Back to Back Games on Orlando’s Agenda

Filed under: Orlando City Soccer |

The Orlando City Lions look to cement their place at the top of the USL PRO standings with two back-to-back games against very different opponents. The Dayton Dutch Lions come to Orlando tomorrow before City heads up to Charleston for Saturday’s clash with division rival Charleston Battery.

Wins in both matches would put the Lions an amazing 19 points clear of 3rd place in the American Division. First up for City is National Division foe Dayton. The expansion Dutch Lions have struggled to find their footing this season, having won just once in thirteen matches. The two Lion clubs squared off in early May in Dayton. A Max Griffin goal in the 28th minute was all Orlando needed for the victory. Part of Dayton’s struggles can be attributed to not playing a home game since June 4. The Dutch Lions do not play their next home game until July 23, making it nearly two months on the road for Dayton.

Orlando has seen its share of road games as well, playing its last six matches, including U.S. Open Cup play, away from the Citrus Bowl. Orlando is also looking to win its first home match since May 25th, having earned just one of a possible six points in their last two home matches. With Charleston perceived as the stronger opponent, some have speculated that Head Coach Adrian Heath would rest some starters against Dayton due to the lack of recovery time between matches. That will not happen.

“We’re going with our full starting line-up,” said Heath. “We want to make sure we get three points at home. Our fans deserve it.” Friday’s match with Dayton is the second of three Orlando City matches to be broadcast on Brighthouse Sports Network. Jeff Radcliffe will provide play-by-play with former USL A-League player Eddie Rodriguez providing commentary. Brighthouse Sports Network can be found on channel 47 or 1147 (HD) on the Brighthouse cable network. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm.

The match against Dayton is also Breast Cancer Awareness Night at the Citrus Bowl. The Lions will wear special pink jerseys for the match. All of the jerseys are being auctioned off to benefit Women Playing for T.I.M.E, a local Orlando breast cancer charity. Special pink-themed concessions and merchandise will also be available with all proceeds going directly to Women Playing for T.I.M.E.

Right after tomorrow’s match, Orlando will travel to Charleston for their first regular season clash with the Battery. The two sides last met on June 21st in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup. The Lions emerged victorious, 1-0 on a Rob Valentino goal in the 39th minute. Saturday’s match is the first of three regular season games between Orlando and Charleston. The Battery will come to Orlando for a two game series in early August.

Charleston enters the match 1-1-1 since the Open Cup match against City. Their last match was a scoreless draw with the LA Blues at home. Saturday is game three of a four game home stand for the Battery. Charleston is 5-3-2 in all competitions at Blackbaud Stadium this season. The club has struggled to score at home as of late, netting just one goal in their last four home matches against USL PRO competition. By contrast, Orlando has scored seven goals in their last four matches against USL PRO competition. Kickoff in Charleston is set for 7 pm. The game will be shown on

The trip to Charleston also marks the last road match of the season for Orlando City. All remaining matches will be at home, beginning with next Saturday’s nationally televised match against the Rochester Rhinos on FOX Soccer Channel. Note, due to FOX Soccer Channel’s broadcast schedule, the match will kick off at 6:30 pm, not the usual 7:30 pm kickoff.

Close on the heels of these matches are the Lions impending friendlies against English Premier League sides Bolton Wanderers on July 17th and Newcastle United on July 23rd. Tickets for both matches are still available and start at just $25. For more information, call 855-ORL- CITY today!

Proposed Line-up (unofficial): GK: Miguel Gallardo DF: Erik Ustruck, Demar Stewart, Rob Valentino, Michael Tetteh MF: Kevin Molino, Yordany Alvarez, Lawrence Olum, Lewis Neal FW: Jamie Watson, Max Griffin

Subs: Sean Kelley, Kieron Bernard, Mechack Jerome, Luke Boden, Charlie Campbell, Dennis Chin, Devorn Jorsling

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