New York City FC travel to Orlando in battle of 2015 expansion clubs

Despite joining the league together in 2015, the two have taken different paths, but none of that matters on Thursday.

New York City FC travel to Orlando in battle of 2015 expansion clubs
The two clubs have met twice this season. | Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday, New York City FC will take on fellow 2015 MLS expansion club, Orlando City SC. This will be the third of three meetings this season, but just the first at Orlando City Stadium. Orlando are coming off a loss in a controversial game to the Columbus Crew in which they conceded two late goals. One, a wonder strike from Wil Trapp, and one, a questionable penalty.

NYCFC's last match was also against the Crew. However, they had less trouble, as they took all three points thanks to goals from Jesus Medina and Anton Tinnerholm. Will NYCFC make it four wins on the trot on Thursday, or will Orlando put an end to it?

Past Meetings

As mentioned, the two clubs have met twice this season already, and NYCFC have taken three points on both occasions. The first one, a 2-0 win for NYCFC, took place in mid-March, very early in the season. After a boring first half, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi opened the scoring just past the hour mark. Then, just about 10 minutes later, Maxi Moralez sealed the points for the Boys in Blue with a goal to make it 2-0.

In the most recent meeting, it was a more convincing win as Tajouri-Shradi once again opened the scoring. Then, he doubled the lead in the 79th before Moralez once again sealed the points. Three goals and three points on the day made it three consecutive wins over OCSC while outscoring them 8-0. Will they be able to do it again?

Team News

New York City FC: Three of NYCFC's biggest threats in front of goal could return to action on Thursday after missing multiple games. The big one, David Villa, returned to training this week despite a knee injury. Jo Inge Berget, and joint-top goal scorer, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, also returned to training and could also make an appearance.

Ismael Tajouri-Shradi enjoys facing OCSC. | Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Ismael Tajouri-Shradi enjoys facing OCSC. | Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately, the good news ends there as Yangel Herrera (ankle) and Cedric Hountondji (hamstring) will continue to miss time.

Orlando City SC: To start the list for the hosts, Earl Edwards Jr. is questionable due to a mild sprain on his left ankle. Joining him on the injury list as defensive pairing, Lamine Sane (quad) and Jonathan Spector (hamstring) who will also likely miss the match. Finally, Mason Stajduhar will top of the list as he continues to miss time due to Localized Ewing Sarcoma.

What's Next?

New York City FC will return to action just three days after their match with Orlando. On the day, they'll be in the Emerald City to take on the Seattle Sounders. They'll continue playing Cascadia clubs the following week as they open up the month of August by hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps. Then, NYCFC head north of the border to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field.

For Orlando, they'll also be in action soon after the NYCFC match as they take on the LA Galaxy on the West Coast. Then, they'll return home to host the New England Revolution before their first ever date with Audi Field as they face D.C. United.

How to Watch

When: Thursday, July 26th at 8 PM EST.

Where: Orlando City Stadium

Broadcast: ESPN, ESPN Deportes USA, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes+ USA