Orlando City Lions Visit Kansas City For First Western Conference Road Trip of 2016
By Orlando City SC // May 14, 2016
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET sunday
ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Orlando City SC (2-2-5, 11 points) will make its first Western Conference road trip of the year on Sunday, May 15, when they take on the reigning U.S. Open Cup Champion Sporting Kansas City (4-5-2, 14 points).
Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET.
The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, as well as transmitted locally on Real Radio 104.1 FM in English and on La Grande 1030 AM in Spanish.
“We want to make sure we cover all the bases of what we think is going to be thrown at us on Sunday,” City Head Coach Adrian Heath said.
“Traditionally they are a very, very good team. They’re going through a little bit of a patch at the minute. We know what’s coming. They’ll play their 4-3-3, which they’re good at. We’ve got Dom [Dwyer] to contend with, we know what that’s going to be.”
The Lions aim to continue last years’ success when visiting the West, after recording points in four out of five games, including victories over the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium and the 2015 MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers at Providence Park. Kansas City will look to revert their recent home results, winless in their previous three games at Children’s Mercy Park, falling against Real Salt Lake and the Colorado Rapids and drawing the LA Galaxy.
Sunday’s match will feature the return of midfielder Servando Carrasco to Kansas City for the first time since joining the Lions in July of last year.
After making nine appearances for Sporting in the first half of the 2015 campaign, the 27-year-old has played 20 matches in purple, notching three assists, including a heroic game-tying one in the waning seconds of the 2016 season opener against Real Salt Lake on March 6.
Orlando City enters the match after coming back to draw the New York Red Bulls at Camping World Stadium to preserve its 11-game home undefeated record. Canadian striker Cyle Larin assisted on Kevin Molino’s fourth goal of the season, which tied Larin for the team lead. It was Molino’s fourth goal in six games.
The Lions lead the Eastern Conference with 1.78 goals per game.
Following a 1-0 loss at Colorado on Wednesday, Sporting looks to return to the positive momentum showcased in the beginning of the year. Kansas City has picked up just two points in their last seven matches after winning three of their first four to start the season.
The shutout loss extended Sporting’s goalless streak to 240 minutes – the longest active streak in MLS.
Both sides share a history dating back to 2012. The teams faced for their first-ever game in a Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup match on May 29 of that year, with Sporting securing a 3-2 victory. However, the Lions claimed victory in the following two encounters.
Orlando defeated the reigning Open Cup champions 1-0 on the road to advance to the quarterfinals of the cup in 2013 before winning 3-1 in Orlando on Sept. 13, 2015, as Adrian Winter scored his first two goals in purple in the sides’ first MLS faceoff.
In 2013, Orlando City, then still in the United Soccer League (USL), began a two-year affiliation with Sporting Kansas City. Kansas City lent six players to Orlando, including striker Dom Dwyer, who broke the USL single-season scoring record (19) and aided the Lions to conquer their second USL post-season championship.
Orlando will be without Heath, who was assessed a one-game suspension for entering the field of play during City’s match against the Red Bulls on May 6. Assistant coaches Mark Watson and Bobby Murphy will lead the squad on the field in Kansas City.