9.27.20 STS DL

SET THE STAGE: FC Dallas vs. Orlando City SC | 9.27.20

FC DALLAS vs. ORLANDO CITY SC

MLS Regular Season
September 27 - 7:30PM
Toyota Stadium – Frisco, TX
FOX Sports Southwest | FCDallas.com/Radio | 1270AM
#FCDvORL

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • FCD record: 5-3-4 (19 pts., 4th in West)
  • ORL record: 7-2-3 (25 pts., 2nd in East)
  • FCD vs. ORL all-time: 3-1-1 (8 GF, 2 GA)
  • FCD vs. ORL home: 2-0-0 (6 GF, 0 GA)

 

CURRENT FORM

  • FC Dallas had its three-game win streak snapped by Atlanta United on Wednesday, Sept. 23 after Dallas fell 1-0 to a Jeff Larentowicz penalty at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Still, Dallas sits in fourth place in the West on 19 points and has the third-best points per game in its conference at 1.58 PPG. On the other side, Orlando is on a three-game win streak of their own and moved into second place in the East with a 2-1 victory over Sporting KC Wednesday night. The Lions are unbeaten in seven games with their last loss coming back in August when they fell 3-2 to in-state rivals Inter Miami CF. 

PAPI RETURNS

  • Sunday's game sees the return of former FC Dallas head coach Óscar Pareja as he leads the Lions into Toyota Stadium. Pareja's first homecoming actually came last year when FCD hosted his former team Club Tijuana of Liga MX in a friendly match. However, this'll be the first time Papi returns in a competitive setting since departing FC Dallas at the end of the 2018 season. Pareja coached FCD for five seasons and led the club to the MLS Supporters' Shield and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup double in 2016. Orlando's trip to Dallas also sees the return of former player Tesho Akindele who joined the Lions in 2018 after spending five seasons with FCD. 

“(I can’t) ignore the fact that I’m coming to the place where I spent most of my life and career as a player and coach. It’s also a place where my kids were born, and the place where I have such great ties with friends, family, the community, the club and even the players there. So, it is special, yes. But at the end of the day, it’s a game that comes just like the next one. We’re trying to prepare and do the same as we have done. But the reality is that it’s special to be back to Dallas and face FC Dallas, of course.”  Óscar Pareja

HEDGES' REDEMTION

  • Defender Matt Hedges enters Sunday's game with a chip on his shoulder after he was harshly punished for a handball (shoulder, more like) in the box that led to Atlanta's penalty goal on Wednesday. Even if you believe the penalty call was correct, it's hard to argue that Hedges wasn't very unlucky for the ball to deflect into his upper arm region following an Atlanta corner. With Hedges going up against his former coach Pareja and former teammate Akindele - plus the perceived injustice he experienced on Wednesday - he could well have some extra motivation going into Sunday's game. 

HOME SWEET HOME

  • Dallas returns home to Toyota Stadium after back-to-back road matches against SKC and Atlanta. Much like last season, FCD has been very strong at home this year with a record of 4-1-2. Its only defeat at Toyota Stadium this season came on Aug. 12 against Nashville which was its first game of any kind after the five-month layoff due to the COVID-19 season postponement. Since then, Dallas has earned three wins and one tie on its home turf. Still, it'll be a tough test as the club welcomes Pareja and the Lions to Frisco Sunday night. 

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