Orlando City and Union healthier ahead of showdown
Posted On July 21, 2021
Orlando City are looking to snag a modest three-game winless streak Thursday night at home against the Philadelphia Union, which hasn’t won in its last four road games.
Like many teams in MLS, Orlando (6-3-4, 22 points) continues to manage some absences from the roster due to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, namely the American striker Daryl Dike.
But Lions are healthier otherwise. Former Brazil national team forward Alexandre Pato has been outclassed in doubt following a knee injury he sustained during the opening weekend in April. Center-back Antonio Carlos could also return after missing two games.
Perhaps more encouraging for manager Oscar Pareja is his belief that midfielder Mauricio Pereyra looks set to rediscover his 2020 form. The Uruguayan has just one goal and three assists this season, although Pareja believes more is to come after his performance in a 1-1 road draw in Toronto this weekend.
“Today I saw it more clearly with the ball,” Pareja told the Orlando Sentinel. “The actions he performed on the ball just shows the character he brings to the team. I know Mauricio is going to keep doing his best soon because we need him, and he knows it.”
The Union (6-3-5, 23 points) have had their own minor away issues, settling for draws in three of their last four away games and losing a close game at Nashville SC.
But manager Jim Curtin’s side travel to Orlando after a 2-1 home win over DC United on Saturday with most of his talented midfielder available for selection for the first time in some time.
It’s unlikely that Ilsinho (groin) and Anthony Fontana (concussion protocol) will start and remain questionable over the team’s injury report. But with Alejandro Bedoya, Daniel Gazdag, Leon Flach, Jamiro Monteiro and Jose Martinez all in great shape, Curtin has what coaches are calling a good problem.
“Someone’s going to be the odd one out, and it won’t be performance-based,” Curtin said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had a choice to choose from. This will allow us to have some rotation when we have these busy stretches.”
– Field level media