Orlando SC (1-2-2) is now out of the winless column with last weekend’s 4-3 victory over the New York Red Bulls and now look to make it two in a row when they host the Portland Timbers today at 4 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium. The Lions look to reach the .500 mark and complete a turnaround after starting off the 2018 season with consecutive losses.

They’ll need to do so behind the return of forward Dom Dwyer, who scored two goals against New York last weekend. The Lions are in prime position to make the climb up the Eastern Conference standings, so we take a look at today’s matchup with a few keys to the game.

Dwyer scoring means good things

Last week was a triumphant return for Dwyer, who helped lead the Lions to their first victory of the season and whenever the forward scores, it means good things for Orlando SC. That narrative proved true as ever when Orlando City needed Dwyer’s two goals a week ago.

Orlando City needs consecutive victories

Expectations were high heading into this season for the Lions and they remain lofty for Jason Kreis and crew. Back to back wins for the franchise would do wonders for the Lions moving ahead.

Lions need some help from new acquisitions 

Orlando City made free agent splashed during the off-season, with signings of midfielder Sacha Kljestan and Josue Colman. Both were expected to make huge impacts on the offensive end but haven’t quite got into ththe think of the action just yet.

Home support always a factor

Theres never a lack of support for Orlando City and this afternoon’s contest between the Lions and the Timbers. With the Lions playing at home once again, look for the club to feed off the strong energy from the Orlando faithful.

Defense must play better compared to last week

Though Orlando City picked up the win last weekend, yielding three goals to New York was a sign of concern. If the Lions are to make it two wins in a row, the back end must play better in front of goalkeeper Joe Bendik.

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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