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Major League Soccer
Jul 5, 2022 at 12am UK
Florida Citrus Bowl
DU

Orlando City
3 - 5
DC United

Torres (57'), Kara (66'), Pato (80' pen.)
Schlegel (50')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Fountas (5', 8', 51'), Smith (74'), Robertha (90+6')
Robertha (90')

Preview: Orlando City vs. DC United - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Orlando City vs. DC United - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's Major League Soccer clash between Orlando City and DC United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After advancing to the semi-finals of the U.S. Open Cup for the first time since 2019, Orlando City return to MLS action on Monday for a special Independence Day clash against DC United.

The Lions scored deep into injury-time on Wednesday before defeating Nashville SC on penalties (6-5) in that quarter-final affair, while DC currently hold the worst record in the league and are without a victory in six consecutive domestic encounters.


Match preview

Orlando City may be the most complicated side in the league to comprehend, as they rarely look spectacular yet can earn enough positive results to remain relevant, and, most notably, in a playoff position.

Oscar Pareja saw his side gutted over the off-season, as their top goalscorers over the past three campaigns (Nani, Chris Mueller and Daryl Dike) all left at the end of 2021 to pursue other opportunities.

Considering how valuable those assets were to their success in previous years, it is no big surprise to see them struggling to find the back of the net with any sort of regularity this season, scoring the fourth-fewest goals in the Eastern Conference (20).

Without an established number nine or number 10, Pareja has had to adopt a different tactical scheme to keep this team successful, seemingly grinding their way through numerous games, while scraping together an adequate number of wins and draws.

That approach is not exactly the most eye-catching to observe, but it has kept them near the top of the table, currently fifth in the East, only four points back of the top spot in the Conference.

While it seems to take some time for the Lions to integrate themselves into a game and find their rhythm, they reacted well against Nashville in midweek when going behind, showing flashes of creativity and energy, two things which we have rarely seen consistently from them throughout the campaign.

The once-mighty DC United who previously captured four MLS Cups have fallen on hard times, losing three straight league matches and dropping down into the Eastern Conference basement.

Appointing Chad Ashton as interim manager has done little to spark this club, winning only two league contests since he took over in April.

They have conceded the third-most tallies in the Eastern Conference (27) and have looked especially easy to beat on the road, allowing 10 goals in their four away games under Ashton.

Amid all of their struggles, though, there may be a reason for optimism in the US capital, as the sale of Edison Flores to Atlas in the Mexican top-flight (Liga MX) has opened up some General Allocation Money (GAM) for them, and also freed up the possibility for DC to add another Designated Player (DP).

Their DP signings of late have made immediate impacts for them on the field, and given that they have at least one game in hand on every team in their Conference, the 2022 season is by no means a foregone conclusion for the Black and Red just yet.

With 19 games remaining and 10 points to make up in the playoff race, there is no time to waste if they want a shot to return to the postseason for the first time since 2019.

Orlando City Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Orlando City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

DC United Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

DC United form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L


Team News

Rodrigo Schlegel fired home his first goal at this year's U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday and his second in all competitions to force extra time and penalties.

Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese was the hero in the shootout, stopping Alex Muyl in sudden death to send the Lions into the next round.

Antonio Carlos returned from injury a week ago to play for Orlando in their 1-0 defeat to FC Cincinnati, while the club transferred Silvester van der Water back to his native Holland, where he will join SC Cambuur in the Eredivisie.

Mason Stajduhar is not expected to be ready on Monday as he continues to deal with a jaw injury, while we saw three changes to the Orlando starting 11 on Wednesday compared to the team that began their fixture versus Cincy, with Robin Jansson, Mauricio Pereyra and Tesho Akindele all starting, while Thomas Williams, Jake Mulraney and Andres Perea began on the bench.

DC have used some of the money gained from the Flores deal to purchase Chilean winger Martin Rodriguez from Altay in the Turkish Super Lig.

They still have room to add another DP to compliment Taxiarchis Fountas, who has scored six goals in nine regular-season games, putting him into a tie with Ola Kamara for the team lead.

Nigel Robertha picked up his second assist of the domestic campaign when he set up Fountas for a consolation goal against Nashville last Saturday in a 3-1 defeat, as he sits even with Michael Estrada for second in that category, one behind Julian Gressel.

Andy Najar has been ruled out of this contest due to yellow card accumulation, while Adrien Perez (foot), Moses Nyeman (thigh), Chris Odoi-Atsem (ankle) and Theodore Ku-Dipietro (thigh) are all expected to miss this match through injury.

The injuries do not end there for Ashton's team as Jacob Greene (thigh), Hayden Sargis (illness) and Bill Hamid (illness) might also be forced to sit out of this encounter.

Orlando City possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Ruan, Schlegel, Jansson, K. Smith; Urso, Carlos; Mulraney, Akindele, Torres; Kara

DC United possible starting lineup:
Romo; Gressel, Hines-Ike, Birnbaum, B. Smith; Canouse, Skundrich, Estrada, Durkin; Kamara, Fountas


We say: Orlando City 2-1 DC United

Whatever deficiencies Orlando may suffer from in the attack, they have made up for it with their solid defensive shape, conceding a goal or fewer in their last six matches in all competitions.

On the opposite side, the Black and Red are not a tough team to penetrate defensively, and even a squad like Orlando, who lack potency in the attack, should be able to find a way through.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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Premier League Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter MiamiInter Miami25165456391753
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati25153744331148
3Columbus Crew23127447222543
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls251011442311141
5New York City FCNY City2511593630638
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2510783027337
7Orlando City259793938134
8Toronto2693143447-1330
9Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2577113536-128
10Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia2569104542327
11CF MontrealMontreal2569103449-1527
12Nashville SCNashville2568112639-1326
13DC United2568113550-1526
14Chicago Fire2567123042-1225
15New England RevolutionNew England2372142347-2423

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy26147550361449
2Los Angeles FCLos Angeles24145548301847
3Real Salt LakeSalt Lake25128551341744
4Colorado RapidsColorado2612595043741
5Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver2411584335838
6Houston DynamoHouston2410773530537
7Seattle SoundersSeattle2510783429537
8Portland TimbersPortland2510695042836
9Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd2596104041-133
10Austin FCAustin2587102837-931
11Dallas2586113839-130
12Sporting Kansas CityKansas2666144152-1124
13St Louis City25411103246-1423
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes2542193161-3014
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