After a tough 2-0 loss at Columbus Crew last time out, Orlando City SC will look to maintain their 100% win record at home when New York Red Bulls come to town on Sunday.
Jesse Marsch’s side had an equally forgettable result when thumped 4-1 at Houston Dynamo on April 1st so both sides will be looking for a reaction.
Always one of the Eastern Conference’s strongest sides, despite the unwanted status of having won zero MLS Cup’s to date, Red Bulls sat a place and one point above the Lions in the standings following Gameweek 5
Unbeaten following their two visits to Central Florida in MLS so far, the free-scoring Red Bulls are always a tough proposition for Orlando City SC.
Nevertheless, City have good reason to believe Orlando City Stadium can be a fortress in 2017 with two home victories from two against New York City FC and Philadelphia Union so far.
Failing to utilise the entire 90 minutes when putting in a sluggish first-half display against Crew at MAPFRE Stadium, Jason Kreis will be eager to instil greater fight and hunger from the first whistle.
Although Orlando City SC rarely threatened Zack Steffen’s goal last time out, there were second-half flashes of greater determination.
This is something that’ll be needed in abundance against a Red Bulls side that is equally capable away from home as well as at Red Bull Arena.
2015/16 head-to-head stats
Last facing each other in July 2016 during Bobby Murphy‘s interim spell as head coach, Red Bulls were comfortable 2-0 winners on that occasion.
Connor Lade and Felipe both struck either side of the break to cap a routine win for Jesse Marsch’s side while extending Orlando City SC‘s winless road streak to seven games.
New York Red Bulls 2 Orlando City SC 0 – Highlights – July 13, 2016 (Credit: New York Red Bulls)
Much like Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls are another Major League Soccer side who the Lions don’t particularly enjoy facing.
Only managing a single victory against Jesse Marsch’s side so far in MLS, this triumph came back in September 2015 when a superb Cyle Larin hat-trick helped defeat Red Bulls 2-5 at Red Bull Arena.
Unbeaten against Orlando City SC in all three of last season’s head-to-heads, winning two of those games, Red Bulls have nothing to fear heading into this one.
You don’t need us to tell you who the danger man will be for New York Red Bulls on Sunday.
Currently on an incredible 71 Major League Soccer goals for Red Bulls, Bradley Wright-Phillips has been a revelation since arriving from Charlton Athletic back in 2013.
A man who always seems to be in form, BWP doesn’t only have two goals to his name so far this season but has also scored three goals in his last three appearances against Orlando City SC.
Orlando City SC form
A good habit to get into, the narrow victories over New York City FC and Philadelphia Union have been particularly pleasing and a great way to open 2017.
Still early days of course, Orlando City SC looked the jaded Lions side of old in their first road game of the season at Columbus Crew.
With away fixtures always a tough proposition in MLS, three-point hauls at home are a must if we are to realise our ambitions of making the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Dig deeper into our last three consecutive home victories and you’ll find that in those fixtures, Orlando City SC were leading at BOTH HALF-TIME and FULL-TIME.
Jason Kreis will demand that his side start fast against New York Red Bulls with the Lions looking off the pace in the first-half against Columbus Crew last time out.
Orlando City SC 2 Philadelphia Union 1 – Highlights – March 18, 2017 (Credit: PPsoccer)
New York Red Bulls form
The good news for Orlando City SC heading into this one is that New York Red Bulls have conceded the most amount of goals (8) in the Eastern Conference following Gameweek 5.
Majorly down to the fact that Jesse Marsch’s side went down 4-1 to Houston Dynamo last time out, it appears New York Red Bulls’ defence is weak right now.
With OVER 2.5 GOALS having been scored in Red Bulls’ last THREE away fixtures, we could well be looking at another goal-fest at Orlando City Stadium on Sunday.
Houston Dynamo 4 New York Red Bulls 1 – Highlights – April 1, 2017 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
Another interesting stat is that Jesse Marsch has really had to earn his money at half-time during away fixtures lately.
Indeed, Red Bulls have been trailing at half-time in ALL THREE away fixtures contested so far this season.
Marsch’s side showed great fight to overhaul a one-goal deficit when defeating high-flying Atlanta United 1-2 in Gameweek 1 but since then, they’ve really struggled on the road.
Dispatched comfortably at Seattle Sounders (3-1) and Houston Dynamo (4-1) since, Orlando City SC will similarly be looking to put New York Red Bulls on the back foot early on.