Orlando City SC vs. New York Red Bulls | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Orlando City SC vs. New York Red Bulls
2017 MLS Regular Season - Week 6
Orlando City Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Sunday, April 9 – 4 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN and ESPN Deportes in USA; MLS LIVE in Canada
The New York Red Bulls, who finished atop the Eastern Conference in each of the last two seasons, are just three points out of first place, but they’re not exactly satisfied with their play thus far in their new 4-2-2-2 system. It’s why they’re calling Sunday’s trip to Orlando City a “big game."
“We don’t want to be in this position, but we’re going to be ready for Sunday,” midfielder Felipe Martins told NewYorkRedBulls.com ahead of the match. “It’s a big game. Our big players and our young players are going to show up ... I love when there is pressure. That’s what we live for. That’s what we play for.”
Orlando City manager Jason Kreis feels a bit differently about the Red Bulls, who he says “haven’t probably gotten the results they deserve," but all his Lions will be concerned about is keeping up their perfect record (2-0-0) in their new soccer home at Orlando City Stadium. And home form is critical in Orlando City’s chase for its first playoff berth since it was a middling home record that arguably cost them a spot in the postseason during their first two MLS campaigns (7-5-5 in 2015 and 6-4-7 in 2016)
Orlando City SC
After suffering their first loss of season in Columbus in Week 5, Orlando City return to the friendly confines of their new stadium where they have won both matches played thus far (1-0 vs. NYCFC and 2-1 vs. Philadelphia). Their backline, which has proven relatively solid thus far to start the season, will face a test with the absence of Uruguayan defender Jose Aja, as 20-year-old Tommy Redding takes his spot in the lineup.
Lions forward star Cyle Larin, who is off to a great start in 2017 with three goals in three matches, will be licking his chops ahead of a battle against a Red Bulls defense that has allowed the second most goals in the league (8). He has four career tallies against RBNY.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injured: MF Kaka (hamstring), DF Jose Aja (grade 1 hamstring strain, out 2-4 weeks), DF Seb Hines (knee surgery), MF Tony Rocha (hamstring), DF Rafael Ramos (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2, left to right): Joe Bendik – Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Tommy Redding, Will Johnson – Giles Barnes, Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino, Matias Perez Garcia – Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin
Notes: The big decision for head coach Jason Kreis is whether Scott Sutter, who made his MLS debut in Columbus, will be given his first start at right back which could mean that fill-in Will Johnson moves into his more familiar central midfield role … It’s unclear whether new acquisition Luis Gil (see video above) will be ready to make his Lions debut on Sunday … Star playmaker Kaka was back doing basic exercises in training this week, but he is unlikely to be available … Kreis also indicated that attacking midfielder Tony Rocha and right back Rafael Ramos will be back in training next week.
- Orlando City making training changes to curb rash of muscle injuries
- Tommy Redding gets his shot in central defense
- Nocerino finally settling in nicely with Orlando City
- Gil takes a pay cut to move to Orlando City
- Latest on Kaka injury recovery
- Why Carlos Rivas is the ideal strike partner for Larin
New York Red Bulls
The Red Bulls are not exactly clicking yet with their new formation and new personnel, but then again they haven’t had the easiest of schedules to start the year with trips to Seattle, Houston and Atlanta mixed in with a CONCACAF Champions League knockout series against Vancouver. And while it won’t get any easier in Orlando, they can look forward to six home games in their next eight league matches.
There are still plenty of bright spots in New York with Aaron Long’s emergence in central defense, Connor Lade’s return to right back and the bursting onto the scene of 18-year center mid Tyler Adams. Still, they’ll need big-money stars Sacha Kljestan and Bradley Wright-Phillips to produce the goals if they’re going to come away with anything from their lone trip to Florida this year.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injured: DF Gideon Baah (broken leg, out for season), FW Gonzalo Veron (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-2-2, left to right): Luis Robles – Kemar Lawrence, Aaron Long, Aurelien Collin, Connor Lade – Felipe Martins, Tyler Adams – Daniel Royer, Sacha Kljestan – Fredrik Gulbrandsen, Bradley Wright-Phillips
Notes: Head coach Jesse Marsch confirmed Fredrik Gulbrandsen (groin issue), Aurelien Collin (leg injury) and Connor Lade (knock in training) “will be available from the start” vs. Orlando … Designated Player Gonzalo Veron is in Argentina to see a doctor to try to get to the bottom of his hamstring injury … Alex Muyl, who started two of four matches this year, was loaned to USL reserve side NY Red Bulls II but can be recalled at any time.
- FourFourTwo: Red Bulls still confident despite disappointing start
- Marsch: NY Red Bulls need to be more clinical in front of goal
- Report: Red Bulls on the hunt for a new center back
The two clubs have met five times since Orlando City joined the league in 2015 with the Red Bulls sporting a 3-1-1 record (10-8 edge in total goals). Two of those matches happened in Florida, where New York are undefeated (1-0-1).
- Overall: Orlando 1 win (8 goals) … New York 3 wins (10 goals) … Ties 1
- In Orlando: Orlando 0 wins (1 goal) … New York 1 win (3 goals) … Ties 1
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Ted Unkel