This is your open thread for tonight's showdown between Orlando City and Eastern Conference opponents, Columbus Crew SC. The Lions (2-2-2, 8 points) are coming off a 2-0 win at Portland on Sunday and have found better results on the road than at home so far, posting a 2-0-1 mark away from the Citrus Bowl.
The Crew (1-2-2, 5 points) is winless in its last three matches, but has drawn two straight -- both on the road. Columbus was held to a scoreless tie at New England last Saturday night and battled to a 2-2 draw at Vancouver just three days prior to that. Fans of the Black and Gold will be hoping their Crew can turn a three-game winless streak into a three-game unbeaten streak in one match.
Orlando City has struggled to start the same lineup two matches in a row due to injuries and international call-ups but Adrian Heath will have that at his discretion this evening if he opts to play the same formation as last Sunday at Portland. The alternative is to start Carlos Rivas at left attacking midfield. I suspect he'll play the more defensive lineup he used last week and save Rivas as a late game sub at striker for Cyle Larin again this week.
Brek Shea played left back for the USMNT on Wednesday night in San Antonio but played only the second half and should be available to start for the Lions.
Here's all the content you need to prepare for tonight's match:
- Andrew Marcinko's match preview
- Pat Murphy from Massive Report gives us an insider's view in our Crew Intelligence Report
- Andrew Harrison put together a scouting report on Columbus
- This week's PawedCast features Pat Murphy from Massive Report (again) and our predictions
The Lions need three more points to maximize this two-game road swing. Let's see if they can bring them back to us as a present from their first ever trip to Ohio.
Orlando City (4-3-3):
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts
Defense: Brek Shea, Seb Hines, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos
Midfielders: Darwin Ceren, Amobi Okugo, Cristian Higuita
Attacking Midfielders/Forwards: Kaká (C), Cyle Larin, Kevin Molino
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Luke Boden, Tyler Turner, Harrison Heath, Carlos Rivas, Eric Avila, Bryan Rochez
Columbus Crew (4-2-3-1):
Goalkeeper: Steve Clark
Defense: Hernan Grana, Michael Parkhurst, Emanuel Pogatetz, Waylon Francis
Defensive Midfielders: Tony Tchani, Mohammed Saeid
Attacking Midfielders: Ethan Finlay Federico Higuain, Justin Meram
Forward: Kei Kamara
Bench: Matt Lampson, Chris Klute, Tyson Wahl, Héctor Jiménez, Kevan George, Kristinn Steindórsson, Aaron Schoenfeld
How to Watch:
Match time: 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Mapfre Stadium,Columbus, OH
TV: My65 locally, Sun Sports throughout Florida
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 AM (Spanish)
Streaming: FOX Sports GO app, MLS Live (out of market)
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
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