ORLANDO, Fla. (May 5, 2017) - Orlando City SC (6-2-0, 18 points) will finish its two-game road trip and play its third game in eight days on Saturday, May 6, against the Houston Dynamo (4-3-1, 13 points). Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET at BBVA Compass Stadium.
“We don’t want to go through these two matches and go home with nothing because I think we’ve done a lot of really good work in the Toronto game already and we need to have a response,” Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “I think it’s the best teams in the league that always respond well to adversity and always respond well when they lose, and so that challenge is now in front of us again.”
City heads to Houston following a hard-fought loss in Toronto. The Reds started the match with two quick goals, but captain Kaká responded in the waning moments of the first half with a thunderous strike into the roof of the net. In the second half, the Lions picked up where they left off and in the 56th minute, Cyle Larin nearly bagged his seventh goal of the year but Alex Bono’s incredible recovery denied the equalizer. The loss snapped City’s four-game winning streak.
Kaká made his first appearance in the starting XI since Opening Day. Larin continues to lead the team with six goals, while the Canadian international also picked up his first assist of the season against Toronto. Striker Carlos Rivas leads the team with four assists and goalkeeper Joe Bendik has 25 saves through eight matches.
Saturday’s encounter will feature the return of former Dynamo players Giles Barnes and Servando Carrasco to Houston. Barnes made 121 Major League Soccer (MLS) appearances for Houston from 2012 to 2016, scoring 31 goals and adding 14 assists, and was a member of the MLS Cup finalist squad in 2012 and of the 2013 Eastern Conference finalist team. Carrasco, who registered his 50th MLS appearance with the Lions on Wednesday, played 30 league matches between the 2013 and 2014 campaigns for the Dynamo.
The game will also mark the Club’s second match at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Lions last visited BBVA Compass Stadium on March 13, 2015, and captured their first MLS win in their first-ever MLS road match. City’s defense shutout Houston’s attack all evening long, and it was Pedro Ribeiro’s relentless pressure in the 74th that granted Orlando the game-winning goal. Ribeiro deflected Deric’s attempted clearance and fought him off as they chased the ball and crashed into the net.
The Lions then welcomed Houston to town on July 8, 2016, at Camping World Stadium in the first match under interim head coach Bobby Murphy. The match was even throughout and the scoreless draw marked the Club’s second shutout against Houston.
Houston is also coming off a loss at Toronto. Jozy Altidore bagged a brace, while the Dynamo were unlucky in the final third as they fell 2-0. Houston is led by forward Erick Torres, who leads MLS with seven goals, and Honduran wingers Romell Quioto and Alberth Elis who each have three goals on the season. The Dynamo are unbeaten in five home games this season.
Orlando City returns home on May 13, to take on Sporting Kansas City. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium. The Lions will then travel out West to take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday, May 17. Kickoff is set for 10:30 p.m. ET.