Match Preview: 4.28.2012 vs. Richmond Kickers
Richmond comes to town for a rematch of last week's gameORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City Soccer Club faces a familiar foe on Saturday night at the Florida Citrus Bowl as last week’s road opponent, the Richmond Kickers, come to town for a clash of league powerhouses. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. The match will be broadcast on USL Nation, USL PRO’s new online video-streaming service.
Last week, Orlando City defeated Richmond 2-0 at Richmond City Stadium. Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath expects another tough match, in part because the victory over Richmond is fresh in the minds of the Lions’ opponent.
“When you play a team back-to-back, everything is fresh in your mind,” said Heath. “Unless we or they make significant changes, we’re very aware of what’s coming and what to expect.”
Last week’s win gave Orlando a 3-0-0 record to start the season. Already a franchise-best start, City are now chasing the USL PRO record for wins to start a season. This week’s opponent holds the record, having started 2011 at 6-0-0. For the Lions to keep the streak alive, they will have to improve on last week’s performance.
“I’d expect both teams to be able to play better,” said Heath. “I don’t think Leigh [Cowlishaw, Kickers Head Coach] would have been incredibly happy with his team, and I wasn’t incredibly happy with ours. I thought we did just about enough to win the game.”
Historically, the Lions have fared well against Richmond in the Citrus Bowl. In two matches last season, City did not allow a goal, winning 2-0 in the regular season before delivering a 3-0 thumping to the Kickers in the American Division Championship Game. Overall, the Lions carry a 7-2 goal ratio into the match. Still, Heath expects a challenge from familiar opposition.
“We expect them to be better, and I expect us to be better. It should be a far better game than last week’s was.”
Player to Watch - Jamie Watson:
Well known as a fan-favorite, Watson has been quiet early on this season. Injuries shortened his preseason action, so it is understandable that Watson has yet to score thus far. He started last season in a similar position, and ended up second on the team with eight goals, including a hat trick in the season finale. Watson made the score sheet for the first time last week, assisting on Ian Fuller’s game-winning goal. Is this a sign that Watson is ready to open his 2012 account?
Miguel Gallardo, Sean Kelley, Jerome Mechack, Luke Boden, Wes Allen, Erik Ustruck, Rob Valentino, Kyle Davies, Ian Fuller, Kevin Molino, Charlie Campbell, James O’Connor, Anthony Pulis, John Rooney, Max Griffin, Jamie Watson, Dennis Chin, Matt Luzunaris