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Nashville SC hope to hand Orlando City fifth straight loss

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A visit to Nashville might not present the ideal opportunity for Orlando City SC to halt their longest losing streak of the season.

Orlando look to avoid a fifth straight defeat Wednesday night, against a Nashville SC club that hasn’t lost at home in nearly a year.

While Orlando (10-8-8, 38 points) sits fifth in the Eastern Conference table, Oscar Pareja’s squad is just two points above the playoff line. Following a 2-1 loss at MLS-leading New England, City has been outscored 12-4 over its last four games.

“We ended up with this frustration that we have to deal with,” Pareja said after the defeat. “But, we have to keep going.”

Things won’t get any easier for Orlando in this midweek match against the second-best club in the East. While City is 0-5-3 on the road since a 2-1 victory at Inter Miami CF on June, 25, Nashville (11-3-12, 45 points) is 9-0-6 at home since a 1-0 loss to FC Dallas on Nov. 4.

These teams played to a 1-1 draw at Nashville on Aug. 18. CJ Sapong opened the scoring in 23rd minute for the hosts, but Orlando’s Antonio Carlos equalized just before the hour mark.

Nashville returns home following a 2-1-1 stretch of four consecutive road contests. It played Chicago to a scoreless draw on Sunday, with poor field conditions and this quick turnaround being reasons why Sapong and fellow Nashville star Hany Mukhtar did not feature in that one.

The pair, who should be ready Wednesday, have scored half of Nashville’s 44 goals this season.

“CJ was more of a case of giving him flat-out rest,” Nashville coach Gary Smith told The Tennessean. “Hany was in good enough condition, obviously, to be part (of the game) … had the field been in better shape.”

Orlando star Nani (nine goals in 2021), whose penalty kick was thwarted at New England, has not scored in his last six matches.

–Field Level Media

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