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Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United FC: No Room For Squad Rotation This Time

Written by: Varun Shetty
Updated October 14, 2022
13 min read
  • Orlando City SC will face Atlanta United FC this Wednesday at the Exploria Stadium
  • Orlando City SC have just lost their five-game winning streak in the MLS 
  • Atlanta United FC have just broken their two game losing streak in the MLS with a win 

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Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United FC Prediction

With a few games left in the regular season, there’s still a lot to play for. Atlanta United have an outside chance of making it to the playoffs and Orlando City aren’t guaranteed a place in the playoffs yet. The former are currently in 10th place on the eastern conference table, whereas the latter are currently in 5th place on the table with six points separating the two.

The two sides have faced each other 17 times in the past with Orlando City coming out on top eight times, drawing six times and being on the losing side three times. They’ll go into this game as favorites because of the head-to-head history, home advantage and superior position on the table. It’s their game to lose.

Previous Meetings

The last game between the two sides took place back in July and ended in a 1-1 draw. Atlanta United were the superior side on the day despite going a goal down in the 10th minute of the game because of a Mauricio Pereyra strike.

Atlanta United had 62% of the possession in this game and notched up 14 shots with four on target compared to Orlando’s three shots with just one on target. Atlanta United’s attempts weren’t in vain as Juan Sachez equalized in the 70th minute to give them a well-deserved draw. They’ll need a similar performance but a better result with little time left to catch up on the teams ahead of them for a playoff berth.

Orlando City SC Get Crushed by Philadelphia Union

Orlando City SC had no answer to Philadelphia Union on the weekend, getting a 5-1 hammering from the eastern conference table leaders. Philadelphia Union dominated both halves in this game but it took an own goal for them to get started in the 39th minute. Joao Moutinho was the unfortunate soul responsible for kicking the ball into his own net.

With the floodgates now open, Philadelphia Union added to the lead with a goal from Mikkel Uhre just four minutes later. Daniel Gazdag took his goal calmly from the penalty spot and Alejandro Bedoya joined the party early in the second half before Orlando City got a consolation goal in the 75th minute thanks to Andres Perea. Philadelphia Union weren’t done, however. They scored one more just before added time thanks to Jack Elliot to win 5-1.

No Room For Squad Rotation This Time

Orlando City were never likely to beat Philadelphia Union even with their strongest side and Oscar Pareja’s decision to rotate the side on the weekend was probably the right choice, all things considered, despite the nature of the defeat. He certainly can’t head into this match without a full squad. A win here would almost guarantee a playoff spot. It remains to be seen if the loss on the weekend has a psychological blow to the squad, though. This was a team on a great run prior to the last game and momentum can be crucial towards the back end of the regular season.

Still A Little Light In The Forward Department

Orlando City have done well to get this far up on the league table but there’s been some good fortune on the way there. They still lack the sort of firepower up top that’s really going to trouble teams. No player in the team is yet to reach double digit goal-scoring numbers, with Ercan Kara leading the scoring charts for the side with just nine goals.

Injuries And Suspensions

Left-winger Gaston Gonzalez has been out since May with a cruciate ligament injury. Alexandre Pato has been out since last month due to a knee surgery.

Atlanta United FC Enjoy Fine Win Against Toronto FC

Atlanta United put on one of their finest displays of the season against an emerging Toronto FC side with a 4-2 win. Defender, Juan Jose Purata, was the hero for the side with a hat-trick. The match really kicked into gear in the second half with Purata scoring the first goal of the game two minutes after the second half had begun.

Ayo Akinola got one back for the visitors five minutes later to level the scores. Purata would be on target again in the 62nd minute but the lead lasted for just five minutes again, with Federico Bernardeschi slotting home a penalty in the 67th minute. Thiago Almada’s goal in the 74th minute gave Atlanta United some breathing room before Purata’s hat-trick in the 88th minute confirmed the win.

Team Has Shown Fight Despite Injury Troubles

Atlanta United could’ve had an end to their season in April this season they had an unprecedented injury crisis. They’re still without five players who were all put on the resting table around summertime, which just goes to show how serious the injury crisis was and continues to be for them. Despite that, they’ve put up some strong showings and are still in with a chance of making it to the playoffs. It won’t be easy and they’re still unlikely to make it, but there’s a spirit within the squad now that should help them in the coming games.

An Aggressive Approach Will Do Them Good

Atlanta United haven’t had as many issues in the goalscoring department as Orlando City, scoring nine goals more than their counterparts in midweek. They can throw some bodies forward in this game, knowing that Orlando City aren’t the most threatening side going forward. Atlanta United’s defensive record has been poor this season, which is bound to happen when you lose two of your goalkeepers through injury, but they should be able to live with the risks of the approach because of how hard Orlando City find it to open up a side’s defense.

Orlando City don’t really have the meanest of defenses either, so the approach to this game for Atlanta United should be pretty clear. They’re heading into this game on the back of a fine performance. There’s enough in this team to get something out of this game.

Injuries And Suspensions

Goalkeeper Dylan Castanheira has been out with an Achilles tendon rupture since April. Defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso has been out with a cruciate ligament rupture. Goalkeeper Brad Guzan has been out with an Achilles tendon rupture since April. Center-back, Miles Robinson, has been out with an Achilles tendon rupture since May. The central midfielder, Emerson Hyndman, has been out with a hamstring injury since early June.

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How to Watch Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United FC

Teams Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United FC
Location Exploria Stadium
Time Wednesday, September 14 at 6pm ET onwards
How to watch ESPN+, DAZN, Fox 35 Plus and Bally Sports Southeast
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Varun Shetty

204 Articles

Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point.

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