The last time Orlando City SC and the New England Revolution met back on Sep. 2 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, the Lions came out on the losing end of a 4-0 loss. Now coming off a similar loss, 3-0 to the Portland Timbers, Orlando City is playing for pride these last few weeks.

The Lions are down to their final remaining four games of the regular season and with the postseason all but out of reach, the team will focus on building continuity amongst potential returners. There was not much to be happy about last Sunday in the result versus the Timbers. Orlando City looked no match for Portland, who sits in second place in the MLS’ Western Conference. The Lions return home tonight to Orlando City Stadium. We take a look at a few of the keys to tonight’s matchup.

Can I get a goal? 

Thats something Orlando City coach Jason Kreis must’ve wondered all Sunday evening facing the Timbers. His club was shutout for the second time in four games and a solution has to surface. Forwards Dom Dwyer and Cyle Larin must bounce back tonight.

Bendik can’t do it all

One thing Orlando City can bank on is Joe Bendik making a lot of saves. Another thing they can bet on is if they continue to give up an ample of good looks on net, Bendik can’t  do much about it. The back line needs to provide Bendik with some support against New England’s potent attack.

Home sweet home

It’s been awhile since Orlando City has played in front of the home folks. Coming off a 4-game road trip, the Lions last were at home on Aug. 26 against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. On a short week to prepare, Orlando City has a chance to start the 3-game homestand the right way.

Playing for pride 

Being mathematically out of the playoff equation is tough for a team with high expectations. Orlando City fits the bill, but will need to play inspired despite knowing the postseason is no longer an option.

Midfield play 

Opportunities have been limited and that’s where Orlando City’s midfield must take responsibility in creating chances. Yoshimar Yuton and Giles Barnes are a couple playmakers that can make a difference tonight.

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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