ORLANDO, Fla. (August 24, 2017) - Orlando City SC (8-10-7, 31 points) will host the Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10-9-5, 35 points) on Saturday, Aug. 26, at Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
The match will be locally televised on WRDQ TV27 and transmitted in English on Real Radio 104.1 FM and in Spanish on La Nueva 990 AM. The pregame, halftime and postgame shows will be streamed on the LionNation app and Facebook Live.
“The mentality and the spirit the group has been bringing [to training] has been second to none. I really believe what I say and say what I believe that I think we’re very, very close,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “That’s what I think the difference has been in my opinion is that we’ve gotten to the end of a lot of games and we need to manage the match better. We’ve gotten to points in every game where you have to suffer a little bit. It’s about how you manage that suffering time as well as how you flip the momentum.”
City is coming off a 1-1 draw against Columbus Crew SC. Columbus took the lead in the first half when Lalas Abubakar headed in a Waylon Francis’ free kick delivery. The Lions equalized in the 67th minute when Cristian Higuita played a perfect through ball between the legs of his defender and Giles Barnes shot straight to the far post and into the net. Orlando City dominated much of the match and outshot Columbus 21-4.
This is the first meeting of the season between Orlando City and Vancouver. On July 16, 2016, the Lions picked up a point on their first ever visit to BC Place in a 2-2 draw. Júlio Baptista opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he finished into the right bottom corner of the net assisted by Luke Boden. Nicolas Mezquida and Masato Kudo scored eight minutes apart to take the lead in the first half. Cyle Larin equalized five minutes into the second half when he headed an in-swinging ball from Kevin Molino to earn his team-leading ninth goal.
Orlando City captain Kaká will be available for selection after serving his one-game suspension against Columbus.
Saturday’s match could include the matchup of Giles Barnes and Brek Shea against their former sides. Barnes featured for Vancouver in 10 matches in 2016, scoring two goals and adding an assist after joining them midway through the season, while Shea scored three goals and registered six assists in 46 appearances after becoming one of City’s first MLS signings in 2014. Both players were exchanged on Feb. 25 before the 2017 campaign.
The Whitecaps earned a point on Wednesday night when they faced the Seattle Sounders to a 1-1 draw. Seattle took the lead in the first half with a penalty kick from Nicolas Lodeiro. Fredy Montero scored the equalizer in the 64th minute after going down to 10 men when Tony Tchani was sent off with a second yellow.
Montero leads the Whitecaps with 11 goals in 24 appearances and Christian Bolaños with seven assists in 18 games.
Orlando City enters the match in eighth place, four points behind seventh-place Atlanta and five points behind sixth-place Montreal. The team has nine games remaining, four of which will be at Orlando City Stadium.
Orlando City will travel to Boston to begin their four-game road trip when they take on the New England Revolution on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET. The Lions will then visit D.C. United, Atlanta United and the Portland Timbers before returning to Orlando City Stadium on Wednesday, Sept. 27. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.