After a 26-minute, weather-shortened dud of a match against the Charleston Battery on Wednesday, Orlando City SC is gearing up to close out the Carolina Challenge Cup against the Houston Dynamo. The comments section below will serve as your open thread to discuss the match. Here's all the info you need:
The tournament table stands as such:
|Orlando City SC||0||0||2||2|
|New York City FC||0||1||1||1|
The Lions remain undefeated this preseason, but they'll need some help to claim the cup. First, Orlando needs a win against a Houston side coming off an eighth-place finish in the MLS's Wastern Conference in 2014 (they'll be in the Western Conference this season).
The Lions will need help from New York as well, who take on the Battery in the later game. If the Battery lose, Orlando will claim the CCC '15 cup with a win. If the Battery draw, it will come down to goal differential between Charleston and Orlando.
That is perhaps putting the cart before the horse though, as the Dynamo will look to build on their defeat of New York on Wednesday. Despite flying a bit under the radar in middle-America, Houston brings some serious star-power to the pitch. World Cup veteran DaMarcus Beasley provides an attacking option from left back, while fellow U.S. Men's National Team regular Brad Davis delivers deadly left-footed service from the wing. Up top, USMNT hopeful Will Bruin will surely challenge the Orlando center backs.
Under coach Dominic Kinnear, the Dynamo have been a team that looks to find space on the wings and send the ball into the box. Kinnear is now boss at San Jose, but the same threat remains under new Houston coach Owen Coyle. Orlando City should be well prepared to deal with this threat, given the size and experience of center back Aurelien Collin.
However, the battles to watch tonight will be on the wings. Veteran Boniek García will look to challenge newly minted left back Brek Shea defensively. Additionally, the always-crafty Beasley, along with Davis, will be a handful for 20-year-old Rafael Ramos on the right.
If Orlando City's fullbacks can stay composed and Aurelien Collin is strong in the air, the Lions will have a good shot at pulling out the victory.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1):
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts
Defense: Brek Shea, Sean St. Ledger, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos
Defensive Midfield: Amobi Okugo, Darwin Cerén
Attacking Midfield: Eric Avila, Kaká, Kevin Molino
Forward: Bryan Rochez
Houston Dynamo (4-4-2):
Goalkeeper: Tyler Deric
Defense: Kofi Sarkodie, David Horst, Jermaine Taylor, DaMarcus Beasley
Defensive Midfielder: Ricardo Clark, Luis Garrido
Left Midfield: Brad Davis
Right Midfield: Lionel Miranda
Forward: Boniek Garcia, Will Bruin
How to Watch:
Match time: 5 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston, SC
Streaming: Watch the match here on the Charleston Battery's YouTube channel, or just click player below!
Match thread rules:
- This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. Our match thread rules haven't been well established yet, as we're still fairly new. If you're new as well, welcome to our happy home! While you're here, please observe a few basic rules:
- Absolutely no links to illegal streams. They can get us in trouble, and no one wants that.
- Try not to be "that guy" who spews nothing but venom and hate for the team. It's ok to be critical, and, let's face it, sometimes even the best teams can be frustrating to watch, but being overly negative relentlessly can sap the enjoyment for others.
- Keep it somewhat clean and fair when criticizing players / officials. You never know who might be reading.
- Do unto others in the match thread, the way you would have others do unto you. We are a fun community and want to keep it this way. We have a moderator, but we'd rather let him enjoy the game instead of having to play babysitter.
- Finally, we don't have a rule against profanity but don't abuse the non-rule. Also, any language that is sexist, racist, or homophobic in nature will be swiftly deleted and you may lose posting privileges. We're all in this together.