Lions aim to earn a positive away result
In week six of the Major League Soccer (MLS) season, Orlando City SC (1-2-2, 5 points) will travel west to face the Portland Timbers (1-1-3, 6 points) on Sunday, April 12, at Providence Park. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes, and is scheduled for kickoff at 5 p.m. ET.
Sunday’s match will pit two very eager and talented teams in one of the most thrilling soccer environments in the country.
After earning four points in its first two away matches played this season, Orlando City SC is aiming to continue its good form on the road when they visit Providence Park. In their first away fixture, the Lions produced their first victory as an MLS team when they defeated the Houston Dynamo 1-0 at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
Despite having seven players away for international duty and multiple other sidelined due to injuries, the team showcased an inspiring comeback performance to earn a valuable road point in its following away match, drawing the Montreal Impact 2-2 at Olympic Stadium.
In their fifth MLS season, the Timbers’ 2015 campaign has been met with turbulent results. After three draws and one loss in their opening four matches, Portland gained their first three points last week with a strong 3-1 victory over FC Dallas, snapping the unbeaten run for the surging Lone Star team.
Three Timbers made outstanding contributions in the win over Dallas, earning a spot in MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week. Forward Maximiliano made the Best XI of the week for his goal and all-around performance, while defenders Nat Borchers and Jorge Villana made the bench.
Portland is a soccer market not unlike Orlando – boasting very similar fan demographics and with only one other professional sports team, it was viewed as a model for the potential success of MLS in Orlando. With both teams now facing off as MLS competitors, it will be exciting to see how they match up on the pitch.
Orlando will bring a very strong contingent of players and is coming off a very well-played game against D.C. United despite the 1-0 loss. The Lions are eager to hit the field and prove their skill against the former Western Conference Champions.
With a devoted fan-base, Providence Park is widely considered one of the most intimidating venues in MLS. Since joining the league, the Timbers have sold out every home game, and currently have a 10,000 season ticket waiting list – the largest in MLS.
The raucous atmosphere has been known to affect many visiting players, but there is one Orlando City member that is more familiar with that environment than anyone else – veteran goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts. From 2012-2014, Ricketts starred in goal for the Cascadia side.
After appearing in nine games during his first season with the club, Ricketts featured in every match during his final two campaigns with the Timbers. During his tenure in Portland, the former Jamaican international earned honors including 2013 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Best XI, along with a league-best 14 shutouts.
The Lions’ next home game will be against Toronto FC on April 26 at the Orlando Citrus Bowl. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.