MLS
AtlantaATL
1
FINAL
Official Timekeeper of MLS
1
OrlandoORL

Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC | 2017 MLS Match Preview

 Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC
2017 MLS Match Preview
Bobby Dodd Stadium – Atlanta
Saturday, July 29 – 4:30 p.m. ET
WATCH: FOX, MLS LIVE in Canada

A quick turnaround from a spicy opener between MLS's two Southeast representatives could play a large result in determining their respective playoff futures. And it will likely feature a new cast member stepping into the spotlight, as Dom Dwyer is expected to make his debut for Orlando City SC against Atlanta United following this week's blockbuster trade with Sporting Kansas City.

The Lions roared to start the season, opening Orlando City Stadium with five straight victories; the third-year club have gone 1-3-3 at home since, with that most recent loss coming to the Five Stripes last week, courtesy of this Hector Villalba rocket:

Currently, Orlando sit seventh in the Eastern Conference, two points below the playoff line and four behind upstart Atlanta, who have risen to fourth in the conference with a steady churn that's culminated in their current stretch of five wins in six matches.

Atlanta United

Even prior to the addition of US national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan, expansion side Atlanta have begun to hit a defensive stride that should have the rest of the league wary, given the offensive firepower they've consistently wielded: Friday's shutout against OCSC marked a third defensive shutout in the last four games for Atlanta United, their first since clean sheets in back-to-back games since March. Guzan's five-save shutout was the 25th in his 80-game MLS career (previously: Chivas USA)

On the front foot, Villalba's goal was his ninth of the season, and third in the last three games, the current showstopper in a rotating spotlight for ATL UTD. He's now tied with Josef Martínez for the team lead, each one ahead of playmaker Miguel Almiron, who also carries six assists – tied for sixth in the league.

  • Suspended: NONE
  • Int’l Duty: NONE
  • Injury Report: OUT: F - Kenwyne Jones (knee inflammation); GK - Alec Kann (left quad injury); D - Mark Bloom (lower back injury); F - Josef Martinez (foot injury)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4-3; left-to-right) 
GK: Brad Guzan – Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Jeff Larentowicz, Michael Parkhurst – Greg Garza, Miguel Almiron, Carlos Carmona, Anton Walkes – Yamil Asad, Hector "Tito" Villalba, Julian Gressel

Notes: With a win Saturday, Atlanta United could equal the second-longest winning streak by an expansion team in MLS history – and tie the longest by a team in its first MLS season since the end of the shootout era (MTL, 2012; ORL, 2015).

Orlando City SC

Orlando City were shut out at the attacking end for the seventh time this season on Friday, and for the fifth time in their last 10 matches (dating back to May 21). The change in venue isn't promising – Atlanta have won five straight at home, the last loss coming April 30 – but they've got Dom. And the fans. Oh, boy. The fans. Are. Jacked.

Dwyer, loaned to then-USL PRO side Orlando City in 2013, scored 13 goals in 15 league matches before a recall to SKC. He says he's felt there's "unfinished business" ever since, and is nothing if not productive: With five goals in 15 matches this season, he's pushed his total since 2014 to 55, second-most in MLS during that span. It's not quite evident exactly how it's going to work with Cyle Larin, but if it does … things will be interesting in the City Beautiful.

  • Suspended: NONE
  • Int’l Duty: NONE
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Rafael Ramos (hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: D - PC (adductor injury); D - Kevin Alston (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
4-4-2
GK: Joe Bendik – Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja, Scott Sutter – Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Higuita; Kaká, Will Johnson – Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin

Notes: The loss to Atlanta marked Orlando's second straight defeat, making it three times they've dropped back-to-back matches this year.

All-Time Series

Referees

Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Mark Kadlecik

Read More

Previous Meetings

Current Form

Atlanta
W
L
W
W
W
W
Orlando
D
D
L
W
L
L

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Atlanta United FCOrlando City SC
20Games Played21
10Wins8
7Losses8
3Draws5
40Goals22
27Goals Conceded30
185Shots191
100Shots on Target87
244Fouls committed259
237Fouls suffered283
43Offside28
91Corners97

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
ATL29234402
ORL77610221
01234+Avg
ATL030232.6
ORL335101.3
01234+Avg
ATL262111.6
ORL441000.7

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
ATL56630271.4
ORL67332301.4
01234+Avg
ATL232101.2
ORL531301.2
01234+Avg
ATL334201.4
ORL142021.8
Connection Lost. Reconnecting...

Generate a preview before publishing.