In The City Beautiful
In their previous two matches at home against Sporting Kansas City, the Lions hold a 1-0-1 record. City earned a 3-1 victory at home over Wednesday’s opposition in its inaugural MLS season in 2015, while battling to a 2-2 draw at then-named Orlando City Stadium in 2017. In each of the previous four matches between the two clubs, the home side has earned a result every time.
Forward Benji Michel scored his second goal of the MLS season on Saturday in Toronto, a finish that also served as the second of his professional career in league play. Each of Michel’s two goals this season have started the scoring for the Lions in the match, his first serving as the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Columbus this season. Michel has recorded two shots this season in MLS action, both resulting in finishes.
Moving Up the Ranks
With his four saves in Toronto on Saturday, goalkeeper Brian Rowe now sits at 73 saves in his first season as a Lion. Rowe is now tied with former Orlando City goalkeeper Tally Hall for second in Club history in registered saves, reaching that mark in the same number of matches played as Hall with 23. Rowe now trails only former Lions’ goalkeeper Joe Bendik in saves in Club history, who registered 316 in his three seasons in Orlando.
Facing the West
The Lions will play back-to-back matches against Western Conference opponents this week, traveling to face Minnesota United on Saturday after hosting SKC on Wednesday. City holds a 3-3-1 record against Western Conference opponents this season, with a 3-1-0 record at home in those contests. Those three victories have come in a 4-3 win over Colorado on April 6, a 1-0 victory over Vancouver on April 20 and a 2-0 result against FC Dallas in their last home match on August 3. The Lions’ only loss at home to a Western Conference side this season came in a 1-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy on May 24.
Forward Chris Mueller recorded his fourth assist of the season off Benji Michel’s finish on Saturday in Toronto. Mueller now sits tied with defender Ruan for second on the squad in assists in 2019, trailing only Lions’ captain Nani with eight. In total, he has recorded 11 assists in nearly two seasons as a Lion, which stands at fourth in Club history behind Kaka (22), Yoshi Yotún (14) and Carlos Rivas (13).
Wednesday’s match will serve as the Club’s first-ever “Neon Night” with a special halftime appearance by internationally-acclaimed performance company, Blue Man Group. Orlando City will wear its Origin Kit for the first time while playing at home in Exploria Stadium, with the white kit available for purchase at a 30% discount. In addition, the Club will debut a new, limited edition glow-in-the-dark Honor The Crest CITYiD patch inspired by fan messages in Exploria Stadium’s players’ tunnel.