Doesn’t it feel great to get back to winning ways? Orlando City SC are still in love with scoring late goals with the Lions having struck an 87th minute to down Montreal Impact 2-1 last time out.
A first victory in seven Major League Soccer fixtures for Adrian Heath‘s men, Orlando City SC now embark on a crucial period of the season with three home fixtures to play in quick succession over the course of the next month.
The first of those is a second match-up of the season against Jim Curtin’s current Eastern Conference table-toppers Philadelphia Union with City having already faced the Pennsylvania-based outfit just seven games ago.
A falsely awarded late Tranquillo Barnetta free-kick broke Orlando City SC hearts late on in a 2-1 loss at Talen Energy Stadium back in April but the Lions can put that right with another win in quick succession.
The Lions’ first midweek fixture of the 2016 MLS campaign, Orlando City SC will be looking to create a little piece of history on Wednesday evening with the Lions yet to inflict a defeat on Union in THREE MLS head-to-heads to date.
2015/16 head-to-head stats
So the stats don’t make good reading for Orlando City SC supporters with the Lions having only scored ONE goal against Philadelphia Union in the previous THREE Major League Soccer head-to-heads.
With City having gone scoreless in TWO of those THREE encounters as well, it is only Adrian Winter who has scored past Jim Curtin’s side in MLS history to date.
Unfortunately, Orlando City SC couldn’t hold on for a valuable point on the road at Talen Energy Stadium last month as a contentious Tranquillo Barnetta free-kick was successfully converted on 90 minutes to see one point vanish into none.
Tranquillo Barnetta’s match winning free-kick against Orlando City SC – April 8, 2016 (Credit: Jeff Mitchell)
To add insult to injury, the PRO Referees organisation later admitted that Jair Marrufo was wrong to award the free-kick in the first place!
Not the first time the Lions have suffered at the expense of a poor refereeing call so far this season!
Although Orlando City SC are yet to secure a victory over Philadelphia Union in Major League Soccer, there has been little to choose between the sides on the THREE occasions they’ve faced each other thus far.
The first time they met back in August 2015, the sides drew a blank at the Citrus Bowl.
But with Cyle Larin having taken his seasonal goalscoring tally to eight for the campaign courtesy of that brace against Montreal Impact on Saturday evening, we’re hopeful that we won’t end up with another rare scoreless City game this time!
Orlando City SC form
Orlando City SC‘s long, long unbeaten streak at home is still yet to be brought to an end after Saturday night’s win over Montreal Impact.
Now an incredible TEN months since last tasting defeat at home against New York Red Bulls back in July 2015, Adrian Heath doesn’t need telling that we need to start converting more one point home hauls into three in this busy period.
Saturday’s 2-1 victory was the perfect start however!
There’s also no sign of Orlando City SC‘s ‘exciting’ tag being dropped any time soon either with Saturday’s 2-1 win over Montreal Impact yet again contributing to this stat.
We’ve now seen OVER 2.5 GOALS scored in SEVEN of the Lions’ last EIGHT fixtures so we reckon Joe Bendik needs to be on his toes again although the former Toronto FC man has been superb in City’s net in recent fixtures.
Philadelphia Union form
Considering the fixture history between the sides, not to mention the fact Philadelphia Union are unbeaten in their last FIVE MLS fixtures, Orlando City SC might’ve wanted to face another opponent in order to secure another quick-fire win.
Indeed, Jim Curtin’s side have taken NINE points from their last FIVE fixtures ensuring that they currently lead the MLS Eastern Conference with 18 points from 11 games played.
Montreal Impact 1 Philadelphia Union 1 – Highlights – April 14, 2016 (Credit: Soccer Game Replays)
- April 27th 2016 – Philadelphia Union 2 New York City FC 0
- April 30th 2016 – Philadelphia Union 1 San Jose Earthquakes 1
- May 11th 2016 – Philadelphia Union 2 LA Galaxy 2
- May 14th 2016 – Montreal Impact 1 Philadelphia Union 1
- May 20th 2016 – Philadelphia Union 1 D.C. United 0