So it’s almost the end Orlando City SC fans. Not only the end of an extremely testing 2016 Major League Soccer campaign but the end of this current purple era as we know it.
Taking to the Camping World Stadium turf for one final time against D.C. United in our last game of the season, everybody hopes Jason Kreis‘ side can give the venue the grand send off it deserves.
Having hosted Orlando City SC fixtures since 2011, twinned with original USL games at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex of course, a new era awaits the Lions in Orlando City Stadium from 2017 onward.
Completing a thoroughly professional job by sweeping aside Philadelphia Union 0-2 in our final road game of the season last time out, there has been no sign of downing tools after watching our MLS Cup playoff hopes fade.
Orlando City SC will in for a tough final game however with visitors D.C. United having truly kicked on in the latter part of the campaign while hauling themselves up to as high as fourth (46 points) in the Eastern Conference with one game to play.
Experiencing a hot streak at the minute, the RFK Stadium-based side are actually undefeated since July 23rd whereas the likes of Montreal Impact, Philadelphia Union, New England Revolution and Orlando City SC have been indifferent.
D.C. also enjoy this particular game series with Orlando City SC having won one of the last three head-to-heads with the other two results going in favour of the Black and Red.
2015/16 head-to-head stats
A game whereby D.C. United unfortunately wanted it that much more than Orlando City SC, this result was at the heart of the Lions’ late slump for the playoffs.
Hot on the heels of another crushing 1-4 defeat to Columbus Crew a game earlier at home, these two games killed effectively killed off Jason Kreis‘ men in their bid to finish above the red line.
The one and only positive takeaway from this game was a sublime second-half free-kick dispatched by ‘The Beast’ Julio Baptista.
D.C. United 4 Orlando City SC 1 – Highlights – September 24, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
As mentioned at the outset, D.C. United have had way too much fun in this Major League Soccer game series so far.
Racking up three victories to Orlando City SC‘s one, head-to-heads had proved tight up until D.C. United’s 4-1 rout of the Lions at RFK Stadium last month.
With The Wall sure to be in even louder voice than usual given our Citrus Bowl send off, let’s hope the boys can rack up a second victory over D.C. United while drawing closer to Ben Olsen’s men in this particular series.
Orlando City SC have lost both fixtures at RFK Stadium so far in MLS but in Central Florida, games are usually much tighter.
Last season, D.C. United ran out narrow 0-1 winners courtesy of a stoppage time strike from Luis Silva in April 2015 before Kaká scored off a penalty rebound to inch Orlando City SC past their opposition 1-0 in June.
Orlando City SC form
Orlando City SC supporters are painfully aware how the Lions shipped four goals in three consecutive fixtures back in September.
A more recent trend however is the fact that both sides haven’t scored in Orlando City SC‘s last THREE MLS fixtures.
Following a rare 0-0 draw at Toronto FC on September 29th, only one side has completed the scoring in results against Montreal Impact and Philadelphia Union of course.
- September 29th 2016 – Toronto FC 0 Orlando City SC 0
- October 2nd 2016 – Orlando City SC 0 Montreal Impact 1
- October 16th 2016 – Philadelphia Union 0 Orlando City SC 2
D.C. United form
If you’ve been a neutral seeking entertaining MLS action recently, watching D.C. United hasn’t been a bad shout!
After all, D.C. United’s last EIGHT Major League Soccer fixtures have all seen OVER 2.5 GOALS being scored with the likes of Patrick Mullins, Lloyd Sam and Lamar Neagle hitting top form at the moment.
Given Orlando City SC are rarely involved in scoreless games either, we could be in for quite the goal-fest come Sunday!
Dig deeper into D.C. United’s last EIGHT results in Major League Soccer and you’ll also find that Ben Olsen’s men have scored AT LEAST TWO GOALS in every one of those fixtures.
Essentially the reason why D.C. have managed to haul themselves up the Eastern Conference standings, the free-scoring side won’t be fazed by Orlando City SC‘s defence.
Particularly the reborn Patrick Mullins who boasts six goals in his last eight MLS appearances for the Black and Red.
His goal got things started for Ben Olsen’s side who ran out 3-1 winners over New York City FC last time out.
D.C. United 3 New York City FC 1 – Highlights – October 16, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
When you’re so used to scoring plenty of goals, you’re going to give yourself a pretty darn good chance of victory.
Indeed, D.C. United are not only on an impressive 13-game unbeaten streak but Ben Olsen’s side have taken maximum points from their last FOUR Major League Soccer fixtures.
Form that would suggest there is a pretty good chance Orlando City SC‘s Citrus Bowl send off could be overshadowed.
But let’s hope the boys rally and put in one last positive performance to avoid this becoming reality with the off-season beckoning.