Late defending key when Orlando City, Montreal meet

If Orlando City is to earn its first MLS victory of 2019, a better showing against Montreal Impact than last season will be required.

Following two consecutive draws to open the season, 2-2 to New York City FC and 1-1 to the Chicago Fire last week, Orlando City will now look to avoid a fourth straight league defeat to the visiting Impact on Saturday.

For a second consecutive season, Orlando City (0-0-2, two points) is in danger of going winless through its first three matches. It trailed 2-0 in the first half against NYFC in the opener before rallying to record a point.

Last weekend in blustery conditions at Chicago, Dom Dwyer gave Orlando a 1-0 lead early in the second half, but the Fire snatched victory from the visitors via C.J. Sapong's late goal.

"We'll improve on it, and learn from it," defender Danilo Acosta said. "Just stick with the game plan the coaches have for us."

Part of that game plan should be a way to generate some offense versus Montreal (1-1-0, three points), which outscored Orlando by a combined 5-0 score in two games last season. Impact star midfielder Ignacio Piatti scored three of those goals last season, and has eight goals in nine career league games versus Orlando, which is 0-4-1 in the last five against Montreal.

The Impact continue their season-opening six-game road trip after rallying to beat San Jose 2-1 on March 2, and conceding a tiebreaking, 86th-minute score in last weekend's 2-1 loss at Houston.

"We can't just be content with (the Houston) loss," coach Remi Garde said, according to mlssoccer.com. "We'll continue to lean on our foundation and continue working every week. That's every footballer's constant challenge."

Saphir Taider opened the scoring in the 34th minute for Montreal at Houston. The midfielder has scored in each of the first two contests, and four over his last eight going back to last season. He totaled two assists against Orlando in 2018.

--Field Level Media

03/15/2019 15:21

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