Orlando City

The Road Ahead: Everything you need to know for Orlando City vs. Atlanta United

Orlando City (5-4-4, 19 points) vs. Atlanta United (6-4-4, 22 points)

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando

TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (subscription required)

Radio: Real Radio 104.1 (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)

Tickets: View seats

A look at "The Road Ahead" presented by Audi as the Lions return home to meet the Five Stripes at Exploria Stadium:

Milestone watch

-- Oscar Pareja picked up his 49th win with Orlando City on Saturday night as the Lions took down in-state foes Inter Miami 3-1 in Fort Lauderdale. Pareja, the winningest head coach in Orlando City’s MLS era with more than twice as many wins as any other, can get win number 50 this weekend against another top rival in Atlanta United.

-- Ercan Kara has scored in three consecutive games, giving him the team lead with five goals in all competitions this year. Kara can tie the club record for consecutive league matches with a goal if he scores against Atlanta. Dom Dwyer, Nani, and Daryl Dike each had a run of four straight games with a goal.

-- Facundo Torres’ next start will be his 50th in all competitions for Orlando City. Torres has 15 goals and 14 assists in his Lions career, including assists in two of his last three matches.

-- Rafael Santos became the fourth Lion to score his first goal with the club in 2023, joining Iván Angulo, Martín Ojeda, and Duncan McGuire.

Stats and storylines

-- Kara continues to light it up for Orlando. The forward is now fourth in MLS among qualifying players in goals per 90 minutes and tenth in non-penalty expected goals per 90 minutes. Kara was named to the MLS Team of the Matchday for his performance.

-- Oscar Pareja joined Kara as the Coach of the Matchday for leading his side to the victory in Fort Lauderdale.

-- Not to be outdone, Kara’s fellow striker McGuire picked up an assist on Rafael Santos’ goal on Saturday, continuing a torrid start to his professional career. Kara and McGuire have identical 4 G/2 A stat lines in MLS play.

-- Martín Ojeda returned to the scoresheet in a major way against Miami, coming off the bench and recording both a goal and a secondary assist in just 26 minutes of play. Ojeda has 3 G/4 A in 817 minutes so far in his debut season and ranks 16th among qualified players in non-penalty expected goals and assists per 90 minutes.

Series history

All-time vs. Atlanta United - 3-8-6, -7 GD (2-5-2, - GD home)

MLS only vs. Atlanta United - 3-9-6, -9 GD (2-6-2, - GD home)

2017 - L 0-1 (H), D 1-1 (A), D 3-3 (A)

2018 - L 1-2 (H), L 4-0 (A), L 1-2 (H)

2019 - L 1-0 (A), L 0-2 (H/USOC), L 0-1 (H)

2020 - W 1-3 (A), D 1-1 (H), D 0-0 (A), W 4-1 (H)

2021 - D 0-0 (H), W 3-2 (H), L 3-0 (A)

2022 - D 1-1 (A), L 0-1 (H)

Meet the opponent: Atlanta United

-- That record up there may look pretty ugly, but Orlando City has turned it around against Atlanta since Oscar Pareja took charge of the club. The Lions are 3-2-4 against the Five Stripes under Papi after going 0-7-2 in all competitions prior to his arrival.

-- After silencing former Atlanta star Josef Martínez last weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando will look to deal with the dual threat of attacking midfielder Thiago Almada and striker Giorgos Giakoumakis. Almada has 6 G/8 A in just 12 games, leading the league in the latter category. Giakoumakis has eight goals in just 527 minutes, good for a league-best 1.36 goals per 90.

-- With Martínez gone to Miami, Atlanta’s new leading goalscorer against Orlando City is Derrick Etienne Jr., a winger signed in free agency this offseason from Columbus. Etienne has four goals and an assist against Orlando in his career.

-- Orlando City midfielder Felipe Martins has scored twice against the Five Stripes. Mauricio Pereyra and Kyle Smith also have goals against Atlanta, with Pereyra scoring a free kick at Mercedes-Benz Stadium last year.

-- Atlanta DP winger Luiz Araujo was set to play against Orlando one last time before his pending sale to Flamengo in June -- until he was sent off against Chicago last weekend. Instead, Araujo will serve a one-match suspension and miss out on the game.

Don't miss Kickoff -60, airing one hour before Orlando City's match against Atlanta, exclusively on the LionNation App. Join host Gabrielle Amado and Orlando City’s English-language radio talents Evan Weston and Paul Shaw as they break down the upcoming match, with special guests appearing regularly throughout the season.

Fans can download the LionNation App at the link here.