So it was heartbreak in Philly for our Lions!
Tranquillo Barnetta’s simply inch-perfect free-kick in the 90th minute subjected Adrian Heath‘s Orlando City SC to a first loss in Major League Soccer this 2016 season with Philadelphia Union running out 2-1 winners last Friday following Adrian Winter‘s first-half equaliser.
But with the past being the past, let’s move on with Orlando City SC returning to the Citrus Bowl on Sunday to welcome Jay Heaps’ New England Revolution of the Eastern Conference who sit one point below the Lions on seven points after gameweek six.
The last time Orlando City SC took to the Citrus Bowl turf of course, we dethroned the reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers in a 4-1 rout so with eight points having been collected from 15 available, it’s anything from a disaster for City at present.
So let us now switch our attention to Sunday’s fixture which actually represents Orlando City UK’s first ever watch party that will be taking place in London!
Visit Orlando City UK’s FIRST EVER Watch Party this Sunday (17/04)! Click here for more details.
2015 head-to-head stats
Going up against New England Revolution on two occasions last term, Orlando City SC are still waiting for their first MLS victory over the Massachusetts-based side.
Drawing 2-2 with the Revs at the Citrus Bowl in May 2015, this preceded a thumping 3-0 loss at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough later that September and this should prove a tough assignment this time around.
Especially considering there is little to choose between the two teams in the MLS Eastern Conference standings right now with Jay Heaps’ men having played a game more than City.
We mentioned that the Lions drew 2-2 with the Revs back in May 2015 and it was quite the occasion at the Citrus Bowl.
With Adrian Heath‘s men trailing New England Revolution 0-2 in the 71st minute courtesy of two strikes from both Charlie Davies and Kelyn Rowe, the final 20 minutes saw Cyle Larin and Aurélien Collin drawing City level in a stirring 2-2 comeback.
HIGHLIGHTS: Orlando City SC 2 New England Revolution 2 – May 9, 2015 (Credit: SCORE CENTER)
Of course, this wasn’t as dramatic as the opening day salvage job against Real Salt Lake this term but still pretty sweet nonetheless!
Oh and the less said about Orlando City SC’s 3-0 defeat up in Foxborough in September 2015, the better!
Orlando City SC form
When you look at the stats, Orlando City SC have only failed to score less than two goals in ONE of their last SIX home games at the Citrus Bowl.
And you can guess what game that was, right?
Yes, the rather disappointing 1-1 draw against Chicago Fire back on March 12th but nevertheless, Adrian Heath‘s men have proved that they are more than capable of scoring freely in front of our home crowd.
We missed Cyle Larin‘s leading of the line up in Philly and a lot will depend on whether the Canadian international is fully fit to return on Sunday evening.
Watch this space!
Again, with the exception of that 1-1 draw against Chicago Fire last month, the Citrus Bowl has been a good spot for the neutral to witness exciting soccer!
With OVER 2.5 goals having been witnessed in FIVE of the Lions’ last SIX home fixtures in MLS, when you take in the 3-1 win over Sporting Kansas City, the 2-1 victory over Montreal Impact and the 2-1 win over New York City FC at the tail end of last season, perhaps we should expect a load more goals on Sunday!
We think we’re fully justified in claiming the Citrus Bowl is something of a fortress for Orlando City SC right now!
After all, the Lions are UNDEFEATED in their last NINE home fixtures in Major League Soccer with Jesse Marsch’s New York Red Bulls being the last team to take away all three points way back in July 2015.
We’ve spoken about the fact that City are yet to defeat New England Revolution in MLS but with a proud home record such as this, Jay Heaps’ men are going to need to work incredibly hard for a victory.
New England Revolution form
In New England Revolution’s last three MLS fixtures, they’ve all been hard fought, evenly-matched encounters.
Starting the season with a thrilling 3-3 draw against Houston Dynamo of course, the goals have dried up of late with Jay Heaps’ side drawing 1-1 with New York City FC before beating New York Red Bulls 1-0 while drawing 1-1 with Toronto FC last time out.
City won’t want to be giving away any cheap free-kick’s on Sunday because dangerous attacking midfield man Diego Fagundez is a threat from set pieces with the Montevideo native currently the Revs’ top scorer in 2016 with two goals to his name so far.