22 - The more the merrier
We’ve tracked the pursuit of Kaká’s Orlando City career assist record of 22 throughout this season. Chris Mueller reached the number first on June 22 against the San Jose Earthquakes, and Nani equalled the mark with his assist on Andrés Perea’s winner against Philadelphia Union on July 22. Sensing a pattern?
Beyond the coincidence with the date, though, the race is on to see who finishes the year atop the all-time assist leaderboards, and there could be a late entrant. With two assists against Philly, Mauricio Pereyra is up to 18 for his Orlando City career and at his current pace the No. 10 has a real chance to catch Nani and Mueller by year’s end. This should be a fun one to follow.
1.78 to 0.95 - Fall from grace
Sticking with PPG...Atlanta United came into MLS on fire in 2017, earning 55 points and a home playoff game in their first season. They got even better the following year, coming up just shy of the Supporters’ Shield at 69 points and winning MLS Cup. Even in 2019, when they took a step back under Frank de Boer, the Five Stripes still ground out 58 points and second place in the East. Overall, Atlanta picked up 1.78 points per game over their first three regular seasons.
That number has plummeted since the start of last season. Atlanta has just 36 points in their last 38 matches, good for 0.95 points per game, and has seen two head coaches fired at midseason, with Gabriel Heinze the most recent to depart on July 18. Former Orlando City player Rob Valentino has picked up one point in two matches as the interim head coach.
5 - How the turn tables
Orlando City infamously did not defeat Atlanta United in the first three years of their matchup, but Oscar Pareja has drastically flipped the script on this face-off. Orlando City is unbeaten in five straight against the Five Stripes under Pareja, including wins at both Exploria Stadium and at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in 2020.
1.5 - FAIRWINDS Credit Union
Score up to 1.5% cash back and LionNation points when you use your FAIRWINDS Orlando City Visa® or Orlando Pride Visa® on game day purchases and everyday essentials. Apply today and get purple carded.