Orlando City SC vs. New York Red Bulls
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 5
Orlando City Stadium — Orlando
1:00 pm ET – March 31, 2018
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For the first since the New York Red Bullsdealt their captain away for the second consecutive offseason, Sacha Kljestan will meet his former club Saturday at Orlando City Stadium. But more than revenge, the veteran playmaker will hope to lead Orlando City SC to a much-needed first victory of 2018.

The Red Bulls, meanwhile, found their identity again and crushed Minnesota United FC, 3-0, in Week 4 and hope to take that momentum with them to Orlando and then to Guadalajara where they take on Chivas in the Concacaf Champions League semifinals Wednesday night at Estadio Akron.

Orlando City SC

When we last left Orlando City SC (0-2-1), they stretched a season-opening winless streak to three games after a 2-0 loss to New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. The Lions were punished for a pair of costly defensive miscues, yet another example of gifting the opposition goals and Kljestan said “the pressure is on and we know it.”

Back in Orlando, the Lions licked their wounds and got a little healthier during the break. After finally stepping on the field for the first time this season against NYCFC, Josue Colman and Lamine Sane could be in the starting XI with Dom Dwyer, but Uri Rosell took a step backward after training fully and will not be available with a knee injury.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK – Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), F – Stefano Pinho (right ankle), D – Jonathan Spector (concussion), M – Uri Rosell (knee)

Projected Starting XI
4-2–3-1, right to left)
GK: Joe Bendik — Scott Sutter, Lamine Sane, Amro Tarek, Mohamed El-Munir — Cristian Higuita, Yoshimar Yotun — Josue Colman, Sacha Kljestan, Justin Meram — Dom Dwyer

  • Notes: Dwyer has scored five goals in seven matches against the Red Bulls, his third-highest total against any MLS team. … The Lions started off the 2017 season going unbeaten in their first eight home games (7W-1D, 14 GF). Since then, they are 2W-6L-5D with 16 goals scored.

New York Red Bulls   

The Red Bulls (2-1-0) lamented not looking like themselves when they lost at Real Salt Lake, but they flipped that script Saturday back at Red Bull Arena with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Minnesota United FC.

Bradley Wright-Phillips continues his torrid start to the 2018 season with a brace and Alex Muyl, much maligned by Red Bulls fans, had a goal and an assist as the Red Bulls have now outscored opponents, 12-1, in four victories at Red Bull Arena.

Both Wright-Phillips and Muyl were named to the MLS Team of the Week, presented by Audi for Week 4, while Wright-Phillips was named Alcatel MLS Player of the Week as voted on by the North American Soccer Reporters (NASR).

The only negative is that Alejandro Romero “Kaku” Gamarra didn’t play with a quad injury, though it isn't considered serious, and central defender Fidel Escobar suffered a right hamstring injury while training with Panama and was unable to play in a friendly against Switzerland. He’ll miss 2-3 weeks, according to Jesse Marsch.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D – Fidel Escobar (right hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1 right to left)
GK: Luis Robles — Kyle Duncan, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Connor Lade — Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski — Alex Muyl, Florian Valot, Vincent Bezecourt — Bradley Wright-Phillips

  • Notes: The Red Bulls have won just one of their last eight regular season road games (5L-2D). New York have conceded in each of those eight games. … Wright-Phillips has scored three goals in his last three MLS games, as many as he had in his previous nine league appearances.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Orlando City SC 2 wins, 10 goals … New York Red Bulls 4 wins, 13 goals … Ties 1
  • At Orlando: Orlando City SC 1 win, 2 goals … New York Red Bulls 1 wins, 3 goals … Ties 1
  • Last meeting at Orlando: Orlando City SC 1, New York Red Bulls 0 (April 9, 2017)


Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Marcos De Oliveira
VAR: Timothy Ford