ORLANDO, Fla. (July 19, 2017) - Sixteen days after its last match, Orlando City SC (8-7-5, 29) will face 2017 expansion side Atlanta United FC (9-7-3, 30 points) for the first time on Friday, July 21, at Orlando City Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. ET.
The match will be nationally televised on ESPN and transmitted in English on Real Radio 104.1 FM and in Spanish on La Nueva 990 AM.
“Atlanta’s an extremely dangerous, dynamic attacking team. Some really, really good options. Their four players that play the highest up the field for them are very dangerous, very attack-oriented, very aggressive group,” Lions Head Coach Jason Kreis said. “But they are not perfect. They have some problems of their own, which we will be looking to exploit."
Both teams enter the match separated by just one point in the Eastern Conference standings. Orlando City is in fifth place with 29 points, while Atlanta is in fourth with 30 points and a game in hand.
In its last match, Orlando City fell, 3-1, to Toronto FC on July 5. Carlos Rivas came off the bench and scored his fourth goal of the season in the 63rd minute as Kaká picked up his fourth assist. Sebastian Giovinco’s free kick just two minutes later, though, regained the Reds’ two-goal lead.
Rivas’ fourth goal set his MLS career high and moved him into second on the team behind Cyle Larin’s eight. Larin will be unavailable for selection as he is away with the Canada national team at the Gold Cup.
Atlanta enters the match on a three-game winning streak, most recently defeating the San Jose Earthquakes, 4-2, on July 4. The Quakes were reduced to 10 men in the 32nd minute following Kofi Sarkodie’s second yellow card and finished the match with nine after Victor Bernárdez earned a straight red in second-half stoppage time.
Josef Martinez leads Atlanta with nine goals and Yamil Asad leads the team with nine assists. Miguel Almirón is second on the team with eight of each. U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Guzan has joined Atlanta from Aston Villa in England and the U.S. national team after signing with Atlanta on Jan. 26, 2016.
The match will follow the Special Olympics Unified Sports a closed-door friendly between Special Olympics Florida and Special Olympics Georgia. The teams, which are made up of Special Olympics athletes and Unified teammates (players without intellectual disabilities), will play two 20-minute halves with seven a side. Orlando City and Special Olympics Florida also participated in a Special Olympics Unified match in Chicago in August 2016.
The two teams will meet again next week when Orlando City begins a three-game road trip at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, July 29, at 5 p.m. ET. City then visits Montreal and New York Red Bulls before returning to Orlando City Stadium on Aug. 19 to host Columbus.