Orlando City vs. New York City FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Orlando City vs. New York City FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Orlando City Stadium - Orlando, FL
Sunday, March 5 - 5 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN in the US | MLS Live in Canada
Two years after beginning their MLS tenures against one another, Orlando City SC and New York City FC will square off once again in a sold-out season opener down in Florida. This time, however, it will be in the shiny new and very purple Orlando City Stadium, the soccer-specific venue the Lions have been dreaming about and working on for years.
Both sides are comprised considerably differently from last season, let alone from the teams that faced each other two years ago. Orlando City retooled their back line and have been working on switching formations, while New York City FC got younger this offseason and brought in new attacking pieces to help reigning MLS MVP David Villa.
Orlando City have the upper hand in this series between 2015 MLS entrants, boasting a 3-1-2 record all-time that has seen them score 11 goals while conceding 10. The Lions are also undefeated at home against NYCFC at 2-0-1, but those three matches were played at Camping World Stadium and not the new soccer-specific venue that Orlando City now call home.
ORL-NYC All-Time MLS Meetings (6 matches since March 8, 2015):
- at Orlando (3 meetings): Orlando lead 2-0-1 (5 ORL goals, 3 NYC goals)
- at New York City (3 meetings): Tied 1-1-1 (6 ORL goals, 7 NYC goals)
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell (bench side), Kyle Atkins (far side)
Fourth Official: Marcos DeOliveira
In Jason Kreis' first offseason and preseason as Orlando City head coach, the club made some major changes. Not only did the Lions part ways with Brek Shea and Kevin Molino, but they also began to move away from the 4-2-3-1 formation they used in their first two seasons in favor of the 4-4-2. The deadly duo of Kaka and Cyle Larin are back to lead the attack, which is certainly good news, but injuries to players like Rafael Ramos and Cristian Higuita will leave Orlando City at less than full strength for this Week 1 fixture.
- Suspended: none
- Int’l Duty: none
- Injury Report: Tony Rocha (quad strain), Cristian Higuita (groin), Rafael Ramos (hamstrings), Kevin Alston (hamstring)
Projected starting XI (4-4-2): Joe Bendik — Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja, PC — Antonio Nocerino, Will Johnson, Matias Perez-Garcia, Kaka — Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin
New York City FC
A much younger New York City FC side will take the field after the departure of seasoned veterans like Frank Lampard and Jason Hernandez. Star players David Villa and Andrea Pirlo return to try and build on last year's successes, but they will have to get used to playing with fellow Designated Player Maximiliano Moralez and the several other new additions brought in by manager Patrick Vieira this offseason. It might be a work in progress, but NYCFC will be hoping that things operate well enough to spoil Orlando's sold-out party.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: Mikey Lopez (Ankle)
Projected starting XI (4-3-3): Sean Johnson — RJ Allen, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Ronald Matarrita — Alexander Ring, Andrea Pirlo, Maximiliano Moralez — Jack Harrison, David Villa, Rodney Wallace