Orlando City returns home to host FC Cincinnati

Orlando City SC (3-6-3, 12 points) returns to Orlando City Stadium on Sunday as it hosts FC Cincinnati (3-7-2, 11 points) for its inaugural match against the 2019 MLS expansion side. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET. 

The match will be locally televised on My65 and available on YouTube TV. It will also be broadcasted on FM 96.9 The Game in English and La Nueva 990 AM in Spanish.

“[Cincinnati] are a new team but all of the players are very experienced MLS players...They’ve made some good signings and they’ve got some good players so it will be a tough game for us,” Orlando City Head Coach James O’Connor said. “We have to make sure our mentality stays strong, we don’t feel sorry for ourselves and we just follow the process and make sure that we get the same level of performance against Cincinnati on Sunday [that we had against Seattle].”

The Lions face a quick turnaround after a 2-1 defeat in Seattle on Wednesday evening. Raúl Rudiáz opened the scoring for the Sounders in the 20th minute, with Handwalla Bwana doubling the lead in the 68th. Bwana’s goal was sent to video review, but ultimately upheld in favor of the home side. Chris Mueller cut the deficit in half in the 75th, dribbling into space before ripping a shot with his left foot into the right corner of the net, but in the end the rally for the Lions came up just short, forcing them to return home empty-handed.

With his goal on Wednesday, Mueller is now tied with Dom Dwyer for second on the squad in goals scored this season, each with three. The two trail only Nani, who leads the team with five goals in 2019. 

Cincinnati enters Sunday’s contest following a 2-1 victory over the Montreal Impact last Saturday. Allan Cruz put the Orange and Blue up early in the 7th minute, with Fatai Alashe doubling the lead in the 62nd. Orji Okwonkwo pulled one back for the visiting Impact in the 75th, but the 2019 expansion side prevailed in the end for their first win following a five-game losing streak. Cruz leads Sunday’s opposition with two goals this season.

Sunday’s match will be the first of two between the two sides this season, with the Lions scheduled to visit Nippert Stadium for their last road contest of the 2019 regular-season campaign on September 29.