Fri, 19 Aug 2022

Orlando City upbeat with fading D.C. United next

Field Level Media
04 Jul 2022, 05:19 GMT+10

The feel-good moments keep piling up for Orlando City SC.

A few more victories would be in good order as well.

Struggling D.C. United are next on the docket for Orlando City with Monday night's game at Orlando.

"It's good that we play at home and have the support of our fans," Orlando City striker Ercan Kara said. "It's very important to win at home."

Orlando City SC (7-6-4, 25 points) went 1-1-1 in June's MLS games and capped that with another successful outcome in the U.S. Open Cup.

Kara has largely been at the center of the positive results. He said he has benefited from his situation, compiling a team-leading six goals in MLS play.

"For me it doesn't matter of I play against a back line of two or three. It's more important how we play," Kara said. "I feel very comfortable."

No other Orlando City player has more than two goals in MLS play.

D.C. United (4-9-2, 14 points) are on a six-game winless streak, going nearly two months since their last victory.

"Every game is a final now," DC United defender Brendan Hines-Ike said. "There's a big emphasis on Monday."

Both teams had the same opponent in their last game, though in different circumstances.

Orlando City played Wednesday night with a shootout victory against Nashville SC in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals. The team might be building depth.

"The guys who came on in the game also helped us tremendously," Orlando City SC coach Oscar Pareja said. "Gave us energy, gave us some creativity, too."

Robin Jansson, Mauricio Pereyra and Tesho Akidnele all moved into the starting lineup as Pareja has gone with various combinations.

D.C. United haven't played since a 3-1 loss to Nashville SC on June 25.

Forward Taxi Fountas, who has five goals in his first five MLS appearances, has been the key for DC United.

Midfielder Moses Nyeman, who has been out since March, defender Chris Odoi-Atsem, who hasn't played since April, have come off the D.C. United injury report.

"Be smart about what kind of minutes we give them," interim coach Chad Ashton said.

Goalkeeper Bill Hamid and midfielder Russell Canouse remain out with injuries.

Orlando City lost forward Silvester van der Water through a transfer to SC Camburr-Leeuwarden of the Netherlands. He provided three goals and three assists across 31 regular-season games.

--Field Level Media

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