The Black-and-Red blanked the Chicago Fire on Wednesday, while Orlando remain unbeaten this season after a hard-fought 1-1 draw against New York City FC last weekend.
After three consecutive losses to New England, San Jose and Columbus, DC United got back on track on Wednesday, thanks to an early goal from Edison Flores to beat the Chicago Fire by a score of 1-0.
Scoring seven minutes into that contest was a positive sign for manager Hernan Losada, who had seen his side concede a goal within the first 20 minutes of play in three of their matches this season.
Their midweek victory puts them in the top half of the Eastern Conference table with six points, just two points behind the conference leaders CF Montreal.
DC seem to thrive when they do not see as much of the ball, as they have won both of their matches this season despite having less than 50% of the possession, while they have lost three consecutive games on the road in which they had more of the ball than their opponents.
In their match on Wednesday, the DC back three, which consisted of Brendan Hines-Ike, Frederic Brillant and Tony Alfaro, looked the best they have all season, shutting down the dangerous Robert Beric and limiting the Fire to just three shots on target.
With The Lions making the post-season for the first time in franchise history last year, the expectation was high for Oscar Pareja and his team heading into this campaign.
So far in 2021, they are unbeaten in their opening four matches, including three draws against Atlanta United, Sporting Kansas City and New York City FC.
Since the appointment of Pareja, The Lions have become one of the most formidable defences in MLS, giving up 25 goals in a shortened 2020 campaign and only conceding twice so far in 2021, which puts them even with Seattle for the fewest goals conceded this season.
Orlando were able to keep the core of their team intact during the 2020 offseason, which has made a big difference in the early stages of this campaign, as they look confident and comfortable, particularly at the back.
Brazilian centre-back Antonio Carlos has arguably been one of the best defenders in the league so far, winning 15 of his 20 duels and making seven interceptions.
Goalkeeper Jon Kempin had a solid debut for DC, saving all three shots that he faced while also collecting his first clean sheet in MLS since 2017.
Orlando striker Alexandre Pato underwent knee surgery and could be out for the foreseeable future.
Nani has been the team's best scoring threat with goals in each of his last three games to lead the team, while Chris Mueller is still searching for his first goal of the new season after netting 10 times in their previous campaign.
DC United possible starting lineup:
Kempin; Hines-Ike, Brillant, Alfaro; Moreno; Gressel, Najar, Skundrich, Nyeman; Flores, Perez
Orlando City possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Teixeira, Carlos, Schlegel, Smith; Mueller, Mendez, Urso, Perea; Nani, Pereyra
We say: DC United 0-2 Orlando City
Orlando have been tested against some strong teams who, except for Cincinnati, pack a lot of punch up front, and so far, The Lions defence has passed those tests with flying colours.
DC are not an offensively gifted side and will find it difficult to penetrate an Orlando backline that have not given up more than five shots on goal against a single opponent this season.
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