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Orlando City hoping to make up ground against D.C. United

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D.C. United will look to continue their ascent in the Eastern Conference standings in their penultimate road game against Orlando City on Saturday night.

Julian Gressel’s 45th-minute tally held as the winner in D.C.’s 3-1 victory against Minnesota United on Wednesday. Ola Kamara also scored on a 23rd-minute penalty kick before Junior Moreno added a goal in the 85th minute.

D.C. United (12-11-4, 40 points) enter in third place in the East standings after winning four of their past six matches (4-1-1). Nashville SC hold a six-point lead over D.C. United for the No. 2 seed while New York City FC, Philadelphia, Atlanta United and Orlando City all trail D.C. United by a single point.

“We know this can change very quick,” coach Hernan Losada of D.C. United told The Washington Post. “We need to keep both feet on the ground, keep on working. Every point is important. We need to keep the focus and stay humble.”

Seventh-place Orlando City (10-8-9, 39 points) is clinging to the final playoff spot after earning a 2-2 draw at Nashville on Wednesday to snap a four-game skid. Nashville conceded an own goal in the 93rd minute off a corner from Nani that deflected in off of Benji Michel following Daryl Dike’s 76th-minute penalty strike.

“The whole game we had that initiative that just made me feel that the players are intact and we will keep fighting,” said Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja, whose team went 1-4-1 in September. “We have another match (Saturday), but (that win) is important for us.”

Orlando was a 1-0 winner it its most recent meeting with D.C. United on the road on May 16. The Lions have dropped two of their past three matchups with D.C. United and have a 6-6-1 record all-time against them.

–Field Level Media

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