Failing to make the MLS Cup Playoffs for a third consecutive season, this game is all about the Lions trying to sign off 2017 in the most positive way possible.
Travelling to Philadelphia Union’s Talen Energy Stadium home with nothing to play for apart from pride, it’s been this way for over a month now with all eyes on rebuilding ahead of 2018.
As for the hosts, Jim Curtin’s Union have also endured a disappointing 2017 and will finish below the red line having reached the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs last year.
With both Philadelphia Union and Orlando City SC locked in ninth and tenth place on 39 points in the Eastern Conference following the penultimate round of games, the winner of this fixture will at least finish above the other.
Representing our fourth MLS trip to Chester, Pennsylvania, Orlando City SC also closed out our inaugural 2015 season at the venue with City playing out a loss, draw and victory at Talen Energy Stadium so far.
Now needing to find a high calibre replacement for Kaká, not to mention deciding the future of star striker Cyle Larin, many other Orlando City SC stars have been playing for their futures over the last month or so.
2015/17 head-to-head stats
Orlando City SC last faced Philadelphia Union a long time ago now in only our second ever MLS game at Orlando City Stadium in March.
Recording back-to-back home victories in our new digs thanks to a Cyle Larin brace struck either side of a C.J. Sapong equaliser, confidence was sky high back in spring.
Orlando City SC 2 Philadelphia Union 1 – Highlights – March 18, 2017 (Credit: PPsoccer)
There is nothing to choose between Philadelphia Union and Orlando City SC when assessing their head-to-head record in Major League Soccer to date.
With both sides beating each other twice in addition to two ties in this game series, Union and City are evenly matched franchises.
Both failing to make the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, it’s safe to say that the Eastern Conference doesn’t lie with both teams needing to do much more next season to challenge the likes of Toronto FC and New York City FC.
Expect goals when Philadelphia Union and Orlando City SC meet!
In the last FOUR consecutive head-to-heads, we’ve witnessed OVER 2 GOALS being scored with May 2016’s 2-2 draw at Camping World Stadium the standout result for the neutral.
With all four goals coming in an action-packed second-half in Central Florida, Tranquillo Barnetta opened the scoring for the visitors on 52 minutes.
As has been all too familiar in MLS however, it only took four minutes after Larin’s goal for Philadelphia Union to hit back through Ken Tribbett, quickly turning a three point haul into one.
Orlando City SC 2 Philadelphia Union 2 – Highlights – May 25, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
Philadelphia Union form
Despite failing to make the 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs, Philadelphia Union have been extremely efficient at home in recent months.
Union have been winning at BOTH HALF-TIME and FULL-TIME in SIX of their last EIGHT home fixtures in Major League Soccer, underlining their confidence in front of their own supporters.
With this in mind, Orlando City SC will have to start fast and seek inspiration from when they last travelled to Talen Energy Stadium in our final away fixture of 2016 last term.
Philadelphia Union 0 Orlando City SC 2 – Highlights – October 16, 2016 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
A free scoring outfit at home, Philadelphia Union will fancy their chances of bagging more goals against a leaky Orlando City SC defence.
Union have scored AT LEAST TWO GOALS in SIX of their last SEVEN home fixtures in Major League Soccer with C.J. Sapong knowing what it takes to score at this level as well as a healthy supply from once-capped Brazilian Ilsinho.
Orlando City SC form
Comfortably swept aside 4-0 at New England Revolution and 3-0 at Portland Timbers, away fixtures have been tough viewing for Orlando City SC fans in recent months.
With OVER 2.5 GOALS being scored in Orlando City SC‘s last SIX away fixtures in MLS, road games aren’t for the faint-hearted Lions supporter.
It’s high time we kept the back lime tight on the road and with Jason Kreis trying out a veteran centre back pairing of Jonathan Spector and Seb Hines in the 0-0 draw against FC Dallas, perhaps their joint experience can help out here.
We’re sorry to close out the 2017 MLS campaign with a hugely negative stat but that’s just the way it’s been for Orlando City SC this year.
Conceding AT LEAST TWO GOALS in FIVE of our last SIX road games in MLS, it would be nice for Jason Kreis‘ side to finally address their defensive issues.
Any side will concede goals in MLS but the rate at which we’ve been giving away sloppy goals since our inaugural season is the primary reason why we’re yet to play soccer beyond the end of the regular season.