Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC | 2017 MLS Match Preview
Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC
2017 MLS Regular Season - Week 12
Orlando City Stadium - Orlando, Fla.
Sunday, May 21 – 7 pm ET
WATCH: FS1 and FOX Deportes in USA; MLS LIVE in Canada
Orlando City supporters are dreaming of celebrating a three-game season sweep of New York City FC on Sunday in the nationally televised finale of the Week 12 MLS slate. But NYCFC head coach Patrick Vieira poured some cold water over the enthusiasm that their fellow 2015 expansion brethren carry into the match.
“It’s a tough one for us when you look at the results at the end but when you analyze properly the performances we had against Orlando in the two games this season, I think we outplayed them in both games," Vieira told NYCFC.com. “We were the better team in both games and now what we have to do is to keep playing well and try to get the result at the end.”
Both sides will be looking to wrap up the week on a positive note after hitting the road for midweek matches on Wednesday. While NYCFC gave up an early lead and lost 2-1 at Real Salt Lake, Orlando nearly captured all three points in San Jose, conceding a late goal for a 1-1 tie. The two coaches made sure to rotate their squads, ensuring their stars remained fresh for primetime on Sunday.
"[NYCFC] is a team we’re obviously very familiar with now having played against them for the third time. We have a very good understanding of what they’re about and what they’re trying to do and they have a very good understanding of us," said Orlando head coach Jason Kreis, who coached NYCFC in their inaugural 2015 season. "At the end of the day it’s going to come down to who wants it more.”
Orlando City SC
Orlando City will hope an extra day of rest following their charter flight back home from San Jose will provide them an edge come Sunday as they look for their sixth victory in seven matches in their new home stadium (5W-0L-1D), which was inaugurated against NYCFC back on March 5.
The Lions haven't tasted success in their last four league matches, but they'll like their chances when star forward Cyle Larin goes up against NYCFC: The Canadian international has nine goals in seven career matches against the New York side.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended next yellow card: MF Cristian Higuita
- International duty: DF Tommy Redding (US Under-20 national team)
- Injury Report: OUT — DF Kevin Alston (knee)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1, left to right): Joe Bendik — Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja, Scott Sutter — Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino, Kaka, Will Johnson — Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin
Notes: Head coach Jason Kreis left himself with plenty of squad rotation options after Wednesday night's 1-1 draw in San Jose and there could be as many as six changes to Sunday's starting XI ... Left back Victor "PC" Giro and left center back Leo Pereira earned plaudits after making their MLS debuts against the Earthquakes, but you'd figure Orlando will return to their established defensive lineup against a dangerous attacking team like NYCFC.
- Orlando's Jason Kreis reflects on NYCFC coaching stint
- Can Victor "PC" Giro challenge Donny Toia for starting left back spot?
- Kreis comments on rumors of international interest in Cyle Larin
- ESPNFC: Kaka's passion still burning strong in Orlando
New York City FC
NYCFC are wrapping up a tough stretch of three road matches in eight days, a span which has seen them draw FC Dallas and lose to Real Salt Lake. But no matter the rough patches, Vieira's team has not lost two matches in a row in over a year (since April 16 and April 23 last year).
The team have only been shut out in three of 22 Regular Season away games since the start of Vieira’s reign and our 34 road goals is more than any other team in that timespan. ... one of those times was in Orlando on opening weekend
- Suspended: None
- Suspended next yellow card: MF Alex Ring
- International duty: MF Yangel Herrera (Venezuela Under-20 national team)
- Injury Report: OUT – DF Ronald Matarrita (high ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE – FW Khiry Shelton (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3, left to right): Sean Johnson – Ben Sweat, Alexander Callens, Maxime Chanot, Ethan White – Maxi Moralez, Alex Ring, Tommy McNamara – Rodney Wallace, David Villa, Jack Harrison
Notes: With Yangel Herrera on international duty with Venezuela at the Under-20 World Cup, it's expected that the starting spot will go to talismanic midfielder Tommy McNamara or maestro Andrea Pirlo, who turned 38 on Friday, will get the start in central midfield ... If reprised against Orlando, the Wallace-Villa-Harrison forward line should be fresh after not starting in midweek (Wallace wasn't even on the bench).
- Two top defenders meet in Orlando: Who's the best?
- NY Post: Will Pirlo play with Herrera out?
- NYCFC's Vieira puts the loss in Salt Lake on him
- Listen: Latest Soccer in the City podcast previews Orlando match
It's only May, but Sunday's match will be the third and final time these two clubs see each other this season outside of any potential postseason or US Open Cup matchups.
Orlando City have won both previous matchups against NYCFC this year (1-0 in Orlando on March 5; 2-1 at Yankee Stadium on April 23) and the Lions are also unbeaten in their last six games against NYCFC (5W-0L-1D). New York City's last victory came back on July 26, 2015 (5-3 win at Yankee Stadium).
All-Time (8 matches): Orlando -- 5 wins, 14 goals scored ... NYC -- 1 win, 11 goals scored ... 2 draws
In Orlando (5 matches): Orlando -- 4 wins, 7 goals scored ... NYC -- 0 wins, 3 goals scored ... 1 draw
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry (bench side), Logan Brown (far)
Fourth Official: Caleb Mendez