Storylines | City vs. Real Salt Lake
Es un Orlando City Goal
This past Saturday Orlando City midfielder Nani recorded his first two goals of the season against Colorado Rapids and is now second in goals scored for the Lions, following forward Dom Dwyer. The Portuguese midfielder is tied for the league lead in assists along with LAFC's Carlos Vela. Nani has registered four assists in six games played this season. In the first half of the match, defender João Moutinho sent in a cross allowing the Portuguese forward to finish with a header. With the match tied in the second half, Nani was awarded a penalty kick in the 89' giving Orlando their first win at home of the season.
Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake will bring a whirl of memories to Orlando City Defender Will Johnson and midfielder Danny Acosta. Johnson registered 9,445 minutes with RSL in a period of five seasons. Johnson holds an MLS Cup Championship title, helping lead RSL to an MLS Cup victory in 2009. Johnson was also named to the 2009 MLS All-Star roster during that campaign.
Acosta is on loan with Orlando City from Real Salt Lake through the 2019 season. A Utah native and Real Salt Lake-Arizona Academy graduate, Acosta has played center back, left back, and holding midfielder after signing his homegrown contract in 2015. The American-Honduran has played in three games for the Lions, appearing in the starting lineup for all three.
Maintaining the Streak
Real Salt Lake is one of three teams in which the Lions have never lost to, the others being last week's opposition against Colorado and the San Jose Earthquakes. Since 2015, Orlando City boasts a 2-0-2 record against Saturday's opponent with wins in its last two meetings. Will Johnson scored the lone goal against his former team that led City to a 1-0 victory at Rio Tinto Stadium in 2017, while Dom Dwyer and Lamine Sané, along with former Lion Yoshi Yotun, found the back of the net in last season's 3-1 victory. Last year's win over RSL also served as the record-breaker for the Club's six-game win streak.
No April Fools
Saturday's victory over Colorado extended the Lions' win streak in the month of April to nine games. City's last April defeat came on April 1st, 2017 at Columbus. Since then the Lions have rattled off nine consecutive victories, boasting a +6 goal differential in these matches. The streak consists of three wins over Colorado and one apiece against RBNY, LA Galaxy, NYCFC, Portland, Philadelphia and San Jose. In its five year history, the Lions hold an 11-6-2 record in the month of April overall.
A result on Saturday would give City its best road start since 2015. The Lions' are currently 1-0-1 away from Orlando, with a win at RBNY and a draw at Chicago on its road resume. In its inaugural season in 2015, City started 2-0-1 on the road with a win at Houston, which also served as its first win in MLS, a draw at Montreal, and a victory in Portland.
How May He Assist You?
Trailing only Brad Davis and Landon Donavan, midfielder Sacha Kljestan sits at third in assists registered against Real Salt Lake in league history and first among active players with seven in his 14 career games played against the Claret and Cobalt. Also the active league leader in career assists, Kljestan is just one away from tying Cobi Jones for 8th in MLS history with 91, with Jones having played 60 more MLS games than Kljestan has to date (306 to 247).
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