.
AR1: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt.
AR2: Kevin Lock.
4TH: Elijio Arreguin.
VAR: Fotis Bazakos.
AVAR: Claudiu Badea.


How to Watch

Match Time: 7:30p.m. ET.

Venue: Gillette Stadium — Foxborough, MA.

TV/Live Stream: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV+ (Free).

Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Mega 97.1 FM (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!

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Intelligence Report: Orlando City vs. New England Revolution

Get all the information you need about the New England Revolution straight from someone who knows them best.

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Image courtesy of Orlando City SC / Mark Thor

Another Orlando City matchday is right around the corner, which means it’s time to get some insider knowledge into the Lions’ next opponent. Orlando has won three of its last four games and will try to make it three wins in a row tomorrow when it hits the road to face the New England Revolution. It won’t be easy though, as OCSC has never won at Gillette Stadium.

A matchup with the Revs means I caught up with Jake Catanese of the always excellent Blazing Musket. He was kind enough to help bring us up to speed on New England, and I also answered some of his questions about the Lions, which you can find over at their place.

This is Caleb Porter’s first year in the job. How does he want this team to play as compared to what we saw under Bruce Arena?

Jake Catanese: The Revs were definitely more possession oriented at the beginning of the year, though some of that was actually to the detriment of the Revs’ skillsets and player availability. Extra Concacaf games and injuries kind of forced the Revs deeper into the depth chart than they would have liked, and instead of relaxing his build-out-of-the-back system, Porter kind of doubled down on it with a back line not particularly suited for playing that way and it led to a lot of turnovers and extra chances against the Revs. Andy Judd just did a deep dive on the Revs’ numbers, especially over the last month with their four-game winning streak in June. That’s worth checking out, because some of the Revs’ trends and offensive numbers are still pretty rough. New England has been playing a lot better recently though, but we’ll talk more about the offense down below.

Talk me through the Revolution’s off-season transfer business. Who were some outgoing players, and how were they replaced?

JC: The biggest outgoing player was DP striker Gustavo Bou, who left New England as a top-five scorer in the club’s history. Tomas Chancalay’s loan option was purchased, and he took over the DP spot, and the hope was to have him partner with Dylan Borrero on the wing with Carles Gil in the middle. But Chancalay suffered a season-ending injury in Borrero’s first start back from his season-ending injury last year. The Revs also really only have two strikers on the roster in Giacomo Vrioni and Bobby Wood, with the departure of Homegrown Justin Rennicks, and that has been a depth issue because Chancalay featured as a lone striker a few times before he got hurt.

Other key additions were Nick Lima at fullback, who has done a tremendous job in the first half of the year, with Ryan Spaudling filling in for the injured Brandon Bye, who is also just starting to return from a serious injury suffered last year. Henrich Ravas and Jonathan Mensah were brought in during the off-season to help bolster the keeper and center back spots, but later on in the window, the additions of Aljaz Ivacic and Xavier Arreaga have proved to be more effective for Porter, as the latter two have become regular starters. 

Offense seems to have been a difficult area for New England. The Revs’ 20 goals scored is the fewest in the league. What needs to happen in order to get things moving in front of net?

JC: Yes, the Revs’ offense was generally dreadful at the beginning of the year. It was too slow, too predictable, not generating anything that resembled a big chance, and Vrioni in particular was struggling to get involved in games, let alone find anything that resembled finishing form. Things have turned around a bit since June, mostly the playing direct part. I think the Revs are a countering team and want to make their attacks against an unsettled or backpedaling defense to take advantage of the creativity and skillset of guys like Carles, Borrero, and Esmir Bajraktarevic in 1-v-1 situations. What that does is open up a lot more channels for Vrioni to run into and occupy defenders to create space for others or for him to finish chances. The service Vrioni has been getting the last few weeks without Gil has been tremendous and hopefully it will only improve once Carles returns. 

Will any players be unavailable due to injuries, suspensions, call-ups, etc.? What is your projected starting lineup and score prediction?

JC: Oh the injury list is long. Chancalay, of course, being at the top, along with Nacho Gil having missed the last two months and probably out through the Leagues Cup. Youngster Peyton Miller has missed a ton of time, along with veterans Tommy McNamara and Wood. The list of questionables from last week included Mark Anthony-Kaye, Lima, and Ema Boateng, though Wood and Tommy Mac did feature against Seattle. Arreaga, I think, has an accumulation suspension for this week as well.

Starting Lineup 4-2-3-1: Aljaz Ivacic; DeJuan Jones, Henry Kessler, Dave Romney, Brandon Bye; Matt Polster, Ian Harkes; Esmir Bajraktarevic, Carles Gil, Noel Buck; Giacomo Vrioni.

Okay, so this lineup is a little hopeful that Carles is back, but if not, slide Esmir into the middle and put Boateng or youngster Jack Panayotou in the attacking three behind Vrioni. It’s a solid lineup, and the Revs having defensive depth this year has really started to pay off the past few weeks, with center backs rotating in and out with no issues. I think Ian Harkes and Noel Buck should have been playing a lot more early on, as they really add a lot of all-around game to the midfield and push the ball forward. I think the Revs at home can do enough to stifle an in-form Orlando side. I’ll take a narrow 2-1 win that is far too exciting late.


Thank you to Jake for the excellent insight on the Revs. Vamos Orlando!

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