New York City FC are set to take on Orlando City SC on Saturday for Round One of the 2020 Eastern Conference Playoffs at Exploria Stadium.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Ready for Round One
After a victorious Decision Day, and two weeks to train and recover from the regular season, New York City FC are set to take on Orlando City SC on Saturday for Round One of the Playoffs.
Entering their fifth-consecutive playoff appearance, City maintained their fifth-place position in the Eastern Conference with regular season standings of 12W-3D-8L and 39 points. A 3-4 win for the Boys in Blue against the Chicago Fire in their last match left them entering on a four-match hot streak on Saturday.
Head Coach Ronny Deila spoke to the press about this weekend’s matchup and how he feels about playing Orlando City for another match this year.
Deila said: “I think they’re a really good team. I think it’s even as well, who we play doesn’t matter in my opinion almost, we’ve played all of them. It’s been tight with all of the teams in front of us. So, it’s more about them being home, which is an advantage for them, but we’ve been away so much this year that we’re used to playing away. I don’t feel Orlando is better or worse than the others, I think it’s a good football team that we’ve been more than capable to beat, but at the same time it’s going to be tough.”
Entering the playoffs, Ronny Deila and the Boys in Blue will remain without Héber, James Sands, and Gedion Zelalem. All will remain out due to injuries, however, a change to the Injury Report shows Tayvon Gray is ready and available if called on.
According to Ronny: “Everybody is injury-free [those not on the injury report], Callens is available as well, so there’s nothing new to say about that. We feel prepared and are looking forward to the game.”
Before the two-week break, Orlando fell 2-3 to Nashville on Decision Day, making it their first defeat at Exploria Stadium this year. This leaves their regular season standings at 11W-8D-4L and 41 points where they sit just one spot above NYCFC.
Entering this weekend, it is the Lions' first-ever playoff game. Orlando’s Head Coach Oscar Pareja told the press, “We’ve become a team that is tough to play against. We have great numbers on being a team with least number of lost games this season. That shows up that we can be a team who is tough, strong, and has a tough mentality when playing at home or away.”
The teams played twice in the regular season, however, they last met in October where each side had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Exploria Stadium. A goal from Keaton Parks and Chris Mueller evened the playing field for both sides.
Looking ahead to Saturday, the 2015 expansion cousins have a lot of history as they enter this weekend and City look to defeat the Lions for the first time since July 2018.
A win for the Boys in Blue will give them the satisfaction of defeating a tough number four team and allow them to advance to the next round of the playoffs in this single-elimination tournament.
How to Watch & Listen
The match kicks off at 12PM ET, tune into YES Network with Ian Joy and Joe Tolleson for pregame at 11:30AM and complete NYCFC Playoff coverage.
Spanish coverage of the match will be broadcast over UniMás/TUDN. Audio commentary is available in English and Spanish on NYCFC.com/Radio.