Last Time in The City Beautiful
The Lions last took on The Five Stripes in downtown Orlando on July 30 of last year, with the side overcoming two separate deficits to earn a 3-2 victory at home. Kyle Smith scored his first goal as a Lion in the match, while former City forwards Silvester van der Water and Nani each found the back of the net as well. Homegrown goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar made his MLS debut in between the sticks, since having appeared seven times in league play for the Lions.
Another for Andrés
Andrés Perea found the back of the net for the second time this campaign on Saturday night in what also served as his first goal in league play in 2022. Both of Perea’s finishes have come against the Philadelphia Union, scoring the eventual game-winner on May 10 in the Round of 32 of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, a trophy the side eventually lifted with a 3-0 victory over Sacramento Republic FC last week.
Protecting the Fortress
City will look for its fourth-consecutive victory in front of its home crowd on Wednesday evening, having taken a pair of stoppage-time wins in its last two league matches followed by last week’s victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final. Tesho Akindele found the back of the net in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time on Aug. 28 against NYCFC to win that match for the Lions, followed by Kyle Smith three days later with a 91st-minute game-winner to complete the comeback as City defeated Seattle Sounders FC by a score of 3-2.
The Last Meeting
City last faced its neighbors to the north on July 17 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a match that resulted in a 1-1 draw. Mauricio Pereyra scored the lone goal for the Lions in that match, curling his strike into the top left corner of the net for what served as his first goal for the side in 2022.
Júnior Urso continued his impressive form in the attack this past weekend, adding his eighth assist in all competitions this campaign on Perea’s second-half goal. Prior to 2022, “The Bear” had tallied just three helpers in purple, now sitting with 13 goal contributions in the calendar year, trailing only Lions’ Designated Player Facundo Torres.
- Orlando’s next clean sheet, its ninth, will mark a new single-season club record.
- Mauricio Pereyra will become the first player in Orlando City history to post multiple double-digit assist seasons in MLS with his next regular season assist.
- Pereyra is two assists away from setting the new single-season record for assists in an MLS season. Pereyra’s 2021 season currently holds the record with three others (Kaká 2016, Yoshimar Yotún 2018, Nani 2019) at 10.
- Ercan Kara is one regular-season goal away from reaching double digits for the season.
- Kara would be the eighth Lion to reach that mark, the others being Cyle Larin (3x), Kevin Molino, Dom Dwyer, Nani (2x), Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller, and Daryl Dike.
- João Moutinho’s next start will serve as his 70th as a Lion.