Orlando City midfielder Sacha Kljestan would like to avoid the need for more dramatic come-from-behind victories.
Perhaps it’s good, then, that his team is visiting the Philadelphia Union on Friday night.
Orlando (2-2-1) needed to score three times in the last 10 minutes to secure its most recent victory, a 3-2 home win over Portland on Sunday.
That followed a 4-3 victory over the New York Red Bulls a week earlier in which Orlando also needed two second-half goals to secure what was its first win of the season.
Orlando also opened its season by tying D.C. United at home 1-1 on Stefano Pinho’s stoppage-time equalizer.
“I don’t want to try to be continuing to win games by having to score three goals in the last 10 minutes every week,” Kljestan said this week, “because that’s just going to end up in heartbreak.”
Meanwhile, Philadelphia hasn’t scored enough to give any team a realistic opportunity at a comeback.
Alejandro Bedoya’s 64th-minute equalizer in last week’s 1-1 home draw against San Jose ended a stretch of 265 scoreless minutes for the Union.
Philadelphia’s other two goals both came after going up a man in a 2-0, season-opening victory over a New England side that finished the game with just nine players.
CJ Sapong is the only Union player among the starting front four to hit the net this season. David Accam and Borek Dockal are both awaiting their first goals in a Philadelphia uniform.
“We have a fresh opportunity against Orlando,” Philadelphia coach Jim Curtin said. “Once one goes in, the floodgates are going to open for this group, because there’s too much quality in this attacking third.”
Orlando coach Jason Kreis doesn’t necessarily believe Philadelphia’s recent offensive woes are indicative of poor attacking play.
“If you look at the last two matches, they’ve played really positively and probably should’ve gotten, no doubt about it, should’ve gotten better results in those two matches,” Kreis said. “They were dominant in both those games and created a ton of goal-scoring chances. And they’re a very dangerous team that’s going to be out looking for a fight.”
Accam has scored six goals and added three assists in his seven games against Orlando, all while playing with the Chicago Fire over the past three seasons.
He registered his first MLS hat trick last year in his last match against the Lions, a 4-0 Chicago victory on June 24.
Meanwhile, Orlando forward Dom Dwyer is the only player on either club to score multiple goals this season, hitting three in just two games since returning from injury.
One more goal will see Dwyer equal his total for Orlando in 2017, a team he joined in the middle of last season after arriving from Kansas City in a high-profile trade.