1 - Bench Bosses
Orlando City will face Minnesota United for the first time but there is a sense of familiarity between the two clubs. Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath coached Orlando City in both its first two years in MLS, in four years in USL Pro and when the Club was based in Austin, Texas. Heath led the Lions to three regular season and two postseason USL Pro championships in four years. In one and a half years under Heath, Orlando City went 16-18-16.
Joining Heath in Minnesota were Ian Fuller and Mark Watson, who also coached under Heath in Orlando. Fuller is a former Lion from City’s USL Pro days and Watson was an assistant coach in 2014 and 2015.
2 - Pride Night
Minnesota United is hosting Pride Night Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. United is celebrating the LGBTQ community and in October 2014 became the first professional sports team to sign the Athlete Ally pledge.
Orlando City has shown similar support for the LGBTQ community. On June 18, 2016, the lower bowl of Camping World Stadium was a spectrum of the colors of the rainbow as a tribute to the 49 victims of the June 12 tragedy at Pulse Nightclub. Pride flags flew all around the stadium and the match was paused in the 49th minute for a moment of silence.
3 - Showing His Worth
In addition to the familiar faces in Minnesota, the Lions are also quite familiar with Loons goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth. The former New England Revolution goalkeeper has played five matches against Orlando City and has allowed nine goals. Shuttleworth is 1-1-3 against the Lions all-time.
4 - Triple-Header
Orlando City kicks off at 8 p.m. ET Saturday night, 30 minutes after OCB begins its match against the Charlotte Independence and an hour after the Pride take on Sky Blue FC. Orlando City SC is still searching for its first nine pnine-pointnd of the season but came away with seven of a possible nine two weeks ago. On May 13, OCB earned a 2-0 win at FC Cincinnati and Orlando City drew against Sporting KC. The Pride handed North Carolina its first loss of the season the next day.
5 - Sunshine State To Land O’ Lakes
Midfielder Kevin Molino played for the Lions during their USL Pro days and was one of eight players brought up to MLS in 2015. The Trinidadian tore his ACL on May 2, 2015, against Brazilian side Ponte Preta and was limited to just seven appearances in City’s inaugural MLS season. Molino came back to start the 2016 season and scored his first MLS goal on a penalty kick in City’s 4-1 romping of the defending champion Timbers. Molino went on to score 11 goals and eight assists, both good for second on the team.
Molino was traded to Minnesota on Jan. 26 in a blockbuster deal for $450,000 in GAM and $200,000 in TAM. Included in the trade was goalkeeper Patrick McLain, who was selected by City in Stage 1 of the 2016 MLS Re-Entry Draft.
6 - Fantastic Forwards
The Lions and Loons are led by a pair of fantastic forwards. All- Star striker Cyle Larin and Christian Ramirez are in a four-way tie for fifth in MLS with seven goals each. Each of them also has one assist and they’ve both played 12 games this season. Larin leads MLS with four game-winning goals.
Larin has speedy forward Carlos Rivas next to him. Rivas leads the team and is tied for fifth in MLS with five assists.
7 - Off The Schneid
Orlando City is looking to avoid a second two-game losing skid. The Lions are winless in five since their red-hot start despite some point-worthy performances. City was unlucky to leave Toronto empty handed after Kaká’s strike at the stroke of halftime and some golden second-half opportunities. The Lions continued their home-unbeaten streak with a draw against Sporting KC but saw it broken Sunday against NYCFC. Before the schneid, Orlando City had won eight of its last nine dating back to last season. City hasn’t gone five games without a win since August-September of 2015.