Playing with two days of rest, Orlando City is back at again Tuesday as they take on the San Jose Earthquakes at Exploria Stadium.
Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. and will televise on UniMas/TUDN and Twitter.
For head coach Oscar Pareja, the short turnaround following last Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Toronto FC comes at a time where getting the job done against a challenging San Jose side will likely fall on rotating players, during this three-games in seven days stretch.
“It’s a quick turnaround for the boys and we already visualized that. The result [on Saturday] was fantastic for us, but we need to turn the page quickly and prepare for San Jose, be present in the game like we always demand of the players,” Pareja told reporters on Sunday. “Certainly it’s going to be a difficult rival, but we are incorporating more players now. We’re good, we’re optimistic. It’s important to turn our thoughts and set ourselves up for Tuesday’s game.”
Following Tuesday’s game, Orlando will again have another two days of rest before heading down to Fort Lauderdale for a Friday night matchup against Inter Miami.
Goalkeeper Brandon Austin, who made his debut last weekend, will continue his role in the starting lineup while starting goalkeeper Pedro Gallese remains out on international duty with Peru.
Alexandre Pato and Ruan both remain out with lower-body injuries and continue with their recovery process, meaning both will likely remain out for Tuesday’s matchup.
What to look for
An interesting statistic that was brought up to Oscar Pareja by Michael Citro of The Mane Land during Sunday’s media call was Orlando’s recent defensive woes, which comes after an impressive defensive start to the season.
The Lions have conceded four goals in their last two games and while Pareja is fully aware of that, the challenge not only falls on how to fix that during this current three-game stretch in seven days but more on find a consistency on the team’s performance for the remaining part of the season.
“It’s a concern for us since we are very proud and something told with the players is that we want to defend well,” said Pareja. “The games that we have had a net-zero or clean sheets, that’s relevant for us, it’s important.”
Pareja admitted the back four hasn’t been as solid as before adding: “We will keep working on it, certainly the games, the frequency of the games will hopefully help us to get everybody more coordinated and all those things because I don’t have any doubt that if we want to win the title and we want to win Major League Soccer, we have to defend much better than that.”
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