Teams: Orlando City SC vs Colorado Rapids
Kick-off: 01:30 a.m. IST at Orlando City Stadium – Orlando, Fla.
Where to Watch: The game will be live telecasted on DSport, this Sunday
Last Game Played: Aug 21, 2016 COL 0 – 0 ORL
Season Goal leaders: Orlando City SC – Cyle Larin (6 goals), Colorado Rapids – Dominique Badji (2 goals)
Orlando City welcome Colorado Rapids to Orlando City Stadium on Sunday as they’re looking to continue their 100% home record in the 2017 season. The match kicks off at 01:30 a.m. and will be televised live on DSport.
Jason Kreis will be delighted with how his side have been playing and will see this as a more than winnable game. However, they cannot afford to let their great run of from change their approach and must see this is a huge opportunity to continue their challenge for the Eastern Conference title.
Defender of the Year finalist Axel Sjoberg went down with an injury early on, Tim Howard was suspended for three games and the team decided to trade two players who were part of the foundation of one of the best defenses in MLS history. This has led to a 1-4-1 start for the club, placing them at the bottom of the West. Turning that around this weekend will not be an easy task when they visit Orlando City SC, a team that has started 2017 4-0-0 at Orlando City Stadium.
Orlando became the first team to win their first four games in a new stadium a couple weeks ago when they beat the LA Galaxy and they followed that up with a 2-1 win at New York City FC last weekend. They have accomplished this with one of the best defenses in the league and the timely goal scoring of Cyle Larin. After two more goals against NYCFC, Larin has now scored 10 goals against the two New York teams, tied for the most in MLS history.
The big story in Orlando this week will be the health of star Designated Player Kaká. The former World Player of the year has been out with a hamstring injury since coming off with the knock in the first game of the season. He trained fully with the team at the end of last week but did not make the trip to New York despite head coach Jason Kreis saying it was a possibility – his chances should improve this week.
Colorado Rapids are struggling. They are bottom of the Western Conference and their only win of the season came on the opening weekend.
The Rapids will have to play this game without Howard, who will be serving the last game of his three-game suspension. While the defense has not been at its 2016 level, the nine goals they have conceded are tied for the eight-fewest in MLS. The real problem has been the attack, which has produced just five goals.
Designated Player Shkelzen Gashi missed last week’s game with an illness and will need to improve his play if the Rapids have a shot at returning to the MLS Cup Playoffs. The Albanian international has not produced a goal or assist in 147 minutes so far this season.
The Rapids look a shadow of the side they were last season. They’ve lost all three of their games on the road in 2017 and given Orlando’s home form that run looks set to continue here.
Orlando City SC
Int’l Duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: Seb Hines (knee injury); DAY-TO-DAY: Rafael Ramos (hamstring injury), Jose Aja (hamstring injury), Kaká (hamstring injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2, diamond): GK: Joe Bendik — Scott Sutter, Tommy Redding, Jonathan Spector, Donny Toia — Antonio Nocerino, Will Johnson, Cristian Higuita, Giles Barnes — Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin
Notes: Cyle Larin currently has a 40% conversion rate off 15 total shots this season. The best conversion rate over an entire MLS season since 2010 is Frank Lampard’s 36.4% (15 shot minimum).
Suspended: Tim Howard (Disciplinary Committee decision), Kortne Ford (Disciplinary Committee decision)
Int’l Duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: Axel Sjoberg (hamstring injury), Bismark Adjei-Boateng (back injury); QUESTIONABLE: Dillon Serna (calf injury)
Projected starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK: Zac MacMath — Eric Miller, Jared Watts, Bobby Burling, Mekeil Williams— Micheal Azira, Dillon Powers — Marlon Hairston, Shkelzen Gashi, Dominique Badji — Kevin Doyle
Notes: Colorado had only three shots on target against Minnesota last weekend. They have 15 shots on target this year, the lowest in the league by nine.
Colorado have yet to beat Orlando City in MLS play, losing 2-0 in Orlando in 2015 and drawing 0-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in 2016.
Overall: Colorado 0 wins (0 goals) … Orlando 1 win (2 goals) … Ties 1
At Orlando: Colorado 0 wins (0 goals) … Orlando 1 win (2 goals) … Ties 0
Watch out the MLS matches on DSport.