Undefeated in five straight, the Eastern Conference-leading Union go into Orlando City on Wednesday night to face the Lions.
The Union are coming off of a thrilling 1-0 win against DC United in which they didn’t play their best but managed to gut out a result on a cross from Sebastien Le Toux and a sliding finish by defender Richie Marquez for his first MLS goal with two minutes left in the match. Orlando City came back from an early Ignacio Piatti tally to win 2-1 against Montreal last Saturday on the strength of a Cyle Larin brace and two assists from Kaka.
The two teams last met April 8th. CJ Sapong opened the scoring in the second minute, but Adrian Winter equalized in the 43rd minute, a scoreline that stood until Tranquillo Barnetta’s bar-down free kick golazo in the 90th minute which gave all three points to the boys in blue. The win put the Union in first at the time, a position the Union regained with the win against DC.
The Union have not lost since April 16th in Seattle.
Orlando will have Cyle Larin and Brek Shea available this time in what should be a more dynamic and dangerous lineup than the Union saw last time. With two goals last match, Larin could be getting hot at the right time for Orlando and will be a handful for the Union. Kaka will be there too after his non-selection for Brazil’s Copa America Centenario team. For the Union and according to Jim Curtin’s press conference on Monday, the Jamaican federation is letting Andre Blake stay with the Union through the Rapids match this weekend before he reports to the national team.
Fabinho left the DC match with what was called a cramp and should be available for selection. Vincent Nogueira, Ken Tribbett, and Ilsinho will all travel with the team to Orlando and then Denver but it’s unknown if any of them will be available for selection.
Possible lineup: Blake; Fabinho, Marquez, Yaro, Rosenberry; Carroll, Creavalle; Pontius, Barnetta, Le Toux; Sapong
Prediction: The Union go into Orlando and play well as the press gives Orlando trouble, but a moment of brilliance by Kaka and Larin spoils an away victory as the Union still grab a valuable point. Union 1, Orlando City 1