ORLANDO, Fla. (April 22, 2016) - Coming off an eventful 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution, Orlando City SC (2-1-3, 9 points) sets its sights on the road ahead as the Club travels north to battle the Major League Supporters’ Shield champions, the New York Red Bulls (1-6-0, 3 points), at Red Bull Arena on Sunday, April 24. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET.
City’s sixth consecutive nationally televised match will be available on Fox Sports 1, as well as transmitted locally on Real Radio 104.1 FM in English and on La Grande 1030 AM in Spanish. Fans can support the Lions’ at the team’s official watch party at Hagan O’Reilly’s and enjoy the discounted drinks and special giveaways.
“I know that we are going to have to play well this weekend. I think they are only one good game away from turning their season around, and we just have to make sure it’s not on Sunday,” said Head Coach Adrian Heath. “I can’t fault the players they’ve been fantastic at training. I’ve been at a lost after that first half performance on [this past] Sunday, but the second half we got ourselves going and shook it off a little bit, and we’ll be looking to do the same this week.”
The match marks the first meeting between the Eastern Conference competitors since September of last year, when the Lions dominated the Red Bulls 5-2 in one of their best performances in their Major League Soccer history. Lifted by a historic Cyle Larin hat trick to break the MLS rookie season record, three assists by Kaká and two by Carlos Rivas, the Lions shocked the MLS Supporters’ Shield champions in Red Bull Arena.
Currently tied for second in the East, leading the conference in goals with 11, Orlando City seeks to continue its strong early momentum when facing last-placed New York Red Bulls, who have fallen on six of their seven contests this season, with a league-high 15 goals allowed.
Adrian Heath’s side heads to Red Bull Arena following a dramatic 2-2 tie against the New England Revolution on Sunday, April 17. An electrifying match that included a historic start—with MLS’ fastest penalty kick drawn by home debutant Julio Baptista just 15 seconds into the game and finished by Kaká in less than two minutes, and a late score by Kevin Molino in his 100th appearance in purple—finished leveled to keep the Lions in the upper part of the standings.
City goes on the road for the third time this season, after splitting their results in their two previous away games. Before falling 2-1 against Philadelphia Union on April 8, Orlando’s overall team character and defensive efforts, highlighted by an impressive outing from goalkeeper Joe Bendik, resulted in a 1-0 victory against New York City FC on March 18 at Yankee Stadium.
Captain Kaká and midfielder Kevin Molino will aim to continue their strong start of the season, after notching two goals and two assists in three appearances, respectively. Additionally, 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin could make his first start after recovering from an injury suffered on April in the 4-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. The Canadian has been successful in his previous three visits to New York, scoring seven goals against NYCFC and the Red Bulls.
The 2015 MLS Supporters’ Shield champions return home after falling 2-1 against the Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in a snowy encounter. Luis Robles’ historic night, making him the all-time MLS iron man for consecutive minutes played with 113 straight games playing 90 minutes, could not stop Jermaine Jones’ successful long-awaited debut – scoring the opener and notching the game-winning assist to gather the three points.
Midfielder Felipe leads the team in goals with two, while U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Sacha Kljestan leads them in assists with two.