The 100 Club
Midfielder Cristian Higuita earned his 100th MLS cap last Saturday in San Jose when he entered the match following the halftime break for Carlos Ascues. Higuita has earned all 100 of his appearances in league play as a Lion, sitting as the lone remaining member of the Club’s 2015 inaugural MLS roster. Through his 100 appearances, Higuita has registered 81 starts, scoring six goals and registering seven assists in MLS play. Overall, Higuita has totaled 105 appearances in the MLS era for Orlando City across all competitions.
Hosting the West
This weekend’s matchup against LAFC will mark the last visit to Orlando by a Western Conference team this season. In their previous five home matches against Western Conference opponents, the Lions hold a 4-1-0 record with a 4-3 victory over Colorado on April 6 and shutout victories over Vancouver, FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas City in that span. Their lone loss came in a 1-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy on May 24 despite totaling a then season-high 19 shots in the match.
Club & Country
City will be without five players for this weekend’s match due to international duty. A trio of Lions in defender Kamal Miller, midfielder Will Johnson and forward Tesho Akindele will represent the Canadian National Team in its home-and-away series in the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League against Cuba on September 7 and September 10. Midfielders Carlos Ascues and Sebastián Méndez will square off against one another on Thursday with the former representing Peru and the latter Ecuador in an international friendly. Peru will then face Brazil on September 10 while Ecuador will take on Bolivia that same evening.
Welcome to The City Beautiful
Saturday’s match will mark the first visit to Orlando for LAFC in its Club history, with the Lions having traveled to take on the 2018 MLS expansion side last season at Banc of California Stadium. The Lions are 1-0 when hosting a Club for the first time this season, having defeated 2019 expansion club FC Cincinnati 5-1 on May 19.
Saturday’s match will see former Lion Mohamed El-Munir return to Orlando for the first time since being traded to LAFC this past offseason. El-Munir spent the entirety of the 2018 MLS season with the Lions, appearing in 26 matches with 23 starts while registering two assists. The Lions acquired João Moutinho for El-Munir, who has appeared in 15 matches this season for City, recording 14 starts and three assists. Mountinho was the No. 1 overall selection for LAFC in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft, making 14 appearances, 10 of which were starts, and scoring one goal for the 2018 MLS expansion side in his one season with the club.