By The Numbers: Rivalry Week

By The Numbers: Rivalry Week

10 – Nani and Tesho target

Nani and Tesho Akindele are both one goal away from double digits in MLS this year and are poised to join Cyle Larin (2015-17) and Dom Dwyer (2018) as the only players to reach 10 league goals in a single season for Orlando City. Nani has, somewhat surprisingly, never recorded a 10-goal league season in his career, though he’s reached double figures in all competitions in three previous campaigns—for Manchester United in 2010/11 (10 goals), Sporting CP in 2014/15 (12), and Fenerbahce in 2015/16 (12). Akindele has already hit 10 for the year in all competitions, a career-high.


30 – Goal improvement

Orlando City’s defense has continued to astound, allowing just two goals in four August games. The Lions are paced to allow 44 goals this year, which would mark a 30-goal improvement from last season. The MLS record for year-to-year goals allowed improvement is 31, set by the 2009 Los Angeles Galaxy, who conceded 31 goals after the 2008 team let in 62. Only the ’09 Galaxy and the 1999 Colorado Rapids (30) have ever improved by 30 goals allowed in one season.


1 in 4 – Exploria Fortress

Orlando’s defense has been particularly dominant at home. The Lions have conceded just one goal in their last 360 home minutes in MLS, with clean sheet wins over Columbus on July 13, FC Dallas on August 3, and Sporting Kansas City on August 14. Orlando’s next shutout, which would be their eighth, would set a new franchise record for clean sheets in a season.


8 – Vela closing on Josef

Atlanta’s Josef Martinez has been in fine form as of late, scoring in 11 consecutive games in all competitions for the Five Stripes. However, his 2018 record of 31 goals in a single MLS season is severely threatened, as Carlos Vela reached 24 with a goal against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. Vela needs eight goals in his last nine games to pass Martinez. Josef, for his part, is at 21 for the season and would need 11 in his last eight games to break his own record.


6-6-4 – Orlando on Fridays

This week marks the 17th time Orlando City play an MLS game on a Friday night. The Lions have won six, lost six, and drawn four times on Fridays, though that record has dipped in recent years, with Orlando dropping three in a row and four of five Friday games. The Lions have lost both of their Friday tilts against Atlanta United, falling 1-0 on July 21, 2017 and 2-1 on August 24, 2018.
 

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