With just SIX regular season fixtures left to contend following the weekend’s assignment at StubHub Center, Orlando City SC’s 1-4 demolition of Montreal Impact away will renew confidence that the Lions can make the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Sitting above the red line (sixth place, 34 points, 27 played) once again following the midweek Major League Soccer action, another Orlando City SC victory at LA Galaxy would signal a real shift in momentum.
Despite the Lions’ emphatic 1-4 win at Saputo Stadium coming completely out of the blue, there is still no denying defeating LA Galaxy away is one of the toughest challenges in all of MLS.
Bruce Arena’s Galaxy are currently sitting in third place in the Western Conference (44 points, 28 played) with a supreme home record almost certainly ensuring Playoff qualification barring a complete capitulation at this stage.
That said however, Orlando City SC could benefit from LA Galaxy missing a whole host of star names through injury, namely Jelle Van Damme, Steven Gerrard and crucially Robbie Keane, not to mention Gyasi Zardes who is out for the season of course.
That said, Galaxy did conclude a shock deal to re-sign American soccer legend Landon Donovan on Thursday and it remains to be seen what role he could potentially play on Sunday.
Everybody connected with the Lions will be hoping for another positive result and hopefully three points which would work even more wonders for our Playoff qualification belief.
Considering Orlando City SC managed to thrash Montreal Impact without both key men Cyle Larin and Kevin Molino who were away on international duty, the returning duo will only bolster our chances of picking up some more road points.
This game will represent Orlando City SC‘s FIRST ever trip to LA Galaxy for a competitive fixture with Adrian Heath‘s City having dominated games against the Californian outfit’s reserve ranks and first team over the past two years.
2015 head-to-head stats
With Orlando City SC having done the honours last season in welcoming LA Galaxy to Central Florida, Sunday’s fixture is the first time the Lions have ever played at StubHub Center.
One of the most decorated venues in all of Major League Soccer of course, it is one of the furthest outposts from Camping World Stadium but with Kaká in sensational form right now, City shouldn’t be fearing anybody.
LA Galaxy endure terrible memories from the last time they faced Orlando City SC with Adrian Heath‘s Lions having absolutely tore up Bruce Arena’s side on a sweltering Central Florida day back in May 2015.
Having last faced each other well over a year ago now, plenty of scouting homework would’ve been compiled in the interim period.
The ironic thing is that when Orlando City SC faced LA Galaxy in May last year, Arena’s team had several of their key men missing on that occasion as well so hopefully the trick repeats itself this time.
Orlando City SC 4 LA Galaxy 0 – Highlights – May 17, 2015 (Credit: Orlando City Brasil)
Cast your mind back across all of Orlando City SC‘s many results in Major League Soccer to date and you’ll eventually find that the Lions’ 4-0 demolition of LA Galaxy is still their most emphatic league victory to date.
Orlando City SC have racked up their fair share of three-goal margin victories but May 2015’s 4-0 triumph over LA Galaxy is yet to be trumped to date.
LA Galaxy form
We didn’t admit it at the outset but LA Galaxy have actually gone the entire 2016 campaign undefeated at home to date.
StubHub Center is a huge fortress in Major League Soccer with Galaxy’s last home loss coming way back in their final home game of last season as Portland Timbers ran out 2-5 victors in Carson.
That said, LA Galaxy have actually drawn THREE of their last FOUR MLS fixtures at home, serving to suggest that Orlando City SC can pick up a valuable point here if we’re on our game.
Bruce Arena’s side were also in action on Wednesday evening this past week playing out an incredible 3-3 tie with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium.
While LA Galaxy have many key injured absentees right now, Orlando City SC will still have to be wary of the dangerous Giovani dos Santos who registered a brace in Sandy, Utah.
Real Salt Lake 3 LA Galaxy 3 – Highlights – September 7, 2016 (Credit: LA Galaxy)
Orlando City SC form
Last beaten away at New York Red Bulls (2-0) in July 2016 under Bobby Murphy‘s spell as interim head coach, Orlando City SC have shown grit and resilience to bring crucial points back to Central Florida.
In many ways, if only we’d taken care of winning more games at Camping World Stadium this term, we’d be sitting far higher up in the Eastern Conference standings with City having only lost seven fixtures in 2016 – the lowest total in the East.
A stat that just isn’t disappearing any time soon considering the Lions’ 1-4 win at Montreal Impact contributed yet again, there have now been OVER 2.5 GOALS scored in SEVEN of Orlando City SC‘s last EIGHT MLS fixtures.
You really do need to watch a highlight reel of many of the fixtures Orlando City SC have performed in this term to appreciate the complete and utter excitement and drama the side have been involved in all campaign long.
After all, you just couldn’t take your eyes off the midweek 1-4 win in Canada with everything from Evan Bush being sent off to Joe Bendik excellently saving Didier Drogba’s penalty to Kevin Alston almost scoring a comical own goal at the end!
Montreal Impact 1 Orlando City SC 4 – Highlights – September 7, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
Had the Lions not drawn so many games this season, we’d probably all be looking at a point being a fantastic result away at LA Galaxy but we’re now at that stage in the season where we must be greedy while going all out for three points!
Let’s hope those men in purple can bring it home for us!