5 – Unbeaten home openers
Orlando City are famously unbeaten on Opening Day in their MLS history, winning in 2017 and drawing four times. The Lions have come from behind to earn each of those draws, equalizing in the 75th minute in 2019 and in stoppage time on a jaw-dropping three occasions. The most startling one might have been 2016 against Saturday’s opponent Real Salt Lake, when Cyle Larin and Adrian Winter scored two goals in a one-minute span to level the game in its dying moments.
0.52 – Pereyra dishing dimes
Attacking midfielder Mauricio Pereyra arrived in Orlando from top Russian side Krasnodar last August. Having not played a competitive minute since May, Pereyra nevertheless jumped right into the team and made his first start on August 23 against Atlanta United. From that date until the end of the second, Pereyra was third in all of MLS in assists per 90 minutes, trailing only LA Galaxy’s Cristian Pavon and Chicago’s Nico Gaitan. Now fully fit, Pereyra will look to quarterback the attack even more efficiently in 2020.
9 – New faces
Orlando City features nine new players on its 2020 roster. Peruvian international goalkeeper Pedro Gallese and Brazilian midfield fulcrum Júnior Urso lead the senior signings, which also include fellow Brazilian defender Antonio Carlos, Argentine center back Rodrigo Schlegel, and Tampa-born Colombian midfielder Andres Perea. The Lions also have four rookies on the squad this year, with Homegrowns Jordan Bender and David Loera joining SuperDraft selections Daryl Dike and Joey DeZart.
514 – Rimando retires
Former Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando retired at the end of 2019 after an MLS-record 514 appearances in the league, including 369 for the Claret and Cobalt. Rimando also holds the all-time MLS records for career saves, wins, and clean sheets. Rimando started at least 27 games for Real Salt Lake every season from 2007 to 2019. Veteran Zac MacMath, who was a starter in Philadelphia from 2012 to 2014, is expected to start between the pipes for RSL.
41 – RSL defensive steel
Real Salt Lake scored fewer goals than any other Western Conference playoff team last season, but they didn’t need them. Led by Rimando and center back tandem Justen Glad and Nedum Onuoha, RSL conceded just 41 goals last season, good for the third-lowest mark in the league.
1.5 - FAIRWINDS Credit Union
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