Four years on from their initial meeting as fresh MLS outfits in both of their debut fixtures, Orlando City SC and New York City FC will clash to get the 2019 MLS season underway. Both sides have gone through a major squad revamp since that inaugural fixture that ended 1-1 at the Citrus Bowl.
The visiting side will get their first taste of life following David Villa's departure while Nani will be serving as Orlando's biggest threat.
|Game||Orlando City vs New York City FC|
|Date||Saturday, March 2|
|Time||7:30pm GMT / 2:30pm ET|
|Stream (US)||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) .
New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Univision||fubo TV (7-day free trial)|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be livestreamed or broadcast on television.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Position||Orlando City players|
|Goalkeepers||Scherbitski, Chichkan, Ranjitsingh, Rowe, Stajduhar, Grinwis|
|Defenders||Ruan, DeJohn, O'Neill, Sane, Smith, Miller, Moutinho,|
|Midfielders||Johnson, Powers, Higuita, Mendez, Colman, Lindley, Kljestan, Rosell,|
|Forwards||Mueller, Akindele, Dwyer, Nani, Michel, Patino,|
James O'Connor has no fresh injury concerns ahead of the clash.
Potential Orlando City XI: Rowe; Smith, O'Neill, Ascues, Sane, Acosta; Mendez, Kljestan, Rosell; Nani, Akindele.
|Goalkeepers||Barraza, Caldwell, Stuver|
|Defenders||Sweat, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Matarrita, Scally, Ibeagha|
|Midfielders||Ring, Moralez, Castellanos, Ofori, Torres, Rocha, Sands, Medina, Bedoya, Parks, Haak|
|Forwards||Lewis, Mitrita, Tajouri-Shradi,|
Ronald Matarrita is sidelined with a calf injury.
Potential NYCFC XI: Johnson; Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Sweat; Sands, Moralez, Ring; Tajouri-Shradi, Mitrita, Medina.
Betting & Match Odds
NYCFC are priced at odds of 11/8 to win, according to bet 365, while a draw is available at 9/5. A win for Orlando is priced at 7/5.
Orlando City have never lost their MLS season-opening game, winning once and drawing three times in their last four opening games. Saturday's game will be the third occasion that Orlando, in their five-year history, will face NYCFC to kick-start the campaign. The pair met in 2015 with a stoppage-time equaliser scored from a free kick by former Orlando star Kaka, and two years later, the Lions marked the opening of Orlando City Stadium with a 1-0 victory over NYCFC.
In addition to getting used to life post-Villa, NYCFC will be led by new coach Dome Torrent as he gets his first full season at the club underway. The Pigeons will also be welcoming newcomer Alexandru Mitrita and welcoming back key former players Maxi Moralez, Jesus Medina and Sean Johnson.
The Lions played NYCFC three times last season and lost all three matches, and failed to score a goal in any of them. Orlando City did register a win over the Pigeons in preseason in a 2-1 victory, but coach O'Connor has said that he expects the visiting side to re-jig their game for a regular season fixture – and referred to the threat of $9 million (£6m) arrival Mitrita.
“Look, preseason is preseason,” O’Connor said. “I think once the league starts, their new $9 million signing, I’m sure, will play. You know, I think there will be a few, maybe, personnel changes. A league game is completely different from preseason.”