Match Preview: Orlando City Soccer Begins Postseason Play
Lions Begin Postseason Play Saturday Night
Pittsburgh Riverhounds come to town for opening round of USL PRO playoffs
ORLANDO, Fla.- Orlando City SC (16-4-6, 54 points, No. 2 seed) welcomes the Pittsburgh Riverhounds (10-8-8, 38 points, No. 7 seed) for the opening round of the 2013 USL PRO postseason this Saturday, August 24, at Fifth Third Bank Field at the Florida Citrus Bowl. The Quarterfinal match kicks off the playoffs for the Lions, who will attempt to win their second USL PRO Championship in three years.
“I think the important thing is that anything less than our best won’t be good enough,” said Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We have to bring our ‘A’ game this Saturday.”
Orlando and Pittsburgh have met twice this season, with the Riverhounds holding the series advantage with one win and one draw in 2013. The most recent match saw Pittsburgh top the Lions 1-0 on August 3 at the Citrus Bowl.
The Riverhounds are led by Forward Jose Angulo, who finished tied atop the league’s goal-scoring leaders with 15 in 2013. The striker shares the Golden Boot title with Sporting Kansas City loanee and Forward Dom Dwyer, who also totaled 15 scores. Angulo’s 15 goals are nearly half of Pittsburgh’s team total, which ended at 36.
Playoffs are knockout-format, with the No.1 seed facing No.8, No.2 v No. 7, No. 3 v No.6, and No. 4 v No 5. Seeds remain the same after each round. If the Lions should advance past the first weekend of playoffs, the Semifinals would also be in Orlando- with the date set for Friday, August 30.
On the injury front, Midfielder Jamie Watson and Goalkeeper Jon Kempin will be working over the upcoming week to get back to full health- but Heath stressed that rushing injuries can lead to worse results.
“Depending on where they are, they may be available for Saturday’s game,” Heath added. “The important thing is to not rush them back.”
The Lions are 3-1-0 in postseason play in franchise history, which includes a victory over the Harrisburg City Islanders in the 2011 USL PRO Championship match in Orlando. Heath’s side was upset by the Wilmington Hammerheads 4-3 in the second round of the playoffs last year.
Source: Orlando City Soccer Media
Tags: Orlando City Soccer