Orlando City (7-5-5, 26 points) vs Philadelphia Union (9-5-3, 30 points)
When: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla
Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM (Spanish)
Everything you need to know for Orlando City vs Philadelphia Union in "The Road Ahead" driven by Audi:
-- Kyle Smith’s next appearance will be his 125th for Orlando City in all competitions, which would make him just the third player in the club’s MLS era to reach that milestone. His next start will be his 80th. Smith is eligible for selection on Wednesday after serving a yellow card accumulation suspension last weekend.
-- With a win over Philadelphia, the Lions will have consecutive home wins in MLS play for the first time since August 28-31, 2022, when Orlando saw off both NYCFC and Seattle in a three-day span. Never a team lacking drama, City scored the winner in second half stoppage time in both of those matches.
-- Orlando City saw a young player make his first team debut for the second straight game, as Juninho made a late cameo and nearly scored at New England. Juninho’s maiden voyage followed Alejandro Granados’ history-making debut last weekend against Colorado.
Stats and storylines
-- While Orlando City will still be without their internationals for Wednesday’s match, including goalkeeper Pedro Gallese, forward Facundo Torres, and midfielder Wilder Cartagena, the Lions are set to receive a double boost with both Antonio Carlos and Kyle Smith eligible to return from yellow card accumulation suspensions.
-- Orlando’s underlying defensive performance continues to bode well. Despite some clinical finishing and a lucky bounce or two from the Revs, last week’s three goals were conceded on just 0.98 xG. The Lions have not allowed more than 1.19 expected goals in any of their past five matches and have held their opponents under one in four of those. Overall, Orlando City ranks 8th in MLS in fewest xG against.
-- Duncan McGuire notched yet another goal over the weekend, giving the rookie five for the year in just 417 MLS minutes. If McGuire had enough minutes to qualify, he would be tied with Atlanta’s Giorgos Giakoumakis for the league lead in goals per 90 minutes. McGuire would also rank third in MLS in non-penalty expected goals and assists per 90.
-- Robin Jansson currently ranks fourth in MLS by American Soccer Analysis’ catch-all goals added metric. Jansson scores nearly 50% higher than any other player in the league in the “Interrupting” category, which covers defensive actions like tackles, interceptions, blocks, clearances, and recoveries.
All-time vs. Philadelphia - 6-8-5, -9 GD (3-2-3, 0 GD home)
MLS only vs. Philadelphia - 5-7-5, -9 GD (2-2-3, -1 GD home)
- 2015 - D 0-0 (H), L 1-0 (A)
- 2016 - L 2-1 (A), D 2-2 (H), W 0-2 (A)
- 2017 - W 2-1 (H), L 6-1 (A)
- 2018 - W 0-2 (A), L 1-0 (A/USOC), D 2-2 (H)
- 2019 - L 1-3 (H), D 2-2 (A)
- 2020 - D 1-1 (N)
- 2021 - W 2-1 (H), L 3-1 (A)
- 2022 - W 2-1 (H/USOC), L 0-1 (H), L 5-1 (A)
- 2023 - W 1-2 (A)
Meet the opponent: Philadelphia Union
-- Last time we saw Philadelphia back on March 25, they were in the midst of the longest home winning streak MLS had seen in more than 20 years. Orlando City mercilessly cut that run short, scoring twice in the opening ten minutes and holding on for a huge 2-1 away victory. It was the first win away to Philadelphia for the Lions since 2018.
-- Mason Stajduhar started that game for Orlando, as well as last year’s Open Cup victory over the Union. Overall, Wednesday would be Stajduhar’s fourth appearance against Philadelphia in the past 14 months if he starts.
-- Martín Ojeda and Iván Angulo both scored in the Lions’ victory back in March.
-- Like the Lions, the Union are down some key international players for Wednesday night. Goalkeeper Andre Blake (Jamaica) and attacking midfielder Dániel Gazdag (Hungary) will both be away, though defensive midfielder José Martínez (Venezuela) could be back after going unused in Venezuela’s last game on the window on Sunday.