Match preview: Orlando City host Atlanta United to open MLS season


Courtesy of Orlando City

After months of waiting and preparing, Orlando City is finally set to kick off their 2021 season against their Georgia rivals, Atlanta United. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:00 on Saturday, with the broadcast being on TUDN, Twitter, and Univision.

“It’s important to be consistent,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said this past Tuesday. “Last year we had a lot of joy in achieving many objectives, but at the same time we understand we were short. It’s something we want to give so bad to the community and the Club. With the energy that the boys have, the desire and the commitment that we all have to this Club, we’re expecting nothing but to keep growing and keep competing for first place. Our approach hasn’t changed. That’s the commitment and the responsibility that every coach has to have with his players and the Club that we represent.”

Saturday’s match will mark the seventh season in a row that the Lions have opened their MLS season at home, one of the only clubs since 2015, alongside the Houston Dynamo, to boast such a stat.

In openers, Orlando has only ever won once. A 1-0 win to open Exploria Stadium in 2017 vs New York City FC. Every other home opener has resulted in a draw.

Atlanta has also only won one of their openers, which came just this past season. Conversely to Orlando, the Five Stripes have lost all their other season openers.

According to the MLS injury report, Robin Jansson, Uri Rosell and Joao Moutinho are all questionable with “lower body injuries” while Mauricio Pereyra will miss the first two matches serving a suspension from last season’s playoff bout with New England.

Meanwhile for Atlanta, Mo Adams (sports hernia), Alec Kann (shoulder), and Ben Lundgaard (lower body) are all listed as out, while Alan Franco and Matheus Rossetto are questionable with documentation issues.

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