It’s been an overall frustrating 2018 campaign for Orlando City Soccer Club, as they head into the final few weeks of the season, in which the Lions will have to get on quite a hot streak to qualify for Major League Soccer’s postseason. The Eastern Conference has been extremely competitive and Orlando City will face off against the Philadelphia Union, who are currently 12-11-3 on the season and in fifth place in the east.

Orlando City, on the other hand, are 7-16-2 on the season and sit in 11th place in the Eastern Conference, with the Lions being 10 points behind the Montreal Impact. The Impact holds the Eastern Conference’s sixth and final playoff spot, and with Orlando City being in last place, it will be a tough climb up the standings. The Lions did defeat the Union 2-0 back in April.

Today marks the birthday of Orlando City coach James O’Connor, and there might not be a better gift for the Lions’ manager than picking up his club’s eighth win of the season. We take a look at a few keys to tonight’s match, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Orlando City Stadium.

Win one for O’Connor 

Though there’s plenty of other reasons why Orlando City SC should be motivated to win a match, coincidentally tonight’s game falls on O’Connor’s Birthday. What better way for the Lions to snap themselves out of their funk than on their manager’s birthday?

Keep pressing on the offensive end

Despite all the draws and losses that have piled up for the Lions, O’Connor’s club has improved vastly on the attacking end. Players like Sacha Kljestan and Dom Dwyer have become more active on attacks and will need to continue to create quality shots tonight against the Philadelphia Union.

Joe Bendik inching closer to most appearances for an Orlando City club record

Orlando City SC goalkeeper Joe Bendik is inching ever closer to tying the mark of 92 appearances set by Cristian Higuita. Bendik’s next appearance would give him 89, leaving him just three away.

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