Nani Threading the Needle
Orlando City’s new superstar is already lighting up MLS. Nani is the league leader in assists per 90 minutes through two weeks with 1.65 (minimum of 20 minutes played) and sits second in total assists behind Minnesota’s Darwin Quintero (3), who played the full 90 in both of the Loons’ first two games.
More History for Nani
Nani is the first player in Orlando City history to have an assist in each of his first two games in purple. He is the second player to record a helper in each of the first two games of the season, a feat Carlos Rivas accomplished in 2017. No Orlando City player has ever started a season with three straight games with an assist.
Dom Dwyer’s 47th-minute tally was the 200th goal in Orlando City history since the club moved to MLS in 2015. City have scored 186 goals in MLS play and another 14 in the U.S. Open Cup. Dwyer has scored 18 of those goals, good for third-best in club history.
The Road Warr-yer
Dwyer has scored the last three away goals for Orlando City, though that period also includes two own goals by opponents. Dwyer wasn’t even supposed to be in the game when he scored on Saturday—he had to come on in the 21st minute to replace the injured Tesho Akindele.
Saturday’s match featured almost no strong chances on goal according to the expected goals metric (xG), which measures the likelihood from 0 (0%) to 1 (100%) that a given shot would go into the net on average. Per Opta, Orlando City finished with 0.28 total xG, most of which came from Dwyer’s hustle goal, while Chicago racked up 0.96, the overwhelming majority from Nemanja Nikolic’s missed chances in the opening 20 minutes.
Orlando City will be looking for their first points against the Montreal Impact since a thrilling 3-3 draw at the Stadium in 2017. The Impact have won three straight games against City, including back to back clean sheet victories last season. Orlando City do have historical success against Montreal, defeating their northern neighbors in 2015 and twice in the 2016 campaign.
Fear the Nacho
Ignacio “Nacho” Piatti has been one of the best players in MLS since his arrival in Montreal in 2015, and Orlando City has been one of his favorite opponents. Piatti has scored eight goals against the Lions in his career, including six in the past two seasons. Piatti has made the MLS All-Star team each of the past three years, with Best XI nods in 2016 and 2018. He has said 2019 will be his last season in Montreal.