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Tesho Akindele, Orlando City face Red Bulls, aim to remain undefeated

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The New York Red Bulls are looking for more disciplined play and the end of a two-game losing streak when they host Orlando City on Saturday afternoon in Harrison, N.J.

The Red Bulls (2-4-0, 6 points) have been reduced to 10 men in each of their past two games. Dru Yearwood was sent off during stoppage time of New York’s 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on May 15, while Andres Reyes received two yellow cards within the first 38 minutes of New York’s 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution on May 22.

Reyes scored in the seventh minute to give the Red Bulls an early lead, but New England stormed back with three unanswered goals — two coming after Reyes’ ejection.

Despite the recent results, “The season is not a sprint, it’s a marathon,” New York coach Gerhard Struber said. “The season is long, and with this attitude, with this spirit, with this teamwork, we are absolutely in the right way.”

Reyes will miss Saturday’s date with Orlando due to suspension, while Yearwood will return from a one-game suspension.

Orlando City (3-0-3, 12 points) are one of three MLS teams that have yet to lose a game this season, along with the Seattle Sounders and Nashville SC.

A tough defense has been Orlando’s calling card, as the Lions have conceded a league-low two goals over their six games. The team has four shutouts and is coming off consecutive 1-0 wins over D.C. United and Toronto. The Lions have allowed one goal in their past four games.

Striker Tesho Akindele, who is second on the team with two goals, credited Orlando’s defense for being the team’s “backbone,” as the Lions have a modest seven goals scored.

“The forwards, myself included, have been kind of up and down at times. … I know that we’re creating lots of chances, and I think that we’re going to see more goals here,” said Akindele, who scored Orlando City’s only goal against Toronto.

Nani, Orlando’s captain and leading scorer with three goals, will miss Saturday’s game due to suspension. Defenders Joao Moutinho (hip) and Ruan (leg) are questionable due to injury.

Nani, who was suspended for two games by the league for “unwanted physical contact with a match official” during a win over DC United on May 16, missed the Lions’ win against Toronto.

–Field Level Media

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