The Opposition: Orlando City SC
On Sunday, D.C. United will travel to Orlando City Stadium to take on the Lions in their first game back since the international break. The Black-and-Red will be looking for their third win of the season and their first win on the road. But trips to Orlando are never easy. Here’s everything you need to know about next week’s opponents:
Orlando City earned their first win over the New York Red Bulls on the road during the international break. Sacha Kljestan, a former Red Bull, scored the lone goal of the game. Overall this year, Orlando City is 1-2-1. They have scored five goals in four games, but they’ve allowed six.
Players to Watch
From 2007 to 2015, Nani and Wayne Rooney played together at Manchester United. On Sunday, they will take to the pitch together again: but on opposite teams. This offseason, Orlando City signed the Portuguese midfielder from Sporting CP. He’s yet to bag his first goal, but he does have two assists on the season. The team’s leading goalscorer is Dom Dwyer, who has two goals and two assists for the Lions so far this year. The defense has been struggling, but goalkeeper Brian Rowe did earn his first clean sheet against the Red Bulls on March 23rd. They will be hungry to duplicate their success when they play in front of their home fans.
Matches against Orlando City are always exciting. In 2018, D.C. United played three matches against the Lions, two in MLS and one in the U.S. Open Cup. All three matches featured yellow cards and goals from both sides. In their first MLS match, Yamil Asad scored an early goal and Orlando City received a red card in the 41st minute. But the Lions were able to steal a point with a last-minute goal from Stefano Pinho. In the U.S. Open Cup, both teams bagged a goal in the first twenty minutes. The match ended up going into extra time, where Chris Durkin earned a red card in the 99th minute. The game went to penalties and Orlando City advanced. In their final meeting in 2018, Orlando City came to Audi Field. The teams exchanged goals in the second half, and Cristian Higuita was issued a red card in the 55th minute. It was a stoppage-time goal from Luciano Acosta that lifted the Black-and-Red to a 3-2 victory. It also completed the hat trick for La Joya, creating a night that D.C. fans would never forget.