The Big Man is Back
Forward Daryl Dike made his return to the Lions’ starting lineup on Saturday night for the first time since July 3, making his presence felt with a goal and an assist in the contest. Dike bodied off a Columbus defender before roofing a shot for his third goal of the season to open the scoring in the contest and would then go on to earn the assist on Júnior Urso’s game-winner. With the performance, Dike earned MLS Team of the Week honors for the fourth time in his young professional career in what served as the second time he’s recorded multiple goal contributions in a game this season.
Silvester van der Water found the back of the net this past weekend for the third time this season, rifling in a shot that dipped past Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room to double the Lions’ advantage in the first half. In addition to the Dutch winger’s three goals this season, he has also tallied three assists in 17 appearances since joining the Club ahead of the 2021 campaign.
Bear on the Loose
Júnior Urso netted the deciding finish for the Lions on Saturday night over the Crew, good for his third goal of the year and the second of which to serve as a game-winner. Urso did the same on June 19 against Toronto FC, combining with Chris Mueller off a Toronto turnover to give the Lions the victory over the Reds. In total, “The Bear” has scored six goals since joining the Lions prior to the 2020 season, earning Team of the Week Bench honors this past week for his performance.
Back in Net
Goalkeeper Adam Grinwis made his 2021 debut this past weekend, starting in between the posts for the first time since signing up for his second stint with the Club on July 31, having to make just one save in the contest. In total, Grinwis has made 10 appearances for the Lions across all competitions, with Saturday serving as his first since the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Semifinal on Aug. 6, 2019 against Atlanta United.
Facing the Five Stripes
The Lions are currently on a six-game unbeaten run against Friday’s opposition dating back to Aug. 29, 2020. Through their six previous contests, City holds a 3-0-3 record against Atlanta, the last matchup between the two coming just over a month ago in what resulted in a 3-2 victory for the Lions. Having to erase two separate deficits in the contest, Nani would net the game-winner in the 87th minute to give the home side all three points and start the Club’s current unbeaten run, now at seven games.
Let’s Make it Eight
City is currently riding a seven-game unbeaten run in league play, one that started in its last matchup with Friday’s opposition on July 30. Through its last seven games, City holds a 3-0-4 record with a +3 goal differential. The run surpassed the Lions’ best unbeaten run of the year with their victory over Columbus, besting the six-game unbeaten stretch that the Club rattled off to start the year. Since July 30, six different Lions have found the back of the net in Silvester van der Water, Nani, Júnior Urso, Antonio Carlos, Benji Michel and Daryl Dike.
History for Profe
With his 23rd victory at the helm on Saturday, Orlando City Head Coach Oscar Pareja became the Club’s leader in all-time wins, surpassing former Lions head coach Jason Kreis. Pareja earned the victory in his 52nd match as manager, 13 less than Kreis who coached 65 in his Orlando City tenure. Since arriving ahead of the 2020 campaign, Pareja holds a record of 23-11-18.
- The Lions’ next clean sheet will set a new single-season record for eight shutouts in a campaign, besting the previous mark of seven set in the 2015, 2017 and 2019 MLS campaigns.
- Nani is one goal away from 10 for the 2021 season, which would make him the second player in club history after Cyle Larin to record multiple double-digit goal seasons for the club in the MLS era.
- Nani’s next assist will be his 25th for Orlando City. He is currently the club record holder in the category.
- Tesho Akindele is two goals away from 20 in his Orlando City career.
- Mauricio Pereyra’s next assist will set a new Orlando City high for his career (9).
- Ruan’s next assist will be the 10th of his Orlando City career.