Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night match between Orlando City (0W-OL-2D, 2 points) and Cincinnati FC (0-1-1, 1 point) at Exploria Stadium. It will be the first meeting between the teams since 2019, the first of three scheduled games this season, and the only one planned for the Exploria Stadium. The two teams will meet twice at Cincinnati’s brand new TQL Stadium – on August 7th and October 16th.
Orlando City leads the all-time series 1-0: 1. Due to a peculiarity of the pandemic planning in 2020, the last meeting was a 1-1 draw at the Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati on September 29, 2019. Benji Michel’s added-time goal prevented an embarrassing road loss for a terrible FCC side after Allan Cruz gave the hosts the lead. Losing officially banned Orlando City from playoffs this year, but realistically, the Lions have been out of it for a while.
The last meeting in Orlando and the first between the two sides took place on May 19, 2019 when The Lions beat the expansion side 5-1. Both Nani and Tesho Akindele have braces and in the match Dom Dwyer also added a goal.
The Lions are 0: 2 in the season and 0: 1 at home and have not scored in the goalless draw against the season opener Atlanta United. Orlando has only one goal this season but will return to midfielder Mauricio Pereyra, who started the season with a two-game suspension. The Lions have a 1-1 tie at Sporting Kansas City Last Friday in a game in which two goals were knocked down (correctly) due to offside calls. The hosts also had a target (right again) for offside after video review called back.
Cincinnati FC are down 1-0 this season and have to play at home while the team’s new stadium is ready. The FCC started the season with two early goals against Nashville SC but then saw Nashville turn the game around and were lucky enough to get away with a 2-2 draw. Cincy then traveled to Yankee Stadium and absorbed a 5-0 blow through the hands of New York City FC, in what a set-piece-a-thon was for NYCFC.
Cincinnati was shot 44-29 through two games and 18-12 on goal. I’m looking for FCC manager Jaap Stam, who is putting his defense on hold this week to contain the tide. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FCC saw a bunker mentality trying to counter with the new Designated Player Brenner and score a goal. Cincinnati FC have been terrible in terms of set pieces so far this season, so I would expect visitors to come back to this front as well, and that hasn’t been an Orlando strength in 2021 anyway.
City is preferred to win, but you can never count a desperate team, and Cincinnati is far more desperate at this point. The Lions will likely get more of the ball, but they’ll need to be patient and move quickly and creatively together to destroy Cincinnati, but more importantly, avoid the kind of sales that allow Cincy to get off and run in transition . Brenner is a dynamic player who doesn’t need a large opening to block a shot. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to take care of the ball so as not to miss out on a stroke.
Orlando’s injury report is none other than lower body injuries as the reporting system continues to be a worthless joke. David Loera is out, while Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Uri Rosell and Alexandre Pato are considered questionable. Moutinho was a surprise at the 18 (or what is now known as the 18) last week and I would look to get him back on the bench at the start of this game. Jansson is most ready to cope with practice reports. So it will be interesting to see if he creates the matchday schedule.
Cincinnati has a number of people on the availability report. Franco Kovacevic (thigh), Maikel van der Werff (sports hernia) and Gustavo Vallecilla (pending visa) were no longer listed as of Friday, with Luciano Acosta (arm) and starting goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton (hip flexor) classified as questionable. Hmmm … I think it’s possible to be more specific than “lower body” or “upper body”.
Mandatory match #content
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defender: Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Ruan.
Midfield player: Mauricio Pereyra, Sebas Mendez, Junior Urso.
Forward: Nani, Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller.
FC Cincinnati (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Przemyslaw Tyton.
Defender: Ronald Matarrita, Nick Hagglund, Tom Pettersson and Joe Gyau.
Midfield player: Kamohelo Mokotjo, Allan Cruz and Yuya Kubo.
Forward: Jürgen Locadia, Brenner, Alvaro Barreal.
Ref: Drew Fischer.
AR1: Logan Brown.
AR2: Brian Poeschel.
Fourth: Marcos de Oliveira.
WHERE: Jorge Gonzalez.
AVAR: Kyle Longville.
How to watch
Playing time: 7:30 pm ET.
Conference location: Exploria Stadium – Orlando.
TV: FOX 35 PLUS (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), Accion 97.9 FM & 810 AM (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN + (not on the market) and in the LionNation app.
Enjoy the match. Go to town!
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