ORLANDO, Fla. (February 28, 2017) - Orlando City SC begins its fourth Major League Soccer (MLS) season on Saturday, March 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET at Orlando City Stadium against D.C. United.
Single-game and season tickets are available at OrlandoCitySC.com/tickets or by calling 855-ORL-CITY.
The match will be locally televised on WRDQ TV27 and locally transmitted on FM 96-Nine The Game in English and La Nueva 990 AM in Spanish. The pre-game, halftime and postgame shows will air on Facebook Live, Twitter and the LionNation App.
“Any time you’re going into the first match, especially when it’s against an opponent that has as many changes as they do, you’re not going to be exactly sure what it’s going to look like,” head coach Jason Kreis said. “We have a pretty good idea of what they’re trying to do and the truth of the matter is this is a home game. We need to be focused on ourselves first and foremost.”
Orlando City begins 2018 with a largely revamped roster. The Lions feature 13 new faces, including dynamic forward Justin Meram, 2017 NCAA assist leader and first-round pick Chris Mueller, and two-time NASL Golden Boot winner Stéfano Pinho up top. In the midfield are reigning MLS assist leader Sacha Kljestan, Paraguayan Designated Player Josué Colmán, Homegrown rookie Cam Lindley and 2013 MLS Cup champion Oriol “Uri” Rosell. Strengthening the back line are crafty left back Mohamed El-Munir and formidable center backs Lamine Sané and Amro Tarek.
Returning to the team are star forward Dom Dwyer, Peruvian international Yoshimar Yotún, reigning MLS saves leader Joe Bendik and newly named captain and defender Jonathan Spector.
Kljestan is unavailable for the first two games of 2018 due to suspension. Rosell, Colmán, Dwyer, and Dillon Powers have been ruled out for Saturday.
This is Orlando City’s fourth consecutive home opener on MLS Opening Day. City began the 2015 and 2016 MLS seasons with thrilling stoppage-time equalizers in front of 60,000-plus crowds at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Then in 2017, the Lions christened the brand new Orlando City Stadium with a 1-0 win over New York City FC.
The Lions enter the match on a three-game winning streak against D.C., dating back to 2016. Last season, City won 2-0 at home in May and 2-1 in Washington in September. The Lions began the streak with a 4-2 victory in the final match at Camping World Stadium in Oct. 2016.
D.C. United is led by head coach Ben Olson in his ninth season as head coach. United features Argentine attackers Luciano Acosta and Yamil Asad and U.S. national team midfielder Paul Arriola. The Black-and-Red have not won a season opener on the road since 2006. United begins play at brand new Audi Field on July 14.
This is the first of two meetings between City and United this season. The Lions will visit Audi Field on Aug. 12.