Orlando City (8-4-6, 30 pts) returns to league action on Wednesday night in a high-profile match against fellow top Eastern Conference side Nashville SC (7-2-10, 31 pts) at Nissan Stadium. The match, presented by Ford, is set to kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET and will be televised locally with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. on FOX35 PLUS, with free streaming available through the LionNation app. Local radio coverage will be available from 8 p.m. on FM 96.9 the Game in English and Acción 97.9 FM in Spanish.
Here’s everything you need to know about Nashville:
Key Transactions and Player News
Key Additions - F Aké Loba (Monterrey), F CJ Sapong (Chicago Fire FC)
Key Departures - F David Accam (Hammarby), CM Derrick Jones (Houston Dynamo), CF Dominique Badji (Colorado Rapids)
Player News - Sapong has been on fire as of late, scoring a brace in Nashville’s 5-2 win over D.C. United on Sunday and making MLS Team of the Week. Sapong has eight goals on the season, with seven of them coming in nine appearances since July 3. DP attacking midfielder Hany Mukhtar, meanwhile, scored on Sunday for the first time since his six-minute hat trick against Chicago on July 17. Mukhtar has eight goals and six assists on the season.
Take a look at Nashville’s full roster here.
Nashville has followed up their successful inaugural season, in which they finished seventh in the East and reached the Eastern Conference semifinals, with an even better start to 2021. The Tennesseans have lost just twice in 19 matches and sport not only a +12 goal differential, fifth best in MLS, but the second-best expected goal differential in the league at +12.9. However, warning signs loom – this Wednesday’s game will be Nashville’s 13th home game of the season and they’ll finish the year with 10 out of 14 on the road. Nashville has yet to win an away game this year, with two losses and five draws on their ledger.
Orlando City and Nashville split three results right down the middle last season, with a win for each side as well as a draw. Orlando actually picked up a point in their lone game at Nissan Stadium, with a Benji Michel long-range strike enough for a 1-1 draw. Nashville did leave a sour taste in the Lions’ mouths in their final meeting of 2020, however, when Mukhtar and Jhonder Cádiz both struck late to steal a 3-2 victory in the regular-season finale at Exploria Stadium.
Rasmussen University Fact
Wednesday will be a big day in the Eastern Conference. Every one of the top six teams will face each other on the night. Along with fourth-place Orlando and third-place Nashville matching up, first-place New England (13-3-4, 43 pts) hosts sixth-place D.C. (8-8-3, 27 pts), while fifth-place Philadelphia (7-5-7, 28 pts) squares off against second-place NYCFC (9-5-4, 31 pts).