Orlando City will look to remain as one of the few teams in the league still unbeaten this season, but that will have to happen without club captain Luis Nani when the Lions hosts Toronto FC on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Exploria Stadium (FOX 35 Plus / LionNation TV).
The Portuguese winger will miss this weekend’s match against Toronto, and the following road match on May 29 against the New York Red Bulls after the MLS Displinary Committee announced on Friday that Nani will serve a two-game suspension and was fined an undisclosed amount following an “unwanted” contact with a match official during last week’s match at D.C. United.
On Thursday, speaking with reporters, head coach Oscar Pareja spoke about the importance of Saturday’s game and how the Lions will look to extend their current five-game unbeaten streak to start the 2021 season.
“This is another game, with the same importance that we give to each one, against a rival in Toronto [FC] who has this particular team now that they’re living in Orlando,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said ahead of Saturday’s fixture. “It’s going to be a good derby, let’s see it that way, and we’re excited to have the opportunity to keep adding points.”
Orlando (2-0-3, 9 points) is now tasked with not only securing a key victory to remain high up the Eastern Conference standings, but producing goals without Nani, who leads and has scored three of the team’s six goals so far this season — all this despite the Lions having been a strong defensive unit in the league.
Ruan, who left the match at halftime during a 1-0 home win against New York City on May 9, is still questionable for Saturday’s match, Pareja confirmed. Meanwhile, midfielder Uri Rosell is still expected to miss this weekend’s game at Exploria.
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