Two clubs in very different form meet for the first time in their MLS history as Orlando City travels to Banc of California Stadium to take on newcomers, LAFC.
The Lions are in struggling form fresh off a harsh eighth loss to rival club Atlanta United. But for the Orlando faithful some light does still shine in as this weekend's trip to Southern California will be the first under new head coach, and ex-Orlando player, James O’Connor. The 38-year-old is fresh off success with USL club, Louisville SC and is looking to translate that success in the top flight. But O’Connor hasn’t been at the helm for very long, too much change cannot be anticipated to get this misfiring squad to suddenly click together. The style change may have its roots settling in and showing how O’Connor would like to play in the future, but anything more than that might be a strong ask for a weeks time.
Orlando City will be without three key players for this weekend's match against LAFC. Scott Sutter, Lamine Sane, and Christian Higuita did not travel with the team to LA.
The MLS newcomers return home to LA off the back of a disappointing draw away to Houston. After going two goals up in the 72nd minute it looked like a done deal as the clock rolled into the 90th minute. But, with an extended injury time period, Houston was able to cut the deficit in half in the 94th minute. Just two minutes later the Dynamo would steal an unlikely point from the traveling side. Despite that, LAFC is currently on a four-game undefeated streak and a seven-game undefeated streak at home, with their only loss in California coming by the hands of cross-town rivals, LA Galaxy. Within the last week the black and gold have also recorded their first-ever MLS hattrick through former Hull City man, Adama Diomande, he also won player of the month for June. Diomande scored seven goals in four games throughout the month helping win three out of their four games last month. LAFC is flying high upon their return home and will be looking to carry their form against a struggling Orlando.
LAFC will also be without some starting players this weekend. Currently, Omar Gaber is listed as out by MLS while Diego Rossi is listed as questionable. After a good showing at the world cup for Mexico, LAFC could see the return of star attacker, Carlos Vela who could not get past Brazil in the round of 16.