Orlando City

The Road Ahead: Storylines, series history and more ahead of Orlando City SC at Atlanta United

Road Ahead Web

Orlando City (0-2-1) at Atlanta United (1-1-0)

When: Sunday, 7:00 p.m. ET

Where: Mercedez-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA

Radio: Real Radio 104.1, (English), Mega 97.1 (Spanish)

Everything you need to know for the Lions' away match against Atlanta in "The Road Ahead" driven by Audi:

Milestones

- Facundo Torres’ goal against Tigres was the 30th of his Orlando City career, making him the third Lion ever to reach that milestone. Torres’ next goal will equal Nani for second on the club’s all-time scoring charts.

- Martín Ojeda’s next appearance will be his 50th for Orlando City.

- Duncan McGuire’s next goal, his 19th for the Lions, will tie him with Daryl Dike and Benji Michel for 8th in Orlando City history.

- Kyle Smith is two appearances away from becoming the second Lion to reach 150 games played for Orlando City, after captain Robin Jansson.

Stats & Storylines

- Controversy ruled the day at El Volcán on Tuesday night, as a goal that may or may not have crossed the line proved crucial for Tigres to advance to the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals by an eventual 4-2 scoreline. Facundo Torres and Martín Ojeda both scored penalty kick goals for Orlando in the defeat.

- The Lions have little time to lick their wounds, as they head up to Georgia to face one of their biggest rivals in MLS. City is no stranger to bouncing back at the Benz, though – the Lions won 2-1 at Atlanta United last season a week after a 4-0 loss against Real Salt Lake. 

- Orlando will look to avoid losing three consecutive MLS games for the first time since July 23-August 6, 2022. The Lions did not even lose twice in a row all of last season.

Series History

All-time vs. Atlanta United - 4-9-7, -8 GD (2-3-4, -5 GD away) 

MLS only vs. Atlanta United - 4-8-7, -6 GD (2-3-4, -5 GD away)

  1. 2017 - L 0-1 (H), D 1-1 (A), D 3-3 (A)
  1. 2018 - L 1-2 (H), L 4-0 (A), L 1-2 (H)
  1. 2019 - L 1-0 (A), L 0-2 (H/USOC), L 0-1 (H)
  1. 2020 - W 1-3 (A), D 1-1 (H), D 0-0 (A), W 4-1 (H)
  1. 2021 - D 0-0 (H), W 3-2 (H), L 3-0 (A)
  1. 2022 - D 1-1 (A), L 0-1 (H)
  1. 2023 - D 1-1 (H), W 1-2 (A)

Meet the opponent: Atlanta United

  • After famously going without a win in the series from 2017-19, Orlando City have been the better team in their rivalry with Atlanta United since Oscar Pareja took charge of the club in 2020. The Lions are 4-2-5 against the Five Stripes under Pareja, with a 2-1-2 record in five matches at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

- Two of Kyle Smith’s five career goals for Orlando City have come against Atlanta United. Smith scored in a thrilling 3-2 win over the Five Stripes in 2021 and notched the opening goal in a 1-1 draw last May.

- Duncan McGuire, who scored the winner at the Benz last season, is the only other player with a goal for Orlando against Atlanta. Felipe (2) and Nico Lodeiro have previously scored against the Five Stripes in their careers.

- While Orlando City have already played seven games this year, Atlanta have only played twice, getting a bye week during Matchday 3 on March 2-3. The Five Stripes fell 1-0 in their opener at Columbus before winning 4-1 at home to New England last weekend. Striker Giorgos Giakoumakis, who scored 17 goals in 27 games in his debut season last year, picked up a hat trick in the win against the Revs.

- The Five Stripes still have Argentine playmaker Thiago Almada running the attack. Almada finished third in Landon Donovan MLS MVP voting last year with 11 goals and 19 assists and scored Atlanta’s first goal against the Revs on a penalty kick.

- Atlanta made a couple of key moves to shore up their roster in the offseason, signing Polish defensive midfielder Bartosz Slisz from Legia Warsaw and Norwegian center back Stian Gregersen from French Ligue 1 side Bordeaux. The Five Stripes also signed American goalkeeper Josh Cohen, but veteran Brad Guzan has retained his starting place through the first two matches.