ORLANDO, Fla. — Orlando City will head north to battle for king of the south in the MLS when they play Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday night.
City (34-points) sits one point behind Atlanta (35-points) in the Eastern Conference but well ahead of Charlotte (26-points) and Miami (18-points), who could stake their claim as the best MLS team in the south.
Orlando City is coming off their third away loss of the season last Saturday against RSL, 4-0.
The travel out west and altitude appeared to affect the Lions in Sandy, Utah. Orlando gave up two goals off headers in the first half.
The backline seemed sluggish, leaving RSL players open in the box or allowing forwards to run behind the line to score RSL’s other two goals.
The Lions are ready to bounce back this week.
Atlanta dominated this series when they entered the league in 2017, with nine wins, three losses, and seven draws in six years.
The Lions have a much better record over the Five Stripes since 2020, winning three games, drawing five, and losing one game in the last three years.
The Lions should have everyone available from Oscar Pareja’s last two starting lineups. Barring any tactical changes or resting some players, we should expect to see the same starters this week.
The only other factor impacting tonight’s lineup could be Leagues Cup play starting next week. With the new competition in 2023, how teams will stack their rosters for those games is yet to be seen.
For Atlanta, center back Miles Robinson is questionable and could be back from international duty with the U.S. Men’s National team after their defeat against Panama on Wednesday in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
After tonight’s game, the Lions return to Exploria Stadium next week for their first Leagues Cup match against the Houston Dynamo FC on Friday.
If you are a fan of the Orlando Pride, they also return home next Sunday, July 23, for a Challenge Cup match against MY/NJ Gotham FC.
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