ExLink - 03/10/18 - ORLvsMIN

Orlando City SC vs. Minnesota United FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Orlando City SC vs. Minnesota United FC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 2
Orlando City Stadium - Orlando
7:30 pm ET – March 10, 2018

Down a man and down a goal, Orlando City SC rallied for a late — and we mean late — equalizer in a 1-1 draw with D.C. United Saturday night. That’s the good news for the Lions. The bad news is, they aren’t much healthier as they welcome former coach Adrian Heath and Minnesota United FC.

It will likely be an emotional return to Orlando for Heath, but the Loons' focus is squarely on bouncing back from last week's 3-2 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes as they play their second road game in a row to open the 2018 season.

Orlando City SC

What a debut it was for Stefano Pinho, who rescued the Lions from impending defeat by scoring the stoppage-time equalizer Saturday. While the substitute’s goal made for late drama, Joe Bendik provided it in the first half with a stunning save to rob Darren Mattocks from the penalty spot. 

However, the Lions' depth following a busy offseason makeover continues to be the early story for Orlando City, who will be without Sacha Kljestan, PC and Pierre da Silva due to suspension and Dom Dwyer, Josue Colman, Uri Rosell and Dillon Powers to injury and/or fitness concerns.

  • Suspended: Victor 'PC' Giro, Sacha Kljestan, 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), M - Dillon Powers (ankle)

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

  • Notes: Orlando started last season by going unbeaten in their first six home games (5W-1D). over their final 11 home games they slumped to a 2W-5L-4D record. They drew their first game at home this season … Stefano Pinho scored his first MLS goal on his debut. He had just 14 touches, the second fewest of any Orlando player in the first game.

Minnesota United FC 

The rally was late, too late as it turned out, as Kevin Molino scored a pair of goals four minutes apart inside the final 10 minutes. But the Loons couldn’t erase an early three-goal deficit and fell 3-2 to the San Jose Earthquakes Saturday night.

Minnesota will go coast-to-coast to start the season and will hope for a better result in the cauldron that is Orlando City Stadium against a banged-up Lions squad. The Loons also have injury concerns, with Abu Danladi ruled out with a hamstring injury.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction), F - Adu Danladi (left hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Matthew Lampson, Tyrone Mears, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Jerome Thiesson — Rasmus Schuller, Ibson — Ethan Finlay, Kevin Molino, Sam Nicholson — Christian Ramirez

  • Notes: The Loons are 2W-5L-0D over their last seven road games. They have conceded an average of 2.6 goals in those games, not holding any team to fewer than two goals. … After his brace on Saturday, Kevin Molino is just the third player to have at least eight goals for MNUFC.

All-Time Series


Referee: Sorin Stoica
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Johnson, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic