ORLANDO – May 22, 2015 – Orlando City Soccer Club (3-5-3, 12 points) will travel to the west coast this weekend for a match-up against the San Jose Earthquakes (5-4-2, 17 points) on Sunday, May 24. Set to kick-off at 7 p.m. ET, the contest marks the only Major League Soccer (MLS) match being held at Levi’s Stadium this season.
The fixture will broadcast live nationally on FOX Sports 1, and will also be transmitted locally on Real Radio 104.1 FM and La Grande 1030 AM.
“I have a lot of respect for Dom (Dominic Kinnear), and I’m not surprised that they’re doing well,” said head coach Adrian Heath. “He’s very direct, very determined. His teams don’t give away much, and we know it’s going to be tough. But, I saw enough in the Columbus game where we match up in certain areas quite well with them, and I think there’s possibilities for us. It’s going to be great though, going to Levi’s Stadium. I’ve never been there before, so really looking forward to it.”
Orlando City ventures into Sunday’s match aiming to build on its positive momentum after a complete team performance in the Lions’ 4-0 victory over the defending MLS Cup Champions LA Galaxy. The win signified Orlando’s first-ever MLS home win.
After struggling to find the back of the net early-on in the season, Orlando City has scored seven goals in its past three matches. Rookie forward Cyle Larin has played a big role in City’s recent goal-scoring production, notching three finishes in the previous three games to extend his tally to four in 2015.
The upcoming match against San Jose will be the first time both sides have played each other this season, as assistant coach Mark Watson makes his first return to northern California since joining Orlando. Prior to joining City, Watson spent five seasons with the Earthquakes as an assistant and head coach, guiding the Quakes to a playoff berth in 2010 and a Supporters’ Shield in 2012.
“I have a lot of familiarities with the players. They’ve made some changes and have a few tactical differences from when I was there. But, they’re a good team and they’ve picked up some good results during the season,” said Watson. “They will be aggressive and competitive and they also have Wondo (Chris Wondolowski), who’s one of the best goal-scorers this league has ever seen. So he’s obviously someone that we’ll mention and look at closely.”
Currently sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference, San Jose is searching for its fifth consecutive unbeaten game – defeating Columbus Crew SC 2-0 last week. In four home games this season, San Jose has displayed positive results, winning three matches and losing one.
U.S. Men’s National Team striker Chris Wondolowski leads the team in goals – scoring three times in the past four fixtures. Wondolowski’s six goals this season are currently second best in MLS. The striker is also one goal away from the 100-goal mark – providing an opportunity for him to become the 9th player to achieve this feat.