Orlando City (5-4-5, 20 points) at New York Red Bulls (4-5-7, 19 points)
When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (free match, no subscription required)
Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)
Official Heineken Silver Watch Party: Fixtion (15 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32801)
Everything you need to know for Orlando City at New York Red Bulls in "The Road Ahead" driven by Audi:
-- Orlando City captain Mauricio Pereyra’s next start will be his 100th in all competitions for the Lions. Pereyra is the club’s all-time assist leader with 38, nearly 50% more than Nani in second place (26).
-- After coming agonizingly close to his 50th win as Orlando City head coach against Atlanta, Oscar Pareja will give it another go this weekend against the Red Bulls. Pareja already has a win over New York this season, back on February 25.
-- César Araújo’s next start will be his 50th in all competitions for Orlando.
Stats and storylines
-- While the Lions weren’t quite able to secure a clean sheet in either of the past two weeks, they certainly limited the chances of their two geographical rivals. Miami and Atlanta combined for just 0.87 expected goals across the two games. Orlando now sits just outside the league’s top ten in expected goals against.
-- City’s improvement in the underlying numbers has coincided with Wilder Cartagena’s insertion into the starting lineup over the past several matches. Cartagena was all over the field on Saturday against Atlanta, winning 10 of 16 duels and completing 50 of 53 passes while notching five tackles (four of which won the ball), seven recoveries, and three fouls won. The Peruvian led the side in every one of those statistical categories.
-- Kyle Smith scored his fourth career goal for Orlando City on Saturday. Oddly enough, two of Smith’s four goals have come against Atlanta United, with the defender tallying his first in purple against the Five Stripes in a 3-2 win in 2021.
-- Orlando City enters the week as MLS’ best road team. At 3-1-2, the Lions have the highest points per game in away matches of any team in the league. The Lions have outscored opponents 5-1 in their past three halves of play on the road.
All-time vs. Red Bulls - 8-9-2, 0 GD (3-5-1, -2 GD away)
MLS only vs. Red Bulls - 7-9-2, -4 GD (3-5-1, -2 GD away)
- 2015 - L 0-2 (H), W 2-5 (A)
- 2016 - L 3-2 (A), D 1-1 (H)
- 2017 - W 1-0 (H), L 3-1 (A)
- 2018 - W 4-3 (H), L 1-0 (A)
- 2019 - W 0-1 (A), L 0-1 (H)
- 2020 - W 3-1 (H), D 1-1 (A)
- 2021 - L 2-1 (A), L 1-2 (H)
- 2022 - L 0-3 (H), W 5-1 (H/USOC), W 0-1 (A)
- 2023 - W 1-0 (H)
Meet the opponent: New York Red Bulls
-- Orlando City goes for the season sweep this weekend after taking down the Red Bulls in the 2023 home opener. Facundo Torres’ second half penalty kick was enough to see the Lions through to a 1-0 victory, extending their unbeaten run on opening day to nine consecutive seasons.
-- It was Torres again for Orlando last August at Red Bull Arena, as the Uruguayan potted one from Júnior Urso in the 17th minute to snatch three points from New York. The Lions were out-shot 15-2 in the game, but the Red Bulls only managed to put one strike on target.
-- Overall, Orlando City has won three in a row against the Red Bulls, including last summer’s 5-1 romp in the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinals. Torres also scored a goal in that game, giving him three straight matches with a tally against New York.
-- Orlando City midfielder Felipe Martins played 125 games for the Red Bulls from 2015-17, scoring ten goals. Felipe also has a goal and six assists against the Red Bulls in 14 appearances for various other clubs.
-- The Red Bulls have made the MLS Cup Playoffs a record 13 times in a row, but currently sit in 13th place in the Eastern Conference entering the week, albeit just two points back of the red line. New York has fired manager Gerhard Struber and replaced him with former New Mexico United head coach Troy Lesesne for the remainder of the campaign.