After a bye week with no games on the slate, Orlando City SC begins the final stretch of five games with a brief 2-game road trip out to the state of Texas to take on FC Dallas. The Lions are coming off their last contest when they notched a 0-0 draw with the Houston Dynamo at home.

Both teams couldn’t be anymore polar opposites of each other this 2018 season, as Orlando City currently sits in last place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference with a record of 7-18-4 (25 points). On the other hand with Dallas, they are currently the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference with a record of 15-6-9 (54 points).

If the season didn’t already seem like too much for the Lions before, they’ll hope to pull off an improbably victory on the road against the MLS’ elite squad. We take a look at some of the keys to tonight’s matchup when the Lions face off against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium. The match is scheduled for an 8 p.m. kickoff.

Nothing to lose at this point

What’s there to lose for Orlando City? Manager James O’Connor should look to pull out all the stops when the Lions stop into Frisco, Texas tonight because pulling off the unthinkable will require some risks. O’Connor recently received endorsement from Orlando City general manager Niki Budalic, which should play a role into going all out this evening. The Lions are in the midst of a 10-game winless drought, in which the team hasn’t won since a 2-1 victory over Toronto on July 14th.

Who steps up? 

What’s been a huge problem for Orlando City for the better part of the 2018 campaign is the team’s inability to score goals. Someone stepping up in the attacking mid would do wonders for the Lions. Who that will be is left up in the air. Dom Dwyer leads Orlando with 12 goals, tied for 9th in the MLS.

Slow down Dallas attack 

Dallas trots our a balanced lineup of scorers, as it’s two leading scorers are forward Dominique Badji (nine goals) and midfielder Roland Lamah (eight goals). For Orlando to have a chance, both will need to be neutralized.

About The Author

Andy Villamarzo has covered high school and youth sports for the Tampa Bay Times and The Tampa Tribune as a correspondent since 2008. He is a native of Holiday, FL, who graduated from Gulf High School and studied at St. Petersburg College. He has covered various prep, collegiate and professional athletes throughout his writing career, including Josh Johnson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Patrick Schuster (Arizona Diamondbacks) and currently writes for other publications like The Suncoast News, Friday Night Football Magazine and TopDrawerSoccer.com.

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