Welcome to your live match thread for a Saturday night match between Orlando City (6-4-3, 21 points) and FC Dallas (6-3-4, 22 points) at Exploria Stadium (7:30 p.m. FOX 35+). It is the only scheduled meeting between the clubs this season and only the seventh overall.
Here’s what you need to know before playing.
Orlando City is 1-3-2 in the all-time series and 1-1-1 at home to FC Dallas. The teams did not meet in 2021, so the last time these teams played was on September 27, 2020 at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX when they scored a goalless draw. Sebas Mendez was sent off in the 69th minute of that game.
The Lions earned their first win of the series with a 2-0 win in their last meeting at Exploria Stadium on August 3, 2019. Former Dallas forward Tesho Akindele and Carlos Ascues provided offense for Orlando, and they were the The first two goals – and the only ones so far – the Lions had ever scored against FC Dallas.
Dallas won 2-0 in Texas on October 6, 2018 with goals from Santiago Mosquera and Victor Ulloa. The teams drew 0-0 in Orlando in 2017, in a game only memorable for the Hoops, who played against an ineligible player – Michael Barrios, who was dropped from the starting XI after the lineups were handed in and then eliminated Bank.
Dallas won 2016 by a final score of 4-0 on July 4th at Toyota Stadium and honestly it could have been worse if it wasn’t for Joe Bendik. Dallas was leading 2-0 within 20 minutes of the start, driving to an easy win behind goals from Walker Zimmerman, Barrios, Matt Hedges and Fabian Castillo. That game was Adrian Heath’s last as Orlando City head coach as the gaffer was sent home a few days later.
The first meeting resulted in a 2-0 win over Dallas in the 2015 Citrus Bowl. Mauro Diaz (penalty) and David Texeira provided the offensive in this case and the lions didn’t even get a shot on target.
Orlando City are unbeaten in four games in all competitions (2-0-2), including two straight games in the MLS regular season (1-0-1). The Lions came off a goalless tie against Inter Miami in the US Open Cup round of 16 in midweek – advancing through a penalty shoot-out win – and last saw action in league play last Sunday in a 2-2 draw at Austin FC, the was clouded by creativity officiate. This is the team’s first MLS home game since April 30, with the Lions going 1-1-1 in three games on their away swing.
FC Dallas rejoin after not playing a cup game during the week, while Orlando will play for the third time in seven days. The Texas club is 1-2-3 away from home this season and has lost its last three straight games. That includes a 2-1 home loss in his last home game against Minnesota United last Sunday. With such a run of form, it’s a good bet the Lions will see a desperate FC Dallas side trying to run and capitalize on Orlando’s weary legs and lack of staff (more on that below).
This is only the second time since arriving in Orlando that Oscar Pareja has played against the club he played for from 1998 to 2005 and managed from 2014 to 2018. Papi is still popular in Dallas, having won regularly during his tenure there, including a Supporters Shield and a US Open Cup – both in 2016.
The key for Orlando will be stopping a strong Dallas attack, which includes USMNT stars Jesus Ferreira and Paul Arriola and Young Designated Player Alan Velasco. The trio of strikers have already recorded 16 goals and seven assists this season. Ferreira leads the attack with his league-leading nine goals and two assists. Arriola has scored in four straight games and has five in the season, along with two assists. The task of stopping those strikers falls to a tired team without two of their top three central defenders and their central midfielder.
“We’re going to go home thinking our body will be ready for Dallas,” Pareja said after his team fought hard for 120 minutes against Miami on Wednesday night. “And what I felt from this group was that they are committed to it. Well, we’ll see. But our job is to give them a good recovery, get their legs ready for Dallas and just have the spirit that they had (Wednesday) and let those difficulties come to see how we solve them. But we will be ready.”
Orlando are still without Antonio Carlos (hamstring), Benji Michel (hamstring) and Silvester van der Water (hamstring), but also without the suspended Rodrigo Schlegel at centre-back and Cesar Araujo in central midfield. We’ll also have to see how Facundo Torres fares after suffering a deep strain in his leg in extra time on Wednesday. FC Dallas has a completely blank availability message, so the visitors will be in full force.
Mandatory Game Content
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defender: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Thomas Williams, Kyle Smith.
Defensive Midfielders: Sebas Mendez, Junior Urso.
Attacking midfielders: Facundo Torres, Mauricio Pereyra, and Tesho Akindele.
Forward: Erkan Kara.
FC Dallas (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Maarten Paes.
Defender: Marco Farfan, Jose Martinez, Matt Hedges, Ema Twumasi.
Midfield player: Facundo Quignon, Paxton Pomykal, Brandon Servania.
Forward: Paul Arriola, Jesus Ferreira, and Alan Velasco.
ref: Marcos DeOliveira.
AR1: Jose Da Silva.
AR2: Jennifer Garner.
4: Matt Thompson.
VAR: Daniel Radford.
AVAR: Diego Blas.
how to watch
playing time: 19:30 o’clock
Venue: Exploria Stadium – Orlando.
TV: FOX 35 Plus (local only).
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Stream: The game is available to stream on ESPN+ (non-market only) and the LionNation app (market only).
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enjoy the game Go to town!