New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City SC: Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes

How to Watch

What: Orlando City SC vs New York Red Bulls

Where: Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ

When: Saturday, March 23rd at 7:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): ESPN+, My65, Youtube TV, and MSG+ | La Nueva 990am, and 104.1 Real Radio

Orlando City SC (Away)

Head Coach: James O’Connor {Current: 0-2-1 (2) | Top Scorer: Dom Dwyer (2)}

Key Players: Dom Dwyer, Sacha Kljestan, Nani

Expected Starting XI (4-4-2): Rowe, Acosta – Ascues – O’Neill – Ruan, Kljestan – Mendez – Higuita – Mueller, Nani – Dwyer

Orlando City SC enter this match ranked eighth in the Eastern Conference, with only two points to themselves in the table. They are led by Dom Dwyer at the point of attack and look to get their star acquisition Nani, involved in the attack.

In the last five home games in this regular season tie, the home team has been victorious. Orlando City have proven themselves to have some decent attacking talent, but have been unable to keep the ball out of the back of their net.

Considering the current international break, the Lions are missing a couple of their players. Sebas Mendez and Kamal Miller are off on international duty and while Tesho Akindele and Will Johnson are questionable to play in this match. They will need to rely on some unexpected sources to come away with a win against a tough Red Bulls Side.

New York Red Bulls (Home)

Head Coach: Chris Armas {Current: 2-1-1 (4) | Top Scorer: Alex Muyl (2)}

Key Players: Alex Muyl, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Luis Robles

Expected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Robles, Duncan – Tarek – Parker – Lade, Rzatkowski – Davis, Royer – Bezecourt – Muyl, Wright-Phillips

New York Red Bulls sit just fifth in the Eastern Conference with four points on the season. Due to a mid-week cup match, they are actually a game behind most of the MLS. They have the opportunity to close the gap against Orlando City SC.

Red Bulls dominated the San Jose Earthquake in their last match. From a scoreless first half, they were able to compose themselves and go home with a 4-1 win. They had the top regular season record in 2018 and surely want to build toward that accomplishment once again this season.

Red Bulls will take on an ailing but always dangerous Orlando City SC side. Alex Muyl has made a name for himself in limited minutes and is sure to want to continue his super-sub status going forward. If not him, Bradley Wright-Phillips may be able to get out of his funk against a leaky Orlando defence.

What’s At Stake?

Meetings between Orlando City SC and New York Red Bulls are always contentious affairs. In nine meetings, the Lions are 3-5-1 against the Red Bulls.

A win for Orlando City SC will bring them just outside of the top four in the Eastern Conference.

A win for New York Red Bulls would put them at the top of the Eastern Conference table.

Questions to answer

What are the keys for a Lions victory?

Is Bradley Wright-Phillips past his slump?

We are going to compare Orlando City SC and the New York Red Bulls in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Orlando Wants Their First Victory

It will be a tough night out, but Orlando City are certainly capable of achieving their first victory of the season against the New York Red Bulls. While Red Bulls maintain a plethora of all-league talent, Orlando City can pull a win if their are diligent in their cause.

As with any New York Red Bulls side, Bradley Wright-Phillips is a player to mark and slow down as much as possible. At 33 years-old, Wright-Phillips can still beat you with his pace and both feet. Teams have been known to man-mark him in the past to limit his service and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Orlando’s gritty midfielders do the same.

Orlando has also had difficulty keeping the ball out of the net. Unfortunately for their defence, they will now also have to deal with the high-press of the Red Bulls. In their last match, Carlos Ascues and Shane O’Neill failed to organize their back line and saw themselves penetrated from both wings. They will have the added pressure distributing the ball accurately if they want to save Brian Rowe from a bulging net. If The Lions can control those aspects, they’ll be in great shape going forward.

Wright-Phillips Finally Scored

To say that Bradley Wright-Phillips had difficulty scoring the ball as of late is almost ludicrous in the MLS. Just on 5 October 2018, Bradley Wright-Phillips was the first person in MLS history to have three 20-goal seasons on his resume. Unfortunately for Wright-Phillips, that was the last time he scored a goal. Until his last match against the Earthquake.

It’s not that Wright-Phillips has lost too much pace, nor is being outmuscled by opposing defenders. It seems that through his years in the MLS, the quality overall has increased. Where Wright-Phillips feasted on NCAA-level backlines earlier in his career, he is now facing teams with multi-million dollar defences.

Wright-Phillips still has it, as shown by his classy finish against San Diego. He will likely need more service going forward though, as being an individual target at the front of the attack no longer seems feasible for him. The MLS-legend is sure to het his fair share of goals this year, but the Red Bulls will need a more dynamic attack in this ever-growing MLS.

Orlando City SC Roster Notes

F Tesho Akindele – 19 Mar 2019 – OUT (Hamstring) – Akindele suffered an injury to his hamstring and is not expected to play on Saturday.

M Will Johnson – 15 Mar 2019 – OUT (Concussion) – Johnson is yet to pass concussion protocol and will not be available on Saturday.

D Lamine Sane – 19 Mar 2019 – QUESTIONABLE (

New York Red Bulls Roster Notes

M Florian Valot – 20 Mar 2019 – OUT (ACL) – is expected to miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.

F Brian White – 15 Mar 2019 – Probable (Hamstring) – White participated in training and is a match-day decision.

Head-to-Head: Dom Dwyer (OCS) vs Marc Rzatkowski (NYR)

It will be all about the attack when Orlando City SC and New York Red Bulls meet. Dom Dwyer has had a great start to the season while Marc Rzatkowski will have to step up with Florian Valot out for the season once again with a torn ACL.

Dom Dwyer

Forward | 176cm, 72kg (5-9, 159lb)| USA | Exp. 8 Years

182 Apps | 159 Starts | 0.57 Gls/90 | 0.65 G+A/90 | 1.51 SoT | 2.04 Fls | 0.24 Crd

Dom Dwyer has gotten off to a hot start for Orlando City SC. The 28-year old striker has paired well with Nani at the top of the attack, having capitalized on two of four shots on goal to this point in the season. With Tesho Akindele out with a hamstring injury, Dwyer will have more pressure on him to produce when he is on the pitch. Expect Dwyer to be the first option available as the Lions try to break the Red Bulls’ high press.

Marc Rzatkowski

Mid-Field | 171cm, 65kg (5-7, 143 lbs)| Germany | Exp. 10 Years

188 Apps | 161 Starts | 0.15 Gls/90 | 0.45 G+A/90 | 0.54 SoT | 1.08 Fls | 0.18 Crd

Two-time Austrian Bundesliga Champion Marc Rzatkowski has some big shoes to fill. With midfield playmaker Forian Valot out of the lineup, Rzatkowski will likely be asked to replace him in the first eleven. Rzatkowski is a talented playmaker and passer from the midfield and has a penchant for opening up the play with his dribble. He need to command the same presence and control in the midfield as Valot if Red Bulls want to manage Orlando’s pace attack.

Orlando City SC at New York Red Bulls Predictions and Odds

The odds makers have New York Red Bulls (-275) favoured over Orlando City SC (+750), with a +375 for a draw.