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New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 3
Yankee Stadium - Bronx
3:30 pm ET – March 17, 2018
WATCH: Univision, Twitter

New York City FC will attempt to make it three wins in a row to start the season when former head coach Jason Kreis brings the wounded Lions up the coast for a clash of Eastern Conference contenders.

NYCFC were dominant in the opening 45 minutes against the LA Galaxy, but had to sweat out a 2-1 win following Jonathan dos Santos' second-half goal. Injuries continue to pile up for Orlando City SC, who have just one draw from consecutive home games following a 2-1 loss to Minnesota United FC Saturday night. But Sacha Kljestan is back from suspension and he’s had a ton of success against NYCFC over the years.

New York City FC 

For the first time in the club’s short history, NYCFC opened a season with back-to-back wins, following an impressive 2-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City with a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy in front of 26,221 in their home opener Sunday. David Villa also extended his streak of four straight home openers with a goal, following a wonder strike by Anton Tinnerholm for his first MLS tally.

Tinnerholm and Ben Sweat bombed up each sideline and were dangerous in attack, while the midfield trio of Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera and Maxi Moralez continued to show why they are one of the top units in MLS. If there was one negative for the Boys in Blue, it’s that they didn’t kill the game off at 2-0, allowing the visitors back in the game after the break.

Tinnerholm and Jesus Medina were named to the Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 2.

  • Suspended: None 
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: None

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Sean Johnson — Anton Tinnerholm, Maxime Chanot, Alexander Callens, Ben Sweat — Alex Ring, Yangel Herrera — Jesus Medina, Maxi Moralez, Rodney Wallace — David Villa

  • Notes: David Villa has six goals in nine career games against Orlando. The only player with more goals against the Lions is Sebastian Giovinco (8). … The Blues lost just two home games last year. However, they went winless in their last three regular season games at home (1L-2D). They won their home opener 2-1 last week.

Orlando City SC

The bad news for the Lions is that injury concerns continue to mount, with striker Stefano Pinho suffering a right ankle injury in the first half of a 2-1 loss to Minnesota United Saturday night, leaving Orlando City Stadium on crutches. And with Dom Dwyer out for at least two more weeks with a quad strain, the depth up front is razor-thin.

The good news is they can finally welcome Kljestan into the fold after the playmaker, who arrived in an offseason trade with the New York Red Bulls, served a two-game ban for his part in a halftime tunnel fracas with Toronto FC’s Jozy Altidore during the Eastern Conference Semifinal series in last year's Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

Kljestan was one of the league’s top setup men during his three years in New York. Also back from suspension is PC for a Lions side that managed just one point out of their first two home games of the season.

  • Suspended: M - Pierre da Silva
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), F - Dom Dwyer (quad strain), M - Josue Colman (thigh bruise), M - Oriol Rosell (fitness); QUESTIONABLE: F - Stefano Pinho (right ankle)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-1-2, right to left)
GK: Joe Bendik — Mohamed El-Munir, Amro Tarek, Jonathan Spector, Scott Sutter — Will Johnson, Cameron Lindley, Yoshimar Yotun — Sacha Kljestan — Chris Mueller, Justin Meram

  • Notes: Sacha Kljestan, who will be making his Orlando debut, has 10 career assists vs. NYCFC, most by any active player vs any MLS club. … Orlando won just one of their last eight road games in 2017 (5L-2D), scoring nine goals over that span.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: NYCFC 2 wins, 14 goals … Orlando City SC 5 wins, 14 goals … Ties 2
  • At New York City.: NYCFC 1 win, 8 goals … Orlando City SC 2 wins, 8 goals … Ties 1
  • Last meeting at New York City: Orlando City SC 2, NYCFC 1 (April 23, 2017)


Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Brian Dunn
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Alan Kelly

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Season Stats

New York City FCOrlando City SC
2Games Played2
1Goals Conceded3
12Shots on Target7
29Fouls committed23
19Fouls suffered30

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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