Preview: Orlando City Host Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday
ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City SC (8-11-6, 30 points) is set to host Western Conference foe Sporting Kansas City (7-10-7, 28 points) on Wednesday, August 14 at Exploria Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET.
The match will be locally televised on My65 and available to stream on YouTube TV. It will also be broadcast on FM 96.9 The Game in English and Acción 97.9 FM, 810 AM in Spanish.
Wednesday's match will serve as the Club's first-ever "Neon Night" with a special halftime appearance by internationally-acclaimed performance company, Blue Man Group. Orlando City will wear its Origin Kit for the first time while playing at home in Exploria Stadium, with the white kit available for purchase at a 30% discount. In addition, the Club will debut a new, limited edition glow-in-the-dark Honor The Crest CITYiD patch inspired by fan messages in Exploria Stadium's players' tunnel. Tickets for Wednesday's match can be purchased here.
"[Sporting Kansas City] have very good players. They've got a great philosophy there, Peter [Vermes] is someone I've got enormous respect for," Head Coach James O'Connor said. "There's a lot of players that can hurt you, so I think for us it's just being intentional and understanding, like we always say, our attacking and defensive principles and then make sure we're on point and we go and try and put our stamp on the game on Wednesday night."
The Lions enter the midweek contest coming off a 1-1 draw at Toronto this past Saturday. Benji Michel opened the scoring in the match in the 69th minute for the Lions, but the Reds answered less than 10 minutes later with a finish from Patrick Mullins in the 77th, forcing the two sides to split the points on the night.
Nani and Tesho Akindele sit tied for the team lead in goals scored for the Lions this season with eight apiece, followed by Dom Dwyer and Chris Mueller each with five. Nani also holds the team lead in assists with eight, with Mueller and Ruan following with four each.
Sporting Kansas City comes into Wednesday's match after falling 2-1 to Real Salt Lake at home on Saturday. SKC opened the scoring in the 31st minute with a goal from Johnny Russell, but RSL answered with a brace from Corey Baird, who found the back of the net in the 38th and 70th minutes respectively to secure all three points for the visitors.
Felipe Gutiérrez leads Sporting Kansas City with 10 goals this season, followed by Russell with eight. Russell also sits tied for the team lead in assists with Gerso Fernandes, each with five.
Following Wednesday's match, the Lions will close out a stretch of three games in eight days when they travel to face Minnesota United FC for their first visit to Allianz Field on Saturday, August 17.
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