Preview_7-22

ORLANDO, Fla. (July 21, 2021) - Orlando City SC (6-3-4, 22 points) returns to the field on Thursday, July 22, set to take on Philadelphia Union (6-3-5, 23 points) in a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff at Exploria Stadium. 

The match, presented by Disney, will be nationally broadcast on ESPN and ESPN Deportes while being transmitted on 96.9 The Game in English and Acción 97.9FM, 810AM in Spanish. Tickets are available here or by calling (855) ORL-CITY. 

“[Philadelphia is] a rival that we know well, facing them last year as well in the bubble. We recognize the potential that they have as a team that had a good season last year and in this one fighting with us in those [top] positions,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said. “For us, the same commitment, the same responsibility. We’re eager to come back to our place and get points and keep fighting for the highest spots in the conference. We’re getting ready for this opportunity after a good result in Toronto and a good performance, so we’re optimistic.”

Thursday’s match will serve as the first between the Lions and Union in the calendar year and the first since the MLS is Back Tournament, when the two sides battled to a 1-1 draw at ESPN Wide World of Sports with Mauricio Pereyra finding the back of the net for City. 

The Lions enter the week after earning a road point at Toronto this past weekend, playing to a 1-1 draw against the Reds. Jozy Alitdore opened the scoring in the 72nd minute in his return to the pitch, with Nani equalizing from the spot five minutes later for his seventh finish of the year.

The Lions’ captain leads the side with his seven goals this year, followed by Tesho Akindele with three. Akindele serves as one of three members of the squad tied for the team-lead in assists this season along with Pereyra and Chris Mueller, each with four. 

Philadelphia comes to Orlando following a 2-1 victory over D.C. United on Saturday night. Sergio Santos opened the scoring in the 11th minute for the Union before Yamil Asad equalized from the spot in the 51st. Kacper Przybylko scored the eventual game-winner for the home side in the 83rd minute, forcing the Black and Red home empty-handed.

Przybylko and Cory Burke lead the Union with four goals this season, followed by Santos with three. Jamiro Monteiro holds the team lead with four assists to his credit.

Following Thursday’s match, the Lions face a quick turnaround, traveling to take on New York City FC on Sunday, July 25 at Yankee Stadium.

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