Orlando City-United Preview
Oscar Pareja and his Orlando City players will hope to shift the focus of fans back to action on the field against DC United after the sale of the club was agreed this week.
Eight-year owner Flavio Augusto da Silva released a statement on Orlando's official website detailing the deal with Minnesota Vikings owners the Wilf family.
"I am confident that the Wilf family will continue to push Orlando City SC to new heights and lead the club into this next phase, both on and off the field," Augusto da Silva said.
The acquisition is yet to be finalised, but Orlando will now hope to take care of matters on the pitch in the meantime.
They are unbeaten in the Eastern Conference but have drawn three of their four games, meaning they sit below this weekend's opponents DC, who have lost three of five matches but have won the other two.
Orlando at least had the benefit for a clear midweek schedule while DC played as recently as Thursday, beating the Chicago Fire 1-0.
DC coach Hernan Losada said: "Let's check Orlando and who they play. F***, Orlando is not playing. So, Orlando is going to be very fresh for our game Sunday."
But that victory, after a run of three straight defeats, showed what this United team could be.
"This is the DC United we want," Losada said. "It's not going to work always, but at least this is going to be our identity."
Both teams are just two points off the top of the East heading into the weekend.
DC United – Adrien Perez
Losada said he "needed to find a rabbit out of a hat" against Chicago due to limited attacking options, but he settled on Perez and Edison Flores as an unlikely pairing. Flores got the only goal, but Perez, making just his fifth career MLS start, will hope he has done enough to earn another chance.
Orlando City – Nani
The winger will be 35 by the time this year's out, but he shows no sign of slowing. Nani has three goals in four games this season and is likely to continue to be Orlando's chief attacking threat at least until Daryl Dike returns – or, more realistically, is sold and replaced.
- DC United have won three straight matches against Orlando City after going winless in the previous four (D1 L3).
- DC have won four of their five home matches against Orlando (L1), including the past two. Four of the five matches, including Orlando's lone victory, were by one-goal margins.
- Orlando have opened the season unbeaten in their first four games (W1 D3). The Lions have lost just three regular season matches since the end of the MLS is Back Tournament, fewer than any other team who were in MLS both last season and this.
- Ola Kamara has scored four goals in six matches against Orlando, but all four goals were scored during his time in Columbus as he has not found the net against the Lions since 2017.
- Nani has scored in three straight matches for the first time since doing so in four consecutive games in April 2019. Nani is one of three players - along with Daryl Dike and Dom Dwyer (five straight) - to score in at least four straight games in Orlando's history, though no player has done so more than once.
Updated May 14, 2021