New England Soccer Today

Get to Know: #OCSC

Photo credit: Orlando City SC

Photo credit: Orlando City SC

The Revolution (5-2-2, 17 points) travel to central Florida for the first time in franchise history to play Orlando City SC (2-4-2, 8 points) at the Citrus Bowl on Friday at 8:00pm.

Here are a few things to know about one of the league’s newest franchises:

*The expansion Orlando City SC has gotten off to a rough start in 2015, with only two wins in their first eight, and are still in search of their first home win. After Kaka scored the team’s first goal in the MLS with a stoppage time equalizer against NYC FC on Mar. 8, which forced a 1-1 draw, the team hasn’t scored at home since losing 1-0 to Vancouver and DC United and 2-0 to Toronto FC. They’ve been limited to six goals while conceding 10.

*Orlando’s offense has also been struggling lately. After a Kaka penalty in the 85th minute in a 2-0 victory over Portland on Apr. 12, Orlando has not scored in their next two MLS matches, losing 3-0 at Columbus and 2-0 at home to Toronto.

*Orlando City did show some offense in a friendly at home last week against Brazilian club Ponte Preta, which resulted in a 3-2 win for the home team.

*Despite the lack of offense in the MLS, Orlando City does lead the league with the highest pass completion percentage at 82.5 percent.

*Orlando City is led by Kaka, the first designated player in franchise history. Kaka leads the team with three goals and is one of four players on the team to start every MLS game so far in 2015.

*Despite being an expansion team, Orlando City has a number of MLS veterans, including former FC Dallas and U.S. Men’s National Team player Brek Shea, who has been converted to left back, former Galaxy keeper Donovan Ricketts, and 2013 MLS Cup MVP and former Sporting Kansas City defender Aurelien Collin.

*Orlando will need to tweak up their lineup, as midfielder/forward Kevin Molino, who has started seveb MLS games in 2015, tore his ACL in last week’s friendly against Ponte Preta. Molino had registered 605 minutes, 14 shots, 4 shots on goal, and an assist in MLS matches so far this season. Molino is tied for second on the team in shots and shots on goal, and is only one of three players with an assist.

*The Lions’ primary formation is a 4-2-3-1, which they utilized against Toronto FC in their last MLS match. This has been their starting formation in five MLS matches in 2015, and Orlando has struggled to a record of 1-3-1 in those matches. In two matches against Columbus and Portland, Orlando used a 4-3-3 formation, which had mixed results with a 1-1-0 record. Orlando also used a 5-4-1 formation for one game on the road at Montreal, which resulted in a 2-2- draw.

*At the helm of the squad is Adrian Heath, who has managed Orlando City SC franchise since they were the Austin Aztex, a USL-1 expansion team in 2008. In 2010, the team relocated to Orlando and played in the USL PRO division, where Heath led the team to two regular season titles and a league championship in their first two seasons, while winning USL coach of the year both years.

*Heath also brings managerial experience from England, where he had coaching stints with Burnley, Sheffield United, Sunderland, Leeds United, and Coventry City. Heath also has experience as a player with over 500 appearances, including 226 appearances and 71 goals with Everton in the 1980s.

*One player who’s trained under the watch of Heath is Revolution winger Juan Agudelo, who briefly joined the club for training last summer while searching for a new club. At the time, the Orlando City boss spoke to the Orlando Sentinel about having Agudelo in camp: “I enjoy having him here. This is a guy who is highly thought of. For the rest of the group, we can’t get enough quality players in to train. Having seen good players has been valuable for a lot of our younger players.”

*Here are some highlights Orlando City SC’s last MLS match, a 2-0 loss at home to Toronto FC:

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