Orlando City will embark on its first road game of the season when it visits New York City FC tonight at 7 p.m. at Yankee Stadium on UniMás.
The Lions (0-0-2, 2 points) will play in their first road match of 2016 after playing the first two games of the season at the Citrus Bowl.
Cyle Larin, who recorded a hat trick last year in Yankee Stadium, currently has two goals in two games this season. Ricardo Kaká will be a game-time decision, but the Orlando Soccer Journal projects the Brazilian designated player will miss Friday night’s game.
“Obviously, [NYCFC] is at home and they have a decent record there,” Orlando City head coach Adrian Heath said earlier this week. “I’m mainly concerned with ourselves and how we approach the game. It’s the first away game for us and, hopefully, we can have the result like we had on our first away game last year.”
Orlando is entering the game after a 1-1 draw last week against the Chicago Fire. New York also enters the game after a 2-2 draw against Toronto FC, which at one point saw Patrick Vieira’s men hold a 2-0 lead to start the game last Sunday.
David Villa of New York City (1-0-1, 4 points) leads the team with two goals this season.
Both expansion teams met three times in 2015 and both failed to secure a playoff spot.
On March 8 last season, the game ended in a 1-1 draw at the Citrus Bowl. However, on July 26, the New York Sky Blues cruised to a 5-3 victory over the Lions at Yankee Stadium. Orlando answered back with a 2-1 win at home on Oct. 16.
David Mateos and Carlos Rivas practiced with the first team this week and traveled with the team to New York; however, Heath pointed out they might be a game-day decision.
Antonio Nocerino is expected to start and could see an increase in minutes, but more than likely will still be limited to playing less than 90 minutes.
The Lions return to the Citrus Bowl on April 3 to host the Portland Timbers at 8 p.m.