First things first, this match has been pushed back to an 8pm kick off due to the excepted 100 degree temperatures in LA on Saturday.
With that out of the way, LAFC host Orlando City SC and its new head coach James O'Connor at Banc of California Stadium. Its the first-ever match between the two sides. With LAFC coming off a disappointing draw in Houston and Orlando City looking for its first win in eight matches, this should be an intriguing tie.
Where To Watch/Listen
LAFC vs Orlando City SC, July 7 at 8pm PT
TV: FS1, FOX Desportes
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
Orlando City has seen better days. The Lions are on a run of eight-straight losses, tied for the longest losing streak in MLS in 2018. They fell to rivals Atlanta United 4-0 away from home last weekend under interim coach Bobby Murphy. New hire James O'Connor takes the reigns for Orlando for the first time on Saturday. O'Connor arrives from Louisville City FC of the USL, where he won the 2017 USL Cup. And there's an LAFC connect as well/ On that Louisville City team was current LAFC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye.
LAFC Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Walker Zimmerman, Laurent Ciman, Steven Beitashour; Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Lee Nguyen; Latif Blessing, Adama Diomande, Aaron Kovar.
What The Players Are Saying
Mark-Anthony Kaye on what to expect from O'Connor's side: “He’s a very intense coach. I think he wants the intensity to be high all the time, and work ethic to be very good. I think that is something that I have developed and been able to bring here. I’m not going to be shocked to see if Orlando comes out and they might high press us. Really try to take the game to us. He’s also very good at finding ways to get his players to work together on one page and everyone to understand their roles as a team."
What To Look For
Orlando's Bad Luck Run: It's hard to call it bad luck when you lose eight in a row, but something has got to give for Orlando City sooner or later, right? They've parted ways with Jason Kreis and brought in O'Connor, who played for the club before they joined MLS. As of late though, it's not just the losses, but the way they are losing. Orlando City have failed to score a goal in the last three matches and been outscored 17-2 in the last five. The hope for Lions fans is O'Connor can give them a boost right away. You know one way or another, the Orlando City players will be eager to impress the new boss right out the gate.
Bounce Back From Houston: That Houston match still stings a little. Three points in hand after a really good 90 to 94 minutes of soccer, and then a loss of focus over two minutes nearly squanders it all. The players and coaches have all been saying the right things though following the match. And in a lot of ways, the quick turnaround favors the players. Expect LAFC to come out focused and with high energy to erase the memory of the last time out.
World Cup Return: Omar Gaber, Marco Ureña, and Carlos Vela have all returned from the World Cup. While Gaber is still dealing with a lingering injury, Ureña and Vela were in full training on Friday. It's not yet clear if they'll be available for selection, but there is a chance they could be on the bench for this match. A triumphant return to Banc of California Stadium could be sooner than later.