Sporting Kansas City beat New York Red Bulls 2-1 in their opening fixture of the new MLS season while Orlando City were held to a goalless draw by Atlanta United.
Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City are two teams that had really impressive campaigns last time around and they will be hoping to build on that this season. Sporting Kansas City finished the regular season at the top of the Western Conference table before bowing out to Minnesota United in the semi-finals of the MLS Cup.
They have started the new season on a positive note, pulling off a comeback victory in their season opener 2-1 against New York Red Bulls thanks to second-half goals from Gadi Kinda and Daniel Salloi.
Sporting Kansas City not only finished last season 10 places above where they had in the season prior, but they also conceded just 25 goals in the regular season, 42 fewer than in 2019.
Orlando City are also one of the most improved sides from last year. Oscar Pareja has guided the team to new heights as they made it to the finals of the MLS is Back tournament and the playoffs as well.
Friday night's match will be a good test of where the teams currently stand with respect to their development and it promises to be an entertaining encounter.
Sporting Kansas City vs Orlando City Head-to-Head
Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City have clashed a total of eight times till date. Sporting Kansas City have won three while the Lions have won four. One match has ended as a draw.
The last time these two sides met was in September last year when Orlando City won the game 2-1.
Sporting Kansas City form (including friendlies): L-W-L-D-W
Orlando City form (including friendlies): W-W-D-W-D
Sporting Kansas City vs Orlando City Team News
Sporting Kansas City
John Pulskamp is expected to start in goal for KC once again as Tom Melia recovers from a chest injury while Kendall McIntosh and Brooks Thompson are out injured.
Graham Zusi is still recovering after undergoing surgery on his foot. Amadou Dia will be sidelined due to a hamstring problem.
Injuries: Tom Melia, Kendall McIntosh, Brooks Thompson, Graham Zusi, Amadou Dia
Alexandre Pato is a doubt for Friday after picking up an injury in the game against Atlanta United. The club has confirmed that he will not need surgery. Joao Moutinho is out while Uri Russell and Robin Jansson are doubts.
Injuries: Joao Moutinho
Doubtful: Uri Russell, Robin Jansson, Alexandre Pato
Sporting Kansas City vs Orlando City Predicted Lineups
Sporting KC Predicted XI (4-3-3): John Pulskamp; Jaylin Lindsey, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins; Gadi Kinda, Roger Espinoza, Remi Walter; Khiry Shelton, Gianluca Busio, Daniel Salloi
Orlando City Predicted XI (4-4-2): Pedro Gallese; Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Antonio Carlos, Ruan Teixeira; Nani, Sebas Mendez, Junior Urso, Christopher Mueller; Tesho Akindele, Alexandre Pato
Sporting Kansas City vs Orlando City Prediction
Both teams are well-matched and there's very little to separate the two. However, Orlando City are in better shape as they have fewer injury concerns to cope with. We expect the Lions to get all three points against KC on Friday.
Prediction: Sporting Kansas City 1-2 Orlando City