After nearly a month away, Orlando City SC returns home to Orlando City Stadium for a rematch against the Montreal Impact. The two sides faced each other just over a week ago in Montreal as the Impact recorded a 3-0 victory to lengthen Orlando’s losing streak to six straight.
Normally in a match that was played a week ago not much new information could be said about either side is usually not many changes in that time. But two days after Orlando’s sixth straight loss, head coach Jason Kreis was let go from his position and assistant Bobby Murphy was given the interim position. Murphy also took over as interim head coach after Adrian Heath was sacked and led the Lions to one win, two losses, and three draws in his matches in charge in 2016. Since taking over for the second time, Murphy has been able to coach a game for Orlando bringing the team to their first US Open Cup Quarterfinal berth since 2013 in a penalty shootout win over D.C. United (Yes, Orlando City can do it on a rainy night at the Maryland SoccerPlex).
The most interesting storyline for this rematch will be the change in tactics, as the Wednesday night Open Cup clash saw a very different styled lineup than Orlando have seen. The team lined up in a 3-4-3, pushing Sacha Kljestan back and the full-backs to overlap more. It didn’t work the entire game but it was a quick change into these tactics in a short time frame.
Orlando will have more options in this match than they had throughout most of the six-game slide as defenders Amro Tarek, Jonathan Spector, and Lamine Sane have recovered from injury as well as star striker Dom Dwyer.
Montreal is in a different boat from Orlando as not much has changed for the Impact. Montreal’s 3-0 win last week was their biggest win of the season and only their second win by more than one goal. They continue their up and down season under Remi Garde having won back to back only once this season (1-0 wins over Toronto FC and Seattle Souders FC March 17th and 31st). The Impact is also needing this game to keep the ball rolling on turning a disappointing start to the season around.
The lineup for Montreal should not be too different from the one they fielded just last Wednesday against Orlando as it got the work done that the Impact needed and have been since then rested without any games.