Orlando City SC is up against Minnesota United in the MLS is Back Semifinal tonight. This match determines who will face the Portland Timbers in the finals.
Orlando City’s path to this point has required getting past some tough competition. Orlando City beat New York FC to advance to the round of 16. Just a week ago, they beat Los Angeles FC to advance to the semifinal.
Defeating the Undefeated
Minnesota United hasn’t lost this year. As a matter of fact, they’ve ended other undefeated seasons. They handed Columbus Crew their only loss of the season en route to this point. They even have an offensive advantage going into the game against the Lions. While both team’s defenses have been about equal, Minnesota has scored five more goals this season than Orlando City.
Minnesota beat Portland twice this season. So, if they reach the Final, there’s a good chance they win it all.
Keys to Success
Keeping Minnesota United’s offense at bay is key to advancing to the Final. Orlando City’s Goalkeeper Pedro Gallese needs to go toe to toe with Minnesota’s Tyler Miller to give the team a chance. Two players to look out for on Minnesota United are midfielder Kevin Molino and forward Luis Amarilla. Molino leads the team in goals, while Amarilla has two game-winning goals to his name entering the semifinal.
If the Lions want to win, the rest of the team needs to contribute. Forward Chris Mueller has carried all of the weight this year, with four of the team’s seven goals. While Orlando City can surely rely on Muller, they’ll need a team effort.
An argument could be made that the Lions have a home-team advantage playing in Orlando. But bear in mind, they aren’t playing in their home stadium. Being unfamiliar with the field takes away any advantage you may have.
The match between Orlando City and Minnesota United will begin at 8 p.m. tonight in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.