Here is your Open Thread for the inaugural Major League Soccer match for both Orlando City SC and fellow expansion club New York City FC. We've all been waiting for this for a long time and it's finally happening!
The Lions haven't played a ‘real' game since the 1-1 tie against New York City in Charleston on Feb. 21. The club played only 26 minutes against the Charleston Battery in a weather-shortened affair and the majority of the last preseason game down at least one man (and eventually two) against the Houston Dynamo. Orlando City finished the preseason 1-1-5.
New York's preseason ended on a high note with a 3-0 win over Charleston in the final game of the Carolina Challenge Cup. NYCFC, which went 2-2-1 in preseason, has the much-celebrated stars like David Villa and Mix Diskerud but, more importantly for an expansion club, it also has an experienced head coach in Jason Kreis, who has reached an MLS Cup Final and has a career record in the league of 102-77-60.
Both teams would love to leave the sold-out Orlando Citrus Bowl tonight with their first MLS victory but only one will do so. Hopefully having 62,000 souls in the building will help spur the Lions to victory.
Here's all the information you need to prepare for today's game:
- Andrew M.'s Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC match preview
- Three things to watch for in today's match-up
- Our latest PawedCast, featuring an interview with NYCFC blogger Rafa Noboa y Rivera
- UpRoar, our ‘TV show' featuring an Orlando City season preview and more
- Kevin Mercer's visitor's guide for fans attending today's game at the Citrus Bowl
Orlando City (4-2-3-1):
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts
Defense: Brek Shea, Seb Hines, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos
Defensive Midfielders: Amobi Okugo, Cristian Higuita
Attacking Midfielders: Lewis Neal, Kaká, Kevin Molino
Forward: Carlos Rivas
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Eric Avila, Luke Boden, Sean St. Ledger, Tony Cascio, Darwin Ceren, Bryan Rochez.
New York City FC (4-4-2):
Goalkeeper: Josh Saunders
Defense: Chris Wingert, Jason Hernandez, Jeb Brovsky, Josh Williams
Midfielders: Ned Grabavoy, Mix Diskerud, Andrew Jacobson, Mehdi Ballouchy
Forwards: David Villa,Adam Nemec
Bench: Akira Fitzgerald, Kwame Watson-Siriboe, Javier Calle, Kwadwo Poku, Sebastian Velasquez, Patrick Mullins, Khiry Shelton.
How to Watch:
Match time: 5 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Orlando Citrus Bowl
TV: ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes
Radio: 104.1 Real Radio
Streaming: MLS Live and WatchESPN
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC). The game's official hashtags are #ORLvNYC and #FilledTheBowl.
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. If you're new, 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.