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Storylines: City vs. NYCFC

October 14, 2020 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Orlando City SC News Release

Facing the Pigeons

The Lions are currently riding a four-game unbeaten streak across all competitions against their 2015 expansion rivals, the latest result coming in a 3-1 victory in the group stage at the MLS is Back Tournament. Chris Mueller scored the fastest brace in Club history in that match, giving the Lions an early two-goal lead with finishes in the fourth and 10th minutes, respectively. Tesho Akindele would add the insurance for the Lions in the 81st minute, the goal that eventually led them to clinching the top spot in Group A on goal-differential in the tournament.

Last Time at Exploria Stadium

In NYCFC's last visit to downtown Orlando on July 10, 2019, the Lions defeated the Pigeons via a penalty shootout in the Quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Punching their ticket to the Semifinals of the nation's oldest cup competition for the first time in Club history, the match included the famous Running of the Wall, as well as a game-winning save from former City goalkeeper Adam Grinwis on Maxime Chanot's penalty attempt to seal the victory for the Lions.

In Between the Sticks

Goalkeeper Brian Rowe made his first start of 2020 on Wednesday at Atlanta, with Pedro Gallese currently on international duty. Rowe recorded three saves in the match to earn his first clean sheet of the season, now with eight shutouts on his resume as a Lion. Joining the Lions ahead of the 2019 season, Rowe appeared in 32 matches last season, registering 110 saves and seven clean sheets to help the Lions tie a Club-record for shutouts through the campaign.

Changing Faces, Not Results

Head Coach Oscar Pareja made four changes to his starting XI on Wednesday night, with Brian Rowe, Joey DeZart, Robinho and Benji Michel entering the fold. The start served as the first of DeZart's professional career and the first for Rowe in 2020, while just the second for Robinho. Pareja has now utilized 21 different players in starting roles throughout the Lions current 10-game unbeaten run, with 23 total players recording an appearance.

The Fortress

In six matches at Exploria Stadium this season, the Lions hold a 4-0-2 record, with victories over Nashville SC, Inter Miami CF, Chicago Fire FC and the New York Red Bulls. In those fixtures, City holds a +8 goal-differential, scoring 13 goals while allowing only five. The Lions have yet to concede multiple times in a single match at home. Seven different members of the squad have found the back of the net at Exploria this season in Chris Mueller, Nani, Daryl Dike, Mauricio Pereyra, Benji Michel, Júnior Urso and Antonio Carlos.|

Moving Up the Ranks

Lions' Head Coach Oscar Pareja is one win away from moving up a spot in the MLS All-Time Coaching Wins list, currently sitting in 10th on the list at 111 career victories. With a win on Sunday, Pareja would tie long-time New England Revolution boss Steve Nicol (112) and move one away from tying former D.C. United Head Coach Ben Olsen, who sits at eighth with 113. The Lions' currently sit tied for the third-most wins in the league this season with eight on their resume.

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