Dwyer makes Orlando City FC debut vs. Atlanta United (Jul 29, 2017)

BY AP • July 28, 2017

Orlando City will get to show off its new weapon when the Lions travel to Atlanta on Saturday to face a United squad missing its top gun.

Orlando City acquired United States international striker Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City on Tuesday. Dwyer, who has five goals on the season, will team with Orlando City star Kaka to give the Lions a one-two punch that coach Jason Kreis hopes will fuel a playoff push.

Orlando City (8-8-5, 29 points) sits just below the red line on the Eastern Conference table, entering the weekend two points behind sixth-place Columbus.

"When you make changes in the middle of the season and bring new players in, often times it does two things," Kreis told the team's website after training on Thursday. "It just raises the energy level of the group because you've got a guy who is super, super happy to be here. That's pretty evident. But then, it also raises the level of competition. So, the players know they must give everything they have and be on their best performances if they want to play."

United forward Josef Martinez has been ruled out of Saturday's game with a foot contusion that's been bothering him for weeks. Martinez, who has nine goals in nine games for Atlanta, suffered the injury in an U.S. Open Cup match against Charleston. Martinez played through the injury in recent weeks, but coach Gerardo Martino said the Venezuelan forward would not be available.

Atlanta won at Orlando City 1-0 last week on Hector Villalba's goal in the 86th minute and keeper Brad Guzan's clean-sheet performance featuring five saves.

"Any time you play an opponent twice you oftentimes see in the second game there's a bit more to it," Kreis said. "I think that we as a team feel a little bit hard-done because we feel the performance warranted more than we got. We go into this with the mentality that we need to gain something back from this game."

Saturday's match will be United's final at Bobby Dodd Stadium, before the expansion franchise moves over to its new home at the recently-built Mercedes-Benz Stadium. All eight games at Bobby Dodd Stadium on the campus of Georgia Tech University have sold out.

Atlanta (10-7-3, 33 points) has won five consecutive games at Bobby Dodd Stadium and four straight MLS matches overall to climb up the Eastern Conference table. United enters the weekend in fourth place.


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