Orlando City (9-4-8, 35 pts) concludes its three-game homestand this Saturday night, taking on the reigning MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew (7-9-6, 27 pts) at Exploria Stadium. The game, presented by the Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET, with local television coverage on FOX35 PLUS and the LionNation app beginning at 7 p.m.. Local radio coverage will be available from 7 p.m. on Real Radio 104.1 in English and Acción 97.9 FM and 810 AM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about Columbus:
Key Transactions and Player News
Key Additions - CF Bradley Wright-Phillips (LAFC), F Kevin Molino (Minnesota United), CM Perry Kitchen (LA Galaxy), DM Liam Fraser (Toronto FC, loan), AM Alexandru Matan (Viitorul Constanta), M/D Marlon Hairston (Minnesota United), CF Erik Hurtado (CF Montreal)
Key Departures - RB Chris Cadden (Hibernian), GK Andrew Tarbell (Austin FC), CF Fanendo Adi (Minnesota United), CF Krisztián Németh (out of contract)
Player News - 2020 MLS Cup MVP Lucas Zelarayan was named the MLS Team of the Week for his performance this past Friday’s 3-2 Crew win over FC Cincinnati, scoring his fifth free kick goal of the season. Zelarayan needs one more free kick goal to tie Sebastian Giovinco’s single-season record of six, set in 2017.
Take a look at Columbus’ full roster here.
Columbus was widely tipped to repeat as MLS Cup champions in 2021 and were in playoff position for most of the spring and early summer, but a shocking six-game losing streak over the past month has knocked them below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference. The Crew snapped that streak with a comeback win over FC Cincinnati last Friday, their first victory ever at the brand-new Lower.com Field and their first points of any kind since July 24.
Orlando City has won four straight games against Columbus going back to 2018, their longest active winning streak against any opponent. Last Nov. 4, Orlando City overcame a controversial red card to Nani – a decision that was later rescinded by the league – to defeat the Crew 2-1 on a late Benji Michel goal. The Lions are 5-5-3 overall against the Crew all-time.
Rasmussen University Fact
Michel’s game-winner last season came in the 84th minute. In the previous game between the sides, on July 13, 2019, Michel also scored the game-winning goal...in the 84th minute.