Preview: Orlando City travels to D.C. United for Wednesday match
ORLANDO, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - Orlando City SC (5-7-3, 18 points) travels to face D.C. United (7-4-6, 27 points) on Wednesday, June 26. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET at Audi Field.
The match will be locally televised on My65 and available on YouTube TV. It will also be broadcast on FM 96.9 The Game in English and La Nueva 990am in Spanish.
“They’re [D.C. United] a very good team. They obviously have very good players. They’ve sort of flittered between a couple of formations, so for us it’s just about being mindful of what we think they may do, but also we’ll be very open minded on what they can do,” Head Coach James O’Connor said. “I think they possess a lot of attacking threats, we just need to be very mindful going into the game of the threats they pose.”
The Lions return to league play for the first time since June 1, a match that saw them defeat the Montreal Impact 3-0 at Stade Saputo. Since then, City has battled to back-to-back victories in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup over USL Championship League side Memphis 901 FC and fellow MLS club, the New England Revolution.
City’s last result came at its newly-named home, Exploria Stadium, in a 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 16. After a scoreless regulation, the Lions found the back of the net in the 96th minute with Benji Michel’s first goal as a Lion and in the 101st off the foot of Tesho Akindele. New England’s Justin Rennicks cut the City lead in half in the 117th, but the visitors’ rally came up short, punching the Lions’ ticket to the Open Cup Quarterfinals.
Nani leads the Lions in goals with eight this season, followed by Akindele who has six across all competitions and five in league play. The Portuguese midfielder also leads the Club in assists with four.
D.C. comes into Wednesday’s contest following a 2-1 loss to New York City FC in their U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 matchup. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring in the match for the Black and Red in the 32nd, but NYCFC responded with goals from Alexandru Mitrita and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi in the 38th and 41st minutes respectively to knock D.C. out of the nation's oldest cup competition.
Rooney leads the Black and Red with eight goals this season, tied with Nani and three others for fourth in Major League Soccer. D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid leads the league in saves thus far in 2019 with 67 and is second in MLS with seven shutouts.
Wednesday’s match will be the second between the two sides this season, with the Lions looking to avenge a 2-1 loss to the Black and Red on March 31. Following Wednesday’s contest, City will continue a two-game road trip as it travels to Columbus to face the Crew on June 29 at MAPFRE Stadium.