PREVIEW: Orlando City Travels to Atlanta for Final 2022 Heineken Rivalry Week Matchup


ORLANDO, Fla. (July 16, 2022) - Orlando City SC (8-7-5, 29 points) travels north for a featured Heineken Rivalry Week match, set to take on its neighbors to the north Atlanta United FC (6-8-5, 23 points) on Sunday, July 17 in a nationally televised fixture on ABC and ESPN Deportes. Kickoff for the match is set for 3 p.m. ET at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

In addition to being nationally broadcast, Sunday's match will also be transmitted on 96.9 The Game in English and Acción 97.9 in Spanish.

“Atlanta is a team that has been battling with inconsistencies, which is normal in a league that is very extended,” said Head Coach Oscar Pareja. “It seems like they, like us, are trying to find their balance and trying to find a few games with a win and positioning [themselves] in the highest part of the table. I think we are all in on that duty. [They are] a team that has very crafty players and creative players. [They are] a team that has invested a lot in that talent. We haven't faced them this year, but we think it is a great opportunity to go to their place and fight for those three points especially after our two last good results and our growing performance in the last two [matches]. We are getting ready. It is a short period of preparation as you know with these games coming too fast, but we are good. We are optimistic like always.

Sunday will serve as the Lions' first meeting with The Five Stripes this campaign, with the two sides playing to an even 1-1-1 record a year ago. City opened its 2021 campaign against Atlanta United on April 17, 2021, battling to a scoreless stalemate at Exploria Stadium. In the subsequent meetings, the home side would go on to take the victory.

The Lions come into the weekend following a 1-1 draw at the Colorado Rapids at the midweek. City struck first off the foot of Facundo Torres in the 22nd minute, but were unable to keep the Rapids off the board with Gyasi Zardes finding the back of the net in the second half.

Torres now leads the side in total goal contributions in 2022 with 11 in all competitions, trailing only Ercan Kara in goals scored. Kara leads the Lions with seven in MLS play, followed by Torres with four. 

Atlanta comes into the match following a  2-1 win against Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night. A first-half brace from Ronaldo Cisneros was enough to give The Five Stripes the midweek victory at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Cisneros now leads Atlanta with six goals on the season, followed by Josef Martínez with five. Thiago Almada and Marcelino Moreno sit tied for the team lead in assists, each with five to their credit.

Following Sunday’s match, the Lions return home for a FC Series fixture, taking on Arsenal FC of the English Premier league on Wednesday, July 20. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium.