It is Matchday 30, which will have New York City FC hosting Orlando City SC at Citi Field in the beautiful borough of Queens. NYCFC are facing a white-hot Orlando that sit in second place in the Eastern Conference, and happens to hold the best road record in MLS: Here is your NYCFC vs Orlando Game Day Hub.
Game Day Essentials
- Matchday 30: NYCFC vs Orlando City
- Date and Time: Wednesday, September 20, 7:30 pm ET
- Kickoff Time: 7:39 pm ET
- Venue: Citi Field
- Forecast: A breezy, pleasant early autumn evening, 70˚F/21˚C
- Watch: Apple TV
- Apple Broadcast Team: Tyler Terens and Devon Kerr
- Listen: English and Spanish broadcasts on NYCFC Radio
- Officiating Crew: Ismail Elfath (referee), Gianni Facchini, Chris Elliott (assistant referees), Tori Penso (fourth official), Jair Marrufo (VAR), Tyler Wyrostek (assistant VAR)
NYCFC vs Orlando preview
Both of these teams joined MLS in 2015, and for most of their shared history New York City were easily the better club. Not so this year. Orlando head coach Óscar Pareja is getting the most out of a team that beat top teams such as FC Cincinnati on the road, St. Louis City at home, and Atlanta United on the road.
While Orlando all but guaranteed to make the MLS Cup Playoffs for the fourth year in a row, NYCFC are on track to miss the postseason for the first time since 2015. New York City are one of the youngest squads in MLS, and it shows: This team have a tough time finishing, and can’t close out a game.
But there’s hope yet for NYCFC. Orlando play Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami on Sunday in what will be the marquee matchup of the weekend, and Pareja might rest key starters to keep them fresh for sold-out crowd at Exploria Stadium, and the hundreds of billions who will watch the game on Apple TV.
NYCFC vs Orlando H2H
The head-to-head between the two clubs is dead even. Interestingly, NYCFC have drawn Orlando more than any other team in MLS, with nine out of 23 games. Only New England Revolution (seven draws in 25 games) and Toronto FC (seven draws in 24 games) come close.
One of those draws took place in Orlando earlier this year when Gabe Segal scored a Gabe Se-Goal in the 89th minute to steal a point on the road. The sad truth is that New York City were the better team for most of the match, and could have won with more clinical finishing. Sound familiar?
- Player Availability: Maxi Moralez is out for the season after injuring his ACL. Keaton Parks is out after spraining his ankle vs. Red Bulls. Alfredo Morales makes it a trio of missing midfielders, out with a “lower body injury,” the same vague ailment also keeping third goalkeeper Cody Mizell out of action. Matías Pellegrini is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
- Both Mitja Ilenič and Keaton Parks are one yellow card away from sitting out a game due to yellow card accumulation.
- Will we finally see Mounsef Bakrar and Talles Magno on the field together? Head coach Nick Cushing hasn’t played the two at the same time in an MLS league game.
- Will Keaton Parks sit this one out after suffering a minor ankle injury on Saturday? A midfield of Santiago Rodríguez, James Sands, and Andrés Perea sounds smokin’ to us.
- Going to the game? You’ll want to look at our dining guide to Citi Field.
- The official Hudson River Blue NYCFC Playoff Tracker inched up one point after the dismal draw with the New Jersey Red Bulls on Saturday, and now stands at 31 points on the season.
- Player Availability: Two players are out: Defender Antônio Carlos (lower right leg injury) and midfielder Favian Loyola (left arm surgery).
- Orlando are unbeaten in their last six league matches and are coming off a highly dramatic 4-3 home win over Columbus Crew. That win came on a Ramiro Enrique winner in the 97th minute, the culmination of Orlando reversing a 1-3 deficit faced as late as the 73rd minute.
- Speaking of Ramiro Enrique, his two late goals and assist against the Crew earned him MLS Player of the Match Day honors. Enrique’s emergence has helped Orlando not miss a beat after selling striker Ercan Kara to Turkish club Samsunspor this summer.
- Some leadership weirdness appears to be afoot in Orlando. Despite the club sitting second in the Supporters Shield standings and appearing on the rise, key front office executives Luiz Muzzi and Ricardo Moreira have not yet had their 2024 contract options picked up.
- Head coach Óscar Pareja is also out of contract at the end of the season with lots of uncertainty clouding his future with the purple-clad Lions.
- You can read more about the team in Oppo Research: 5 Things about Orlando City