Preview: Orlando City returns home to face Philadelphia

Orlando City SC (6-8-3, 21 points) returns home to face the Philadelphia Union (9-5-5, 32 points) on Wednesday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium. 

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

“[We’re expecting] a very tough game. Jim [Curtin] has done an incredible job, huge respect for the job that Jim has done there. I think he’s someone that just gets on with it, but he’s dealt with a lot and great credit to him,” Head Coach James O’Connor said. “They’re playing really well, they’re a very tough team. They’ve obviously got a lot of weapons to choose from so we need to be very mindful of what they may do and then be prepared to hopefully try and cause them some problems when we have the ball as well.”

The Lions enter Wednesday’s contest fresh off a 2-0 victory at Columbus this past Saturday. Chris Mueller opened the scoring in the match with a finish in the 41st minute, serving as his fourth goal of the season. Tesho Akindele followed in the 66th with his seventh goal of the 2019 season, across all competitions. Goalkeeper Brian Rowe recorded three saves en route to his fourth shutout this year.

Nani leads the Lions with eight goals, tied for fifth in the league with three other players. The Portuguese midfielder also leads City with six assists, having recorded two in Columbus this past Saturday to extend his team lead. 

The Union come into Wednesday’s match looking to bounce back from a 4-2 loss at NYCFC last Saturday. Philadelphia opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a finish from Fafa Picault, but the home side responded after Maxi Moralez converted a penalty in the 23rd. The Union regained the lead in the 30th minute thanks to a goal from Kacper Przybylko, but the home side would go on to score three goals in the second half of play to take all three points on the night.

Przybylko leads the Union with six goals in 2019, followed by Ilsinho and Jamiro Monteiro with four each. Ilsinho sits as the squad leader in assists with six this season.

Wednesday’s match will be the first of two between the two Clubs in a four-day span. Following their midweek contest, the Lions will travel to Talen Energy Stadium to face the Union once more on Saturday, July 6.