The Lions enter Saturday’s matchup on a four-game unbeaten streak against the Reds, including two victories at Exploria Stadium a year ago. The sides first faced off on May 22 where Canadian front man Tesho Akindele net an eventual game-winner in the 12th minute in a 1-0 victory for the Lions, followed by a road match for City that was played in downtown Orlando in front of empty stands, seeing the “road” side take a 3-2 victory behind a game-winner from Júnior Urso.
About Tuesday Night
In City’s last match, the side punched its ticket to the next round of the U.S. Open Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union. The fixture saw Homegrown defender Mikey Halliday play his first minutes of the campaign, starting the contest at right back, while fellow Homegrown Mason Stajduhar posted three saves in between the sticks in what served as his third start in net in all competitions in 2022.
The Big Man
Ercan Kara found the back of the net for the Lions on Tuesday evening in what served as his debut in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, firing in a deflected ball into the area for the side’s first goal of the night. Kara now sits tied for the team lead in goals scored in all competitions this campaign with Júnior Urso and Alexandre Pato, each with three.
The First for Andrés
Andrés Perea scored his first goal of the calendar year on Tuesday night, netting the Lions first finish from outside the box in 2022 with a shot fired past Matt Freese into the left side of the net. Perea now sits with three goals as a Lion, two of which have served as game-winners at Exploria Stadium against the Philadelphia Union.
The Lions hold one of the best road records in Major League Soccer, dropping just one result away from home this campaign. The side has taken a pair of shutout victories from the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew, while battling to draws with Chicago Fire and the Portland Timbers.
- Tesho Akindele is two goals away from 20 in his Orlando City career.
- Benji Michel is three goals away from 20.
Countdown to 100
- Tesho Akindele is four games away from 100 appearances for Orlando City.
- Benji Michel is six games away from 100.
- Ruan is eight games away from 100.