Atlanta and Orlando face off once again for their second matchup in two weeks, this time in the heart of ATL at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Atlanta (10-7-3) are hoping to continue their hot streak and grab a sixth consecutive home win, while Orlando (8-8-5) are looking for revenge against their northern neighbors after suffering a heartbreaker in Orlando last Friday. Catch all the action starting at 5:00 p.m. EST on FOX or via FOX Sports Go.
Ahead of this weekend’s Eastern Conference clash, we broke down the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot.
1) Home Is Where The Hype Is
Home field advantage is often a real asset in MLS, particularly in a league where the season is long and the travel requirements are very demanding. Atlanta United started off the year with a heavy away stretch and, to date, have played the fewest home matches in the entire league. But the expansion side have hosted more in recent weeks and currently boast a strong 6-2 record inside the walls of Bobby Dodd Stadium. With a ninth-consecutive sellout and the support of 45,000+ Atlanta faithful, they could see themselves earn their sixth-straight home victory on Saturday.
2) Defend The Dangerous Duo
It’s been a historic week for Orlando City as they announced the record signing of forward Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City. Dwyer spent a short stint on loan with the Lions in 2013 in their USL days and has recorded 57 regular season MLS goals, the fourth-most in the league since 2012. The recently capped U.S. international will join their Canadian international and leading goal scorer, Cyle Larin, to create a fierce force up front. Orlando were without Dwyer and could only play Larin for a fraction of the match last week, so they will certainly bring a new attacking dynamic to this week’s contest in Atlanta.
3) Cop the Clean Sheet
It takes time for defenses to mesh, build chemistry and truly become a unit and Atlanta’s back line have really come into their own halfway through their first-ever season together. After only recording two clean sheets through their first 16 games, Atlanta now have three in their last four. Goal scoring has headlined the story of Atlanta United’s season so far, but if their back line can maintain this recent form of strength and resilience, they could see themselves make the playoffs and potentially make a run for the Cup as one of the most successful and complete expansion sides the league has ever seen.
Follow the Match
Kickoff is set for 5:00 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on FOX. You can listen to the game on the Atlanta United app or through one of our radio partners: 92.9 The Game or, for Spanish-speaking listeners, La Mejor Atlanta. Click here for a full rundown of how to follow along with the game.