Left-back Victor “PC” Giro is on the bench for City. He made his debut against the San Jose Earthquakes, recording an assist on the lone goal by Carlos Rivas and a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar.

Here’s what Will Johnson had to say about both center-back Léo Pereira’s and PC’s performances in their Major League Soccer debut.

They were excellent. Really good. You know, it’s a night where we asked them to travel a long way and play in a tough game for a debut in MLS, but, at the end of the day, they rose to the occasion. They did well. Everything was solid. PC was very good. Obviously gets a nice assist on the goal, so that always helps too. Just really good first steps for them in their careers, and now the challenge is, “Okay, we’ve seen you can do it. So, now you gotta do it for us again and again and again,” because, ultimately, that’s what this is about. We need guys consistent, and we need guys where we know when we put ’em on the field that we’re gonna get that performance week in, week out. So now the challenge is there for them, and the bar has been set.

Apart from center-back Léo Pereira, City’s lineup is mostly familiar. Pereira will have a challenge ahead of him with David Villa on the other side. Fellow center-back Tommy Redding, who is away with the U-20 United States men’s national team, has defended Villa also. Redding is a year younger than Pereira.

Here’s what Jason Kreis had to say about Pereira’s performance in his debut against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Léo was another player I thought was a standout performer for us, which says a lot ‘cus I think that’s really difficult for a central defender to do in a central role like that against players like [Chris] Wondolowski. He showed that he’s quite capable of playing for us and contributing at this level.

Forward Carlos Rivas has two goals in five games, dating back to April 29 when he scored his first goal of the 2017 season against the Colorado Rapids. Both scores have come in matches that he has come on as a substitute in.

And midfielder Will Johnson

They’re better when there’s more space. They have good soccer players. So they move the ball around well, and that’s a part where, I mean, if our discipline’s not right, where we close the areas that we want to dictate the game and with the right mentality and with the right aggressive shape, we’ll get ourselves stretched out in a bad place because of how good they are with the ball, which, on a bigger field, obviously means that we’ve gotta be better, in that regard, when we don’t have the ball. So, we look forward to it. We are a team that’s in a better place with the ball than we were in the first week. We understand who we are and how important the ball is to us. So we’ve gotta look to keep it, and then when we don’t have it, defend well and limit their opportunities, ‘cus, like I said, they’re a good team.

And here’re right-back Scott Sutter’s comments on playing NYCFC again.

A lot bigger field. That’s another thing that comes to it. Certain things in the MLS that are really different from what I’m used to and playing for the third time, I think, in 12 games is definitely one of them. It’s not easy. I mean, you can kind of say it’s good because you kinda know the opponent inside, out now, but, in the same time, it adds that little bit of pressure, I guess. But the momentum is definitely in our favor that we’ve got the last two victories, so we can definitely look to show that confidence, and we’re playing at home. So, that’s just what we need.

Here’s what Jason Kreis had to say about the familiarity both teams will have after having played twice already this season. This is the final time both teams will meet in the regular season.

It’s just a team that we’re obviously very familiar with, now, having played against them for a third time in six weeks, it seems like. Maybe a little longer than that, but it seems like a very short time to play a same team three times. So we have a very good understanding of what they’re a bout and what they’re trying to do, and they have a very good understanding of us. I think, at the end of the day, it’s gonna come down to little bit of who wants it more.

Orlando City is still looking for its first win in the month of May. Lions head coach Jason Kreis said his team is hungry for a win after an unprecedented 6-1-0 start.

Orlando City SC ‘Hungry’ for 1st Win in May

Good to see the captain back in the starting lineup. He has started two of the last five matches before Sunday’s match.

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