Orlando City are in excellent defensive form to start the season and will try to end their recent struggles against D.C. United when they play Saturday night in Washington.
Orlando (1-0-1, 4 points) has been the better-performing side in the league in recent seasons, earning three consecutive playoff appearances since Oscar Pareja took over as coach before the start of the 2020 season.
But D.C. (1-1-0, 3 points) has consistently posed problems, winning five of the teams’ last seven meetings and three of the last four played in Washington.
If the Black and Red are going to add to that record, they’ll have to be more efficient in attack than in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at the Columbus Crew.
D.C. had a couple of clear opportunities in that game, but once Columbus leapt to a 2-0 lead by halftime, those chances were far harder to come by.
Mateusz Klich, Christian Benteke and Ted Ku-DiPietro all scored in a season-opening 3-2 win at home against Toronto.
“We have to be more clinical,” D.C. coach Wayne Rooney said after the Columbus match. “I think we created three or four really good chances tonight, and we have to make sure we take them chances.”
Orlando has yet to concede a goal in three matches across all competitions. That includes an impressive 0-0 draw on Tuesday night at storied Mexican opponents Tigres UANL to open its CONCACAF Champions League first-round series.
Tigres led 22-9 in overall shots and 8-3 in efforts on target. But Orlando limited the quality of those attempts, with only one clear, defined scoring opportunity.
“We had moments when we equalized the game and the volume that Tigres had,” Pareja said. “The boys did a great job tonight and of course there were some things we need to improve on. We’re happy. It’s not easy to come to Monterrey and leave with a result.”
Pareja could choose to play a less-than-full-strength lineup against D.C. in anticipation of next Tuesday’s return leg at home against Tigres. In last weekend’s 0-0 home draw to FC Cincinnati, Pareja started close to his best 11 but took off Mauricio Pereyra and Rodrigo Schlegel at halftime, followed by Facundo Torres in the 60th minute.
–Field Level Media
Philadelphia Union veteran goalkeeper Andre Blake was ruled out of Saturday’s game at CF Montreal with a Grade 1 adductor strain. Blake, 32, was injured in Saturday’s 1-0 victory over…
New York City FC signed 15-year-old midfielder Jonathan “Jonny” Shore to a homegrown contract through 2027. The deal announced Thursday includes an option for 2028. “We are delighted that Jonathan…
Inter Miami signed midfielder Bryce Duke to a contract extension through the 2025 season. The deal announced Thursday includes an option for 2026. Duke, 22, has made three appearances as…
NYCFC sign 15-year-old midfielder Jonny Shore
Inter Miami sign M Bryce Duke to extension through 2025
Miami captain Gregore (foot) out six months after surgery
Sounders sign D Nouhou to new 3-year contract