Orlando City (2-1-2, 8 points) vs. Nashville SC (2-2-1, 7 points)
When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando
TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (subscription required)
Radio: 96.9 The Game (English), Accion 97.9 FM (Spanish)
Tickets: View Seats
Following an impressive road win over the Union, which snapped Philadelphia's league-best, 24-match unbeaten streak at home, Orlando City returns to Exploria Stadium on Saturday ready to build on the result.
Here's a look at The Road Ahead for the Lions presented by Audi:
- Pedro Gallese’s next appearance for Orlando City will be his 90th in all competitions. Gallese is three appearances away from tying Joe Bendik for the most of any Orlando City goalkeeper in the club’s MLS era. El Pulpo already holds the club’s clean sheet record with 24.
- With a goal against Nashville this weekend, Martín Ojeda will be the first Lion with goals in three consecutive MLS games since Daryl Dike scored in four straight to close the 2021 season.
- Robin Jansson’s next appearance for Orlando City will be his 125th in all competitions. Jansson is two appearances from tying Chris Mueller for the club’s MLS era record.
- Rodrigo Schlegel’s next appearance for Orlando City will be his 80th in all competitions. Should be start the game, it would be his 60th start.
Stats and storylines
- This weekend, Orlando City became the first team to win an MLS regular season game at Philadelphia since September 2021, knocking off the Union 2-1 behind goals from Martín Ojeda and Iván Angulo. It had been 275 days since Philadelphia had even dropped points at home – had they won, they would have matched the 2002 San Jose Earthquakes for the longest home winning streak in league history.
- Ojeda was named to the MLS Team of the Matchday presented by Audi for his stellar performance in Orlando’s win over Philadelphia this past Saturday. The Argentine is leading MLS in shots despite playing fewer minutes than the next 11 players on the list.
- Rookie forward Duncan McGuire currently ranks 10th in MLS in expected goals plus assists per 90 minutes, according to Football Reference.
- Orlando City will play a twin bill with the Orlando Pride this weekend at Exploria. The Lions take the pitch Saturday night against Nashville, while the Pride will follow with their home opener against Angel City FC on Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
All-time vs. Nashville - 1-2-5, -1 GD (1-1-2, +1 GD home)
MLS only vs. Nashville, 1-1-4, +1 GD (1-1-1, +1 GD home)
- 2020 - W 3-1 (H), D 1-1 (A), L 2-3 (H)
- 2021 - D 1-1 (A), D 2-2 (A), D 1-1 (H), L 3-1 (A/MLS Cup Playoffs)
- 2022 - D 1-1; W 6-5 on PKs (H/USOC)
When the man comes around
- Orlando City and Nashville resume their rivalry in 2023 after the Coyotes spent last season in the Western Conference. The two sides met seven times in Nashville’s first two years in MLS, with Orlando winning the inaugural matchup behind a Daryl Dike brace while Nashville got the last laugh in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.
- Orlando earned some revenge for that playoff loss last season, knocking Nashville out of the 2022 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals in dramatic fashion. Rodrigo Schlegel scored in the 94th minute to cancel out Hany Mukhtar’s opener, allowing Pedro Gallese to do his thing in penalties and send the Lions through. City would go on to win the entire tournament, lifting its first trophy in the club’s MLS era.
- Nashville are led by Mukhtar, the 2022 Landon Donovan MLS MVP who has racked up 39 goals and 23 assists over the past two seasons. Mukhtar has led MLS in goal contributions in each of the past two years and has 5 G/4 A in seven games against Orlando, including playoffs.
- The Coyotes also sport United States men’s national team defender Walker Zimmerman, who started every match at the 2022 FIFA World Cup for the Americans, as well as forward C.J. Sapong, who briefly played for Orlando City in USL and has seven career MLS goals against the Lions.