Orlando City SC braces for Toronto FC (Jul 05, 2017)

BY AP • July 4, 2017

Orlando City SC, coming off a badly needed victory, will look to build momentum heading into the international break when it faces one of the top teams in Major League Soccer, Toronto FC, on Wednesday night at Orlando City Stadium.

The Lions (8-6-5) snapped a four-game winless run Friday with a 1-0 road victory over Real Salt Lake.

Toronto FC (10-3-5) sits in second place in the Eastern Conference but is coming off a very disappointing performance in a 3-1 setback to FC Dallas over the weekend.

"They have a lot of quality players, and they have that kind of confidence around them, which is hard to contain," said Orlando City goalkeeper Joe Bendik, who is a former Toronto FC player.

"We can't give up an early goal. The last time in Toronto, we gave up two early goals and were chasing the game and they just sat in. It's very hard to beat a team like that when they have the lead."

Without defender Steven Beitashour, who is out with an injured pancreas, Toronto looked out of sorts on the back line, which allowed Dallas the openings to score three times.

Toronto has yet to lose back-to-back games this season, but in Orlando, it faces an opponent that has only lost one game at its new stadium.

"They're a team that got off to a very strong start," Toronto coach Greg Vanney said. "For the last few weeks, they've been trying to find some of that footing they had early in the year. But we know this is always a difficult place to play between the stadium, the fans and the great atmosphere they create."

Weather also undoubtedly affected Toronto and will play into Orlando's favor. Oppressive heat and humidity is par for the course in central Florida, and Toronto already struggled in hot conditions against Dallas.

Orlando only has injury concerns about Carlos Rivas (muscle strain). Toronto, meanwhile, has Jonathan Osorio, Raheem Edwards and Tosaint Ricketts away with Canada for the Gold Cup. In addition to Beitashour's injury, Toronto's Nick Hagglund (MCL) remains out for a few weeks.



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