Two of the Eastern Conference’s best duke it out as Orlando City (6-3-4, 22 PTS, 3rd East) takes on Philadelphia Union (6-3-5, 23 PTS, 2nd East) in MLS action.
This is the first of two meetings this season. Currently, the Union are just one point ahead of Orlando in the standings, but Orlando has a game in hand. Orlando will attempt to leapfrog Philadelphia in front of its home fans.
City is an even money soccer betting favorite to win even though it hasn’t won in its last three matches.
Game: Orlando City vs Philadelphia
Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
Time: July 22, 7:30 p.m. ET
Head to Head
Orlando City and Philadelphia have met 12 times. The last two matches have ended in draws.
Orlando City beat Philadelphia twice in preseason friendlies this March but hasn’t beaten the Union in the MLS since 2018. The Union lead the all-time MLS series 4-3, with five draws.
Orlando Looks to End Winless Streak
Orlando picked up a 1-1 draw in Canada vs Toronto F.C. over the weekend. While it wasn’t a bad result it extended Orlando City’s winless streak to three matches.
In his first appearance for two months, substitute Jozy Altidore made a triumphant return for TFC. He put Toronto in front after coming on in the second half but Nani leveled the scoreline minutes later on a penalty.
With the draw, Toronto avoided a third loss to Orlando this season. Meanwhile, Orlando snapped a two-game skid.
Striker Daryl Dike is still with the USMNT at the Gold Cup while striker Alexandre Pato and center back Antonio Carlos remain out.
Orlando’s last home match was on July 3rd and the Lions suffered their first home loss of the season. Orlando City was defeated 2-1 by the Red Bulls and will be hoping to regain its form from earlier in the season. Since a 0-0 season-opening draw vs Atlanta United, Orlando City has scored a goal in 12 consecutive games.
Union Still Shorthanded
A shorthanded Union team came out on top vs D.C. United over the weekend despite being outshot 17-7. Union strikers Sergio Santos and Kacper Przybylko scored a goal apiece en route to a 2-1 win. Midfielder and Hungarian international Daniel Gazdag provided an assist on his MLS debut.
Third-string GK Joe Bendik started for the first time since 2018. Second-stringer Matt Freese served a red-card suspension and Andre Blake is at the Gold Cup with Jamaica. Forward Cory Burke, also with Jamaica, scored an excellent goal to level the score at one in a 2-1 win vs Guadeloupe.
Additionally, Anthony Fontana and Jack de Vries are both in concussion protocol. Ilsinho may be available following recovery from groin surgery.
While it was good for Philadelphia to get just its second win in six games, it was on the back foot vs DC United for long stretches. Freese will be back for this match but the Union are still missing a bunch of players.
Even without Dike, Orlando City is formidable up top. Nani has scored seven goals in 11 matches this season while Tesho Akindele has three.
Orlando’s two preseason friendly victories vs Philadelphia shouldn’t hold much weight. Orlando is certainly capable of beating Philadelphia for the first time since 2018, though.
With goalie Andre Blake out and a host of other players missing this is not a full-strength Union side. Bet on Orlando to regain its home form and beat Philadelphia.