After coming home for one quick tangle with the Harrisburg Islanders for the second straight week last Saturday night, Orlando City SC is back on the road for the start of a three-game trip that starts with the Charlotte Eagles on Wednesday night at at Queens University, in Charlotte North Carolina.
The Lions have seen nothing but success in the first of their nine all-time meetings (7-0-2) with the Eagles, including a pair of wins already under their belts this season in USL PRO play — a 3-1 win back in May, and 4-1 victory in the most recently outing at ESPN Wide World of Sports on August 2, which clinched Orlando’s fourth consecutive playoff berth.
Orlando City has tallied seven goals against the Eagles in their first two meetings this season. City midfielder Kevin Molino was on the scoring end of fives of those goals.
Date: August 20, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Queens University in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Eagles (8-13-3), 27 points, 9th place
Hosting the Lions on Wednesday, Charlotte has been one of the worst teams at home this season, having loss the second most home games in USL PRO this year with six losses in front of their own fans. Although, that have won their last two home matches by a combined score of 5-1.
Charlotte is coming off of it’s win of the season over the weekend, defeating the Rochester Rhinos 3-1. The win moved them from 12th to 9th in the league standings, as they currently sit just three points out of a playoff spot. Second half substitute Zak Boggs doubled down with a pair of late goals, as the Eagles took down Rochester, the first of two teams to beat Orlando City this season.
Orlando City SC(16-2-4), 52 points, 1st place
The Lions took care of business in their rematch with the Islanders on Saturday night. After falling behind 1-0 early in the match on a goal by Robbie Derschang, who also scored twice in the win over Orlando on August 9, the Lions came back with three unanswered goals — two from Darwin Ceren, who was back in the lineup after missing the first matchup due to a yellow card suspension, and a third by Molino, who tied a USL PRO record for goal in a season with 15 that was set by Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer last season.
A goal on Wednesday night, and Molino’s 16th goal of the year would put him ahead as the highest single-season score in USL PRO regular season history.
With Orlando’s win and because the Richmond Kickers only managed a draw against the Dayton Ducth Lions over the weekend, the Lions enter the game with a three point lead in the USL PRO standings with still six matches left to play — the next three on the road. Wins in all three of these road matches and Orlando can clinch the top seed in the playoffs, also clinching home-field advantage throughout.
Prediction: Kevin Molino is going to break the scoring record, and Orlando is going to defeat their Carolina counterparts in the 10th and final regular season meeting between the teams with another strong outing. Final score prediction: 2-0, Orlando City.