After a gutting late 0-1 defeat to Atlanta United last Friday evening, Orlando City SC have the perfect shot at redemption when heading to Bobby Dodd Stadium this Saturday.
Representing our first ever trip to our southern rivals’ home in MLS, a packed out crowd is expected at the 55,000 capacity venue with Lions supporters travelling in their hundreds.
There’s no denying that Orlando City SC are in a rut right now having only won ONE of our last SEVEN fixtures in Major League Soccer.
Slipping beneath Columbus Crew and out of the 2017 MLS Cup qualification spots following Gameweek 20, Jason Kreis‘ Lions are really struggling for goals right now.
That said, the club were given a huge boost on Tuesday by completing the landmark signing of Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City.
Holding MLS’s most potent strikeforce for 86 minutes before Héctor Villalba’s game winner last time out, there’s no denying that Orlando City SC‘s defence has improved this term.
Nevertheless, we’ve uncharacteristically scored the second fewest number of goals (22) in the Eastern Conference this term and if you’re not scoring so regularly, three points are going to be hard to come by.
The good news is that Cyle Larin is now back in the fold after he rushed back to Central Florida following Canada’s elimination from the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
A result we all feared leading into the first ever meeting between Orlando City SC and Atlanta United, first blood went to The Five Stripes in this game series.
Stealing all three points away from Orlando City Stadium in a 0-1 win courtesy of a late Héctor Villalba screamer, both sides probably deserved a point on the face of it.
Heading up I-75 for a speedy rematch so soon after this defeat, revenge will be on the minds of Orlando City SC players and supporters.
Orlando City SC 0 Atlanta United 1 – Highlights – July 21, 2017 (Credit: Atlanta United FC)
Atlanta United form
The bad news for Orlando City SC is that Atlanta United are particularly stingy at home.
Winning their last FIVE home fixtures in MLS, D.C. United were the last side to take points off Gerardo Martino’s side at Bobby Dodd Stadium back on April 30th.
Having swept aside the likes of Houston Dynamo 4-1, New York City FC 3-1 and San Jose Earthquakes 4-2 since then, there’s no denying this trip will be tough.
Atlanta United 4 San Jose Earthquakes 2 – Highlights – July 4, 2017 (Credit: Atlanta United FC)
Atlanta United haven’t only been good at home lately but also on the road too!
Winning 0-1 at our Orlando City Stadium home last time out, Gerardo Martino’s men also ran out 0-2 winners at Columbus Crew at the start of July.
Boasting such a potent attacking frontline, it’s no surprise that Atlanta United cause problems wherever they travel.
There’s no doubt that Bobby Dodd Stadium has played host to some of the most exciting MLS fixtures this season.
After all, there have been OVER 2.5 GOALS scored in SEVEN of Atlanta United’s last EIGHT home fixtures in MLS.
Putting FOUR goals past three opposition sides so far this term, Atlanta United’s standout home result was a 4-0 victory over the impressive Chicago Fire back on March 18th.
Exciting Argentine attacker Héctor Villalba was the match winner against Orlando City SC last Friday and he’s very much a man in form.
Scoring a brace against Columbus Crew in a 0-2 win at the start of July, the 22-year-old has scored THREE goals in his last THREE appearances for The Five Stripes.
Orlando City SC form
Barring our slender 0-1 victory at Real Salt Lake on June 30th, Orlando City SC are WINLESS in FOUR of our last FIVE away fixtures in MLS.
Managing draws away at San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders, Minnesota United and Chicago Fire both got the better of the Lions.
While getting three points away from home is mightily tough in Major League Soccer, we could really do with an outstanding performance to raise damaged morale right now.
As we’ve already mentioned, Orlando City SC have really struggled in front of goal this season.
Narrowly grabbing victories at the start of the season, we’ve really suffered from a lack of productivity up top lately.
Only scoring ONE first-half goal in our last FIVE MLS fixtures – Will Johnson‘s 17th minute strike at Real Salt Lake – we really could do with scoring first and early at Atlanta United in order to settle into the game.
Real Salt Lake 0 Orlando City SC 1 – Highlights – June 30, 2017 (Credit: Football Kingdom)