Orlando City (2-2-2, 8 points) at Minnesota United (3-1-2, 11 points)
When: Saturday, 8:30 p.m.
Where: Allianz Field, St. Paul, Minn.
TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (free match)
Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Accion 97.9 FM (Spanish)
Following a two-week break, Orlando City heads back on the road Saturday to face Minnesota United aiming to right the ship and bounce back from a loss to Nashville SC.
Here's a look at The Road Ahead for the Lions presented by Audi:
– Orlando City is looking for its first-ever win at Allianz Field this weekend. The Lions have a loss and a draw in their two previous visits to Minnesota. This weekend will mark Orlando’s first time at Allianz Field since August 2019.
– Robin Jansson became the first player in Orlando City history to cross the 11,000 minute mark during the April 1 match against Nashville SC. Mauricio Pereyra also reached 8,000 minutes for Orlando City in all competitions during that game.
– Pedro Gallese is now two appearances away from tying Joe Bendik for the most all-time among Orlando City goalkeepers.
Stats and storylines
– Orlando City was the only team not to play during Matchday 7 last weekend, with the Lions getting a bye week due to the odd number of teams in the league. Orlando City is 2-1-1 with at least two weeks between regular season games under Oscar Pareja.
– César Araújo ranks 4th among all MLS players in American Soccer Analysis’ Goals Added (G+) metric, a catch-all statistic that attempts to account for all actions a player makes during a match. Araújo’s high score is bolstered by his elite interrupting grade (2nd in MLS behind Toronto’s Matt Hedges) and well above-average passing and fouling grades. The three players ahead of Araújo are LA Galaxy’s Gaston Brugman, Seattle’s Jordan Morris, and Atlanta’s Thiago Almada.
– Martín Ojeda currently leads MLS in shots per 90 minutes and ranks second in total shots with 26, three behind Sporting Kansas City’s Erik Thommy, who has played 151 more minutes than Ojeda. Ojeda is third in the league in shooting G+ behind Thommy and Vancouver’s Brian White.
– The future looks bright for Orlando City at the moment – Orlando City B has started the 2023 MLS NEXT Pro season a perfect 3-0-0, one of just four teams in the league without a blemish to begin the campaign. OCB has conceded just twice in three games and sports five different goalscorers, four of whom are on first team contracts (Alex Freeman, Favian Loyola, Jack Lynn, and Abdi Salim).
All-time vs. Minnesota - 1-2-1, -1 GD (0-1-1, -1 GD away)
MLS only vs. Minnesota, 0-2-1, -3 GD (0-1-1, -1 GD away)
- 2017 - L 1-0 (A)
- 2018 - L 0-2 (H)
- 2019 - D 1-1 (A)
- 2020 - W 3-1 (N/MLS is Back)
Meet the opponent: Minnesota United
– By Saturday, it’ll have been 983 days since the last time Orlando City played Minnesota United. That match came in the MLS is Back Tournament semifinals on August 6, 2020, when the Lions defeated the Loons 3-1 in the Disney bubble to advance to their first-ever cup final. Nani scored a first-half brace in the game, while Benji Michel added a late goal to end any hope of a Minnesota comeback.
– Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath was Orlando City’s first-ever head coach, taking charge of the club for its debut season in USL Pro in 2011 and maintaining the post through the move to MLS in 2015. Heath won two USL Pro championships with the club and won more than 100 games with the Lions between USL and MLS.
– The only players on the Orlando City roster who have ever faced Minnesota in an MLS game are Felipe, Mauricio Pereyra, Robin Jansson, and Kyle Smith. Minnesota has just two players who have faced the Lions more than three times – Wil Trapp, who has played Orlando 11 times, and Kemar Lawrence, who has battled City on nine occasions.