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Preview: Orlando City SC vs. LAFC | MLS is Back Tournament, Quarterfinals

2020 MLS is Back Tournament – Quarterfinals
Orlando City SC vs. LAFC
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Fri., July 31 – 7:30 PM ET

TV: FS1, UniMás, FOX Deportes; TSN, TVAS2 in Canada

STREAMING: FOX Sports App, TUDN App; TSN App, TVAS App in Canada

Orlando City are on a tournament run that few would have predicted in the lead-up, but they will truly have their work cut out for them in the quarterfinals when they face the favorites to win it all in LAFC. While the Lions have mostly looked steady and were never outplayed in their tournament matches to date, they’ll be tested by an LAFC team that can pressure and score at will (15 goals in 4 matches).

There are only a pair of meetings to speak of between these two inter-conference foes, given that LAFC only started competing in MLS in 2018. They have the advantage in that short series, winning 4-1 at Banc of California Stadium on July 7, 2018 and drawing 2-2 in Orlando on Sept. 7, 2019. Of note: Diego Rossi scored in each of those encounters.

Orlando City SC

They may have only played six official matches under new head coach Oscar Pareja, but they already have a very different complexion from the team that failed to qualify for the postseason in its first five seasons in MLS. The players claim it's a new belief that originates from a driven and detail-oriented coaching staff that's getting the best out of the players on the squad. There's no doubt that Orlando have earned their way to the final eight. They not only topped Group A, but they also earned results against two other fellow quarterfinalists, beating NYCFC and tying the Philadelphia Union. The only negative along the road has been losing striker Dom Dwyer to injury for the rest of the tournament.

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Dom Dwyer (F) - knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Junior Urso (M) - muscle tightness
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

LAFC

Bob Bradley's men rolled on to the quarterfinals and cemented their status as tournament favorites with a revenge win over the team that knocked them out of last year’s playoffs. Their 3-1 round of 16 win over Seattle also extended the Black-and-Gold’s six-match unbeaten run to start 2020, albeit with three draws. Diego Rossi took sole ownership of the race for the Golden Boot presented by Audi thanks to his brace, while Latif Blessing rounded out a strong performance with a goal of his own. The team has been firing on all cylinders even without absent MVP Carlos Vela, though the backline still had some suspect moments even in an improved performance against Seattle.

Project Starting XI

  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Adama Diomande (F) - right foot injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Andy Najar (D) - left adductor strain
    • UNAVAILABLE: Carlos Vela (F)
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup

  • Orlando City SC: 0 wins, 3 goals
  • LAFC: 1 win, 6 goals
  • 1 draw

Officials

  • Referee: Joseph Dickerson
  • Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Chris Wattam
  • 4th Official: Marcos de Oliviera
  • VAR: Ismail Elfath
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