Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview
Atlanta United vs. Orlando City SC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 18
Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Atlanta
June 30 — 7 pm ET
WATCH: ESPN, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)
It is a tale of two teams moving in opposite directions with surging Atlanta United, who sit atop the Supporters' Shield standings and are unbeaten in five, facing an Orlando City SC side who have lost seven in a row.
This is the second meeting between the Eastern Conference rivals this year, with Atlanta winning, 2-1, at Orlando City Stadium on May 13. Josef Martinez converted a 10th-minute penalty kick and Ezequiel Barco followed with his second MLS goal in the 31st minute.
The Five Stripes are unbeaten against Orlando City (2W-2D). However, both draws came in their two home matches.
- Atlanta United add Argentine d-mid Eric Remedi
- Nagbe sidelined estimated 2-3 months for ATLUTD
- Second time a charm? Lions gear up for ATLUTD duel
- Guzan: ASG a showcase for ATL's soccer culture
- Atlanta lead the way in All-Star Fan XI
- Timbers' tactics disarm Atlanta's attack
Atlanta (10-3-4) extended an unbeaten streak to five games with a 1-1 draw against the Portland Timbers Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Julian Gressel netted the second-half equalizer after Larrys Mabiala put the Timbers in front in the 32nd minute.
However, in the sequence that led to Gressel’s goal, Darlington Nagbe went down with a right adductor injury, which will sideline the midfielder for 2-3 months.
“I’m satisfied with how we played, aside from the chances we created because it was difficult to play against a closed team like that who can play fast counterattacks,” Tata Martino said.
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: F - Romario Williams, M - Jeff Larentowicz, M - Miguel Almiron
- International duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Greg Garza (shoulder surgery), D - Chris McCann (left lower extremity injury)
Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan — Franco Escobar, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Mikey Ambrose — Julian Gressel, Jeff Larentowicz — Hector Villalba, Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco — Josef Martinez
- Notes: Martínez has eight goals since May 1, one of three players with more than five goals in that time. Martínez has four goals in two appearances against the Lions, including a hat trick last September. … Since allowing three goals in a loss to the Red Bulls, Atlanta are unbeaten (2W-3D), conceding one or fewer goals in all five games.
Orlando City SC
There was no momentum carryover for Orlando (6-9-1) after dramatically advancing to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup on penalties, with the Lions suffering a 2-0 loss to the Montreal Impact Saturday at home. It was the second loss to the Impact in 10 days and the club’s seventh in a row in league play.
“I think it’s just going to take a complete performance,” interim coach Bobby Murphy said when asked how his team can end their skid. “I think so often we’ve been so close. It’s going to take everybody playing to their best and playing for the group, getting a break here or there, and it can all turn around.”
- Suspended: None
- Suspended after next caution: M - Uri Rosell, M - Will Johnson
- International duty: M - Yoshi Yotun
- Injury Report: OUT: GK - Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma)
Projected Starting XI
(3-4-3, right to left)
GK: Joe Bendik — Jonathan Spector, Lamine Sane, Amro Tarek — Will Johnson, Sacha Kljestan, Uri Rosell, Donny Toia — Josue Colman, Dom Dwyer, Justin Meram
- Notes: Joe Bendik has saved just 57.5% of shots he has faced in MLS play since the beginning of May, the second-lowest save percentage of any goalkeeper in that time (min. 4 games). … Orlando have lost seven straight MLS matches, scoring multiple goals just once and getting shut out three times. 10 MLS teams have not been shut out three times in 2018.
- Overall: Atlanta United 2 win, 7 goals … Orlando City SC 0 wins, 5 goals … 2 draws
- At Atlanta: Atlanta United 0 wins, 4 goals … Orlando City SC 0 wins, 4 goals … 2 draws
- Last meeting at Atlanta: Atlanta United 3, Orlando City SC 3 (Sept. 16, 2017)
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Adam Garner
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
VAR: Dave Gantar