Date: Friday, April 8th
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium
Referees: REF: Jair Marrufo, AR1: Peter Balciunas, AR2: Daniel Belleau, 4th: Rubiel Vazquez
Television: Univision Deportes
Streaming: MLS Live
All-time Record: The Union (2-2-0) and Orlando City (2-0-2) will meet for only the third time this Friday. The Union got the better of Orlando last season, drawing the first match between the two sides and winning the season finale thanks to a Sebastien Le Toux goal.
How Orlando will look: Orlando may be without star striker and leading scorer Cyle Larin who is currently battling a hamstring injury. Orlando City coach Adrian Heath seems to indicate the injury may not be serious, but may take extra precautions given the nature of hamstring injuries. In his place, the Union could be facing former Roma striker Julio Baptista who recently signed for the team. Brek Shea is also set to miss this week's match after the MLS Disciplinary Committee suspended the defender for a vicious tackle in Orlando's match against Portland. Even with these players missing, Kaka and company still present a dangerous attacking threat for the Union to deal with.
How Philadelphia will look: The Union will be without midfielder Warren Creavalle who will miss this week's match due to his red card against Chicago. With Creavalle's suspension, it will be interesting to see who Jim Curtin deploys in the midfield this week. Common wisdom would suggest that Nogueira would start in defensive midfield next to Brian Carroll with either Roland Alberg or Tranquillo Barnetta starting in attacking midfield. But with Barnetta and Nogueira both coming off injuries it will be interesting to see who Curtin starts. While the midfield and wings may be somewhat of a mystery expect the back line of Keegan Rosenberry, Richie Marquez, Ken Tribbett and Fabinho to remain the same with CJ Sapong and Andre Blake starting at striker and goalkeeper respectively.
What to expect: Orlando City have yet to lose this year and looked dangerous as they scored four goals on the defending champion Portland Timbers. Even without their leading scorer, they still have a plethora of attacking options and will look to exploit the shaky Union defense. For the Union, they will be trying to capitalize on the scoring chances that alluded them against Chicago. The Union hit the post several times last weekend and easily could have been in the lead had those shots found the back of the net. If the Union continue to look as dangerous as they did at times against Chicago, then they may be able to give Orlando a run for their money.