Orlando City face Red Bulls in search of first win of 2019
Field Level Mediaon
Still in search of its first victory of the season, Orlando City SC heads north to face the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
The Red Bulls are 4-1-0 in home matches against the Lions at Red Bull Arena including a 1-0 victory in the last meeting on Oct. 28, 2018. That victory clinched the third Supporters' Shield in franchise history for New York which was 14-2-1 at home last season.
The Red Bulls, who opened the 2019 season with a 1-1 draw at the Columbus Crew, won their home opener, 4-1, over San Jose last Saturday, rallying for four second half goals to pull out the win.
"I don't like that we gave up a goal," coach Chris Armas said. "I don't like we that we gave up the first goal. But I am happy that we came from behind, and when things got a little tough that we were able to manage and grow in the game."
The Red Bulls lost starting midfielder Florian Valot late in the first half of that contest to a torn right ACL on a challenge by the Earthquakes' Judson. Alex Muyl replaced Valot and scored two goals, his first career brace, and also earned a spot on the MLS Team of the Week.
It's the second straight season that Valot has had major surgery. He missed the second-half of the 2018 season with a torn left ACL.
"We're crushed for him, first as a human being," Armas said. "He's such a genuine, great person and knowing what he has to go through is tough. It mentally takes a toll on you. And then it's the team, he's such a big part of the team."
Bradley Wright-Phillips also scored a goal in the win, snapping a 10-game goalless streak in all competitions dating back to Oct. 6, 2018, at San Jose. It was his 107th career MLS goal, one shy of tying Jason Kreis for seventh place all-time in league history.
Orlando City, which went 2-15-0 on the road last year, opened the season with back-to-back draws against New York City FC (2-2) and at the Chicago Fire (1-1) before losing at home to the Montreal Impact, 3-1, last Saturday. Dom Dwyer scored the lone goal for the Lions in the 91st minute.
"I think for us, we're excited, it presents a great challenge to go to New York," Orlando City coach James O'Connor told MLS.com. "We feel as though the players are in a good spot and we're looking forward to the game."