New York City Football Club are back in action on Wednesday night with a trip to Orlando City SC.
The Boys in Blue travel to Florida seeking a first road win of the season, in a 7:30pm ET kick-off at Exploria Stadium.
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Our visit to the Sunshine State marks the final match of a five-game road stretch for Nick Cushing’s side.
May has proven a tough month for the City Boys with three difficult results away from home, plus the challenges of travel and fatigue in the midst of a heavy fixture schedule.
Ahead of a bye weekend, the team are able to savor a much-needed break after this game, which can serve as motivation to give one final push.
A positive result in midweek would provide a major confidence boost, snapping a winless run on the road, and ensure the players can approach their rest with an optimistic outlook.
City and Orlando head into the clash tied on 15 points in the Eastern Conference, having both recorded mixed starts to the campaign.
The Lions have played a game fewer, registering 4-4-3 from their opening 11 games, and are unbeaten in half of their home league fixtures in 2023.
Oscar Pareja’s side are winless in their last three, but will take confidence from an impressive comeback draw against Columbus Crew last time out, in which they battled back from two goals down to snatch a point in injury time.
Our 21 previous meetings overall have proven tightly-contested, with NYCFC unbeaten in 13, triumphing in our last meeting with a 2-1 home victory, thanks to Talles Magno’s late strike.
With a tight turnaround from Saturday’s Hudson River Derby, and this game marking City’s fourth match in 11 days, the squad has been fully stretched over the past two weeks.
Once again, the players will have to overcome the physical and mental demands of another trip – a matter of days after the disappointment of Derby defeat – to dust themselves off and go again.
The team have maintained good health in recent weeks with minutes managed carefully, although Alfredo Morales unfortunately missed out on the last two games through injury.
Though desperate to improve fortunes on the road, the City Boys will be wary of an Orlando side who are also looking to reignite their campaign, and with the two sides evenly-matched over the years, this one could be a difficult one to call.
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