It’s the third consecutive road game for Orlando City, as the Lions continue on what has been a grueling stretch for the club in terms of getting back into the win column. Tonight’s contest is the last on this 3-game road stint before returning home to face the Columbus Crew and Vancouver Whitecaps FC and then Orlando City will be back traveling for 4 straight matches. With the latest additions of Yoshimar Yotun and Dillon Powers from the Colorado Rapids, Orlando City’s hopes are they can notch a second win against a New York Red Bulls team they defeated 1-0 earlier in the season. Below are a few keys to tonight’s MLS Eastern Conference matchup, which kicks off at 7:30 ET.
This has been primarily the calling card for Orlando City’s woes the last few games, as the club defensively has not been able to hold a lead or at the very least, preserve a tie. The last two matches against Atlanta United FC and the Montreal Impact were prime examples, with goals being scored in stoppage time after regulation and 84th minute, respectively. The defense has to step up this evening.
Get everyone involved
The roster is becoming one loaded with talent, but the fluid play amongst the group isn’t quite there yet. That’ll be up to Orlando City coach Jason Kreis to put together the right lineup in terms of producing and he will have plenty of options. Yotun will be available for action tonight and should make his Orlando City debut. Along with Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin, Kaka and Carlos Rivas, there’s plenty of optimism.
Confidence is already there
Orlando City picked up a 1-0 victory over the Red Bulls in the fourth game of the season, when the Lions went ahead and won four games in a row early in the campaign. Hopes are this time around a win over the Red Bulls can help ignite another winning streak, as Orlando City sits in dire need of a win. The confidence should already be there as they’ve upended New York once before.
Getting Dwyer in form
This has to be high on the priority list for Orlando City, with the Lions sorely needing Dwyer’s scoring prowess. The former Sporting KC star showed a little bit of what he’s capable of in the MLS All-Star XI game against Real Madrid, when he headed home a goal. Dwyer can be the missing link Orlando City has been looking for.
Mainstays must be factors
Guys like Larin and Kaka have to get the attacking half going, as they’ve been the most productive players in terms of goals and assists for Orlando City. Larin enters tonight’s game as the youngest player in MLS history to reach 40 goals and Kaka is coming off another All-Star appearance. Both must play vital roles in tonight’s decision.