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Orlando City-Union Preview
Both the Philadelphia Union and Orlando City are looking for pick-me-ups as they prepare to face one another at PPL Park on Sunday.
The Union come into this match without a win in three in MLS and having just lost 4-0 on aggregate to Club America in the CONCACAF Champions League semi-finals.
Outstanding in 2020 as they won the Supporters' Shield, Philly have work to do to return to the playoffs, sitting in ninth in the East at the start of the weekend.
Opponents Orlando are better placed, up in third, but they have lost 3-0 to Atlanta United and 4-2 to CF Montreal in their past two games.
Union coach Jim Curtin said: "The best remedy is always to get back on the field and do what you love and have another good test in a really strong Orlando team who, again, is obviously going through some adversity with the two red cards in the last game and a little bit of injuries.
"And they have to travel to come to Philadelphia, so it's up to us at home to take care of business.
"We know it'll be a hard-fought game, it's always physical with them. They have a lot of good quality in the attack and defense."
Orlando's Oscar Pareja said: "It looks like we're going to need a lot of energy and character to bounce back and just try to bring back a result.
"Philadelphia is battling too, not just in the league, but also in this international competition that they finished.
"We have been trying to maintain our ideas and try to create some difficulties to the other teams, but we couldn't get the results in Atlanta. That was a very bad day, and against Montreal as well.
"So now we had the boys training again as always and try to see if we can get this result and get back on the road."
Philadelphia Union - Kacper Przybylko
Przybylko had 14 goal involvements last season but is stuck on eight this term, having failed to score or assist since netting in three straight games in July. He badly needs a goal.
Orlando City - Daryl Dike
Both of Orlando's goals last time out came from defenders, while Nani was sent off and is now suspended, which increases the pressure on forward Dike to deliver the goods in Philadelphia.
- Orlando have lost only one of their past four MLS away matches against the Union (W2 D1), though that defeat, a 6-1 loss in October 2017, saw the most goals Orlando have ever conceded in an MLS match. The Union have a total of five goals in their other five home matches against the Lions.
- The Union's nine-match home unbeaten run ended with a 1-0 shutout loss to New England on September 3. The last time Philadelphia failed to score in consecutive home matches was in October 2016, with a 2-0 loss to Orlando the first of those.
- Orlando have lost 33.3 per cent of their 21 away matches since the start of last season (W6 D8 L7), including a 3-0 defeat at Atlanta last weekend. In their first five seasons, the Lions lost more than half (56.5 per cent - 48 of 85) of their away MLS games (W16 D21).
- Philly's defeat to New England on September 3 was the sixth time they have failed to win a home match this season (W6 D3 L3) after winning all nine regular season matches at home last season.
- Orlando have scored seven goals from outside the box this season, tied for the most in MLS, while the Union are the only team yet to concede a goal from outside the box this season.
Updated September 18, 2021