On Saturday, New York City FC will welcome Orlando City SC to Yankee Stadium for the first of three meetings between the pair of 2015 MLS expansion clubs in 2018. The hosts have won both of their opening two games as they walked out of Sporting Kansas City victors on opening day and have since beaten the LA Galaxy 2-1 at home.
On the other hand, Orlando City has had disappointing results to start the season. To open the season, an improved Orlando hosted D.C. United and left with just one point. Despite going down a man, Orlando would have headed into the match hoping for three points. The Floridians followed that up with a 2-1 loss at home as Ethan Finlay's brace pushed Minnesota United past Orlando.
Orlando City has typically gotten the better of this series despite NYCFC being the better side for a majority of the time since the pair joined the league. Orlando has won 5 of the 9 meetings between the clubs with NYCFC winning just two, and two draws taking place.
Last year, Orlando took down NYCFC by a score of 1-0 on opening day. To make things worse for the boys in blue, Orlando beat them once again in April after David Villa's goal was not enough to grab his side any points in a 2-1 loss. However, David Villa's brace in May partnered by a Rodney Wallace goal saw NYCFC leave Orlando City Stadium with all three points.
New York City FC: For the first time in 2018, Patrick Vieira will have all of his players available for selection. In the opening weeks, new signing, Jo Inge Berget, was suffering from a quad injury. The Norwegian has fully recovered and will hope to make his NYCFC debut on Saturday.
Orlando City SC: On the other hand, the visitors will be missing a handful of players, including some vital pieces to their attack. Young DP, Josue Colman will not be making his debut for the Lions. Stefano Pinho will not be available tomorrow as well as Dom Dwyer meaning Jason Kreis will be missing a lot of his firepower going forward.
Oriol Russel and Mason Stajduhar are also injured meaning they won't be available for Saturday's game. Despite all of the bad news, Sacha Kljestan could potentially appear in his first MLS game for Orlando as the USMNT midfielder was brought in from the New York Red Bulls this winter.
Following Saturday's game, NYCFC will prepare for back-to-back away trips as they'll prepare to travel to face the New England Revolution and San Jose Earthquakes to wrap up the month of March.
Orlando has a bye next week but will meet with NYCFC's rivals from across the river as they host the New York Red Bulls on March 31st. After that, the Lions will host a struggling Portland Timbers side.
How to Watch
When: 3:30 PM EST
Where: Yankee Stadium
Broadcast: fuboTV, Univision Deportes USA, Univision USA, MLS Live, Univision Now