Thursday, November 30, 2023
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MLS Preview: Nashville SC (13-11-10) at Orlando City SC (18-7-9)

This will be the third straight year Orlando City SC and Nashville SC meet in a knockout round. Nashville SC eliminated Orlando City SC with a 3-1 home win in the first round of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs before the Orlando City SC Lions defeated Nashville SC on penalties after a -1 draw in Orlando in the quarterfinals of the 2022 US Open Cup.

Orlando City SC defeated Nashville SC, 1-0, on October 4 to end an eight-match winless run against Nashville SC in all competitions (D5, including a penalty shoot-out win, L3). Orlando City SC’s only previous win over Nashville SC was a 3-1 home win in the first-ever meeting between the teams in August 2020.

Orlando City SC set club records for points (63), wins (18), fewest losses in a full season (7) and tied the c club record for goals (55) in 2023. The Orlando City SC Lions enter the playoffs as the form team in MLS, having collected a league-high 26 points (W8 D2 L1) since returning from the Leagues Cup break.

Nashville SC’s has made the playoffs in each of its first four MLS seasons, becoming the third expansion team to do so after the Seattle Sounders FC (first 13) and the Chicago Fire (6). Nashville SC has collected just 11 points since returning from the Leagues Cup break (W2 D5 l3), the fewest of any playoff team in that time.

Duncan McGuire has contributed to at least one goal in each of his last five MLS appearances (5 goals, 1 assist). The Orlando City SC club record for consecutive MLS matches (including playoffs) with a goal contribution is six, done twice, most recently by Daryl Dike in 2021. Hany Mukhtar has recorded 11 goal contributions (6 goals, 5 assists) in nine career MLS matches against Orlando City SC (including playoffs). Mukhtar had contributed to at least one goal in each of his first eight matches against Orlando City SC before Nashville SC was shut out, 1-0, when the sides met on October 4.

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