Fourth Matchup with the Fire Brings Many Variables Into Play

4th matchup

Playing a team four times in one season is a rare occurrence in the world of soccer. When it happens it can create some interesting matchups as the teams become more familiar with each other and rivalries start to form.

This Saturday will be the fourth time that Orlando City and the Chicago Fire meet on pitch. Two matches took place in MLS play, and the third during the U.S. Open Cup. In the three times that these Eastern Conference foes have met, each team has won once with a draw in between.

It is fair to say that there is plenty of film to study for the Lions and Fire this week. When it comes to preparing to face a team for the fourth time during a season, the amount of variables can be staggering.

“You’re always looking for something new. Whether it is a different style of play, or a different lineup,” explained assistant coach Mark Watson. “They have had a bunch of different lineups. We will focus on their last game, but we will go back a few games and the games that we have played against them…There is a lot of familiarity, but you are always looking for a difference…a lot of different variables.”

The Lions will benefit from being familiar with Chicago’s playing style. However, they are still staying focused on their own game and what they need to do to take home three valuable points this weekend.

“We have seen what works and doesn’t work. However, at this point in the season it comes down to the way we play. If we play like we did on Sunday [against SKC] then I think we come out of there with three points,” said Lions goalkeeper Tally Hall. “It is up to us. It isn’t so much who we are playing, but how we are playing. We have to get up and be 100% for each game.”

The Lions will take on Chicago Saturday night at 8:30 pm ET in Toyota Park.