Preview: Orlando City Look for Third-Consecutive Result Thursday in Portland
ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando City SC (7-9-4, 25 points) travel to face Portland Timbers (7-8-3, 24 points) on Thursday, July 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 10 p.m. ET at the newly-renovated Providence Park.
The match will be nationally televised on ESPN and broadcasted locally on FM 96.9 The Game in English and La Nueva 990 AM in Spanish.
"When you look at Portland, I think the atmosphere that they have with the new stadium will be certainly, again, the players will be really excited about and looking forward to," Head Coach James O'Connor said. "Obviously a long journey, but I think it's games like that with a big atmosphere that you want to go to, you want to enjoy, but you want to make sure that you get the right level of performance and create a very competitive game."
The Lions come into Thursday's match after defeating the Columbus Crew 1-0 this past Saturday. Homegrown product Benji Michel scored the game-winner for City in the 84th minute, good for his first MLS goal and the first goal scored by a Homegrown player in league play for the Lions in Club history. Defenders Ruan and Lamine Sané were each credited with an assist on the finish.
Nani leads the Lions with eight goals this season, with seven assists to add, followed by Akindele with six finishes in 2019. Brian Rowe now sits at 60 saves this season with Saturday's win serving as his fifth clean sheet of the year.
The Timbers enter Thursday following a 2-2 draw to the Colorado Rapids at home this past Saturday. The home side opened the scoring in the 27th minute off an own goal by Colorado's Tommy Smith, but the Rapids responded right away with Jonathan Lewis finding the back of the net in the next minute. The Timbers regained the lead in the 63rd minute when Diego Valeri converted from the penalty spot, but the Rapids answered once more in the 76th with a finish from Sam Nicholson, forcing the two sides to split the points on the evening.
Brian Fernandez leads Portland with six goals this season, followed by Diego Valeri and Jeremy Ebobisse each with five. Valeri holds the team lead in assists this season with 10.
Following Thursday's match, the Lions will return home to host the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, July 21 in a nationally televised match on FS1. Kickoff for that match is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET at Exploria Stadium.
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