3 - PKs, get your PKs here
Benji Michel drew Orlando City’s third penalty of the season last weekend against Toronto FC, making the Lions the first (and so far only) team in MLS to take three penalty kicks in 2021. Michel has drawn two of them, his other coming against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 22.
66 - Pace-setters
Orlando City faces a stiff test on Thursday night at Exploria Stadium, welcoming in 2020 Supporters’ Shield winners Philadelphia Union. The Union have carried their excellent form from last year into 2021, sitting in second place in the East on 23 points. Over the course of their last 34 games, a full MLS regular season, the Union have 66 points, the most of any team in the league. Sporting Kansas City (65) and Seattle Sounders (64) are the teams just behind them.
88% - Blast off
The trend around soccer is more teams playing the ball out of the back on goal kicks. Philadelphia laughs in the face of your trends. The Union go long on 88% of goal kicks, by far the highest rate in MLS (Minnesota United is second all the way down at 74%). It will be a battle for second balls in the middle of the pitch on Thursday night. Orlando City, for what it’s worth, go long at one of the lowest rates in the league, letting it fly on just 39% of goal kicks.
20 - History in the making
This Sunday, Orlando City and NYCFC will play for the 20th time in all competitions, by far the most the Lions have faced any opponent in MLS. The two teams famously matched up in their inaugural game in 2015, a 1-1 draw marked by a dramatic Kaká equalizer in second-half stoppage time. NYCFC was the opponent for two of Orlando’s most historic moments, the “Running of the Wall” in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and Rodrigo Schlegel’s stunning penalty-kick save in last year’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.
1.5 - FAIRWINDS Credit Union *
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