In their final road trip before returning to the Fortress, Orlando City (8-9-6, 30 points) will travel to Red Bull Arena for a crucial match against the New York Bulls (11-9-2, 35 points). With their next two matches against Eastern Conference opponents, the Lions have a chance to get right back into the playoff picture.
Read below for an in-depth analysis of Orlando City’s next opponent:
The Red Bulls are coming off a 3-2 loss to rivals NYCFC at Yankee Stadium this past weekend. Two Bradley Wright-Phillips goals were not enough for the Red Bulls; as David Villa’s hat-trick performance sealed three points for the Blues. Before losing to NYCFC, the Red Bulls had been on a surge. Four consecutive wins during the month of July saw the Red Bulls climb the Eastern Conference standings into playoff position.
Goals have been aplenty for the Red Bulls as of late. Averaging 3.4 goals per game over its last five MLS matches, New York has outscored its opponents 17 to 6 during that span. Bradley Wright-Phillips leads the Red Bulls with 13 goals in 2017, but players like Sacha Kljestan and Alex Muyl are also serious threats out of the midfield.
That being said, Orlando City enacted a winning formula to keep New York from scoring any goals the last time these two teams met.
The Red Bulls back line showed some signs of instability against NYCFC. Sal Zizzo was red carded after receiving his second yellow deep into the second half -- which means he will be sidelined for the match this Saturday. Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles was beaten at his near post for Villa and NYCFC’s second goal -- which was a critical point of the game to level the score at 2-2.