Welcome! This is your Open Thread for tonight's match between your Orlando City Lions and defending regular season Eastern Conference champions D.C. United (5-1-3, 18 points).
Orlando City (2-4-3, 9 points) is in the midst of one of the toughest eight-day stretches an MLS side could possibly face. They tied first place New England in dramatic fashion last week, they play second place D.C. tonight, and they return to Orlando to face five-time MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy next Sunday. Talk about a rough stretch!
Given the club's recent lackluster form, and the devastating injury to Kevin Molino, earning even a few points out of these three matches might be a moral victory. It took a stoppage time header from Aurelien Collin to draw New England, and the Lions will be hoping for some similar magic tonight in the nation's capital.
They may need it, as the Black and Red are unbeaten in their last 13 home matches, and haven't lost since opening week in 2015. On the bright side, D.C. has only managed a draw in three of its five home matches this season, despite their otherwise excellent record. Apparently, Orlando isn't the only side struggling to win matches in an old football stadium!
You may remember that D.C. has already made the trip down to Orlando this season, defeating City 1-0 on the strength of a Luis Silva stoppage time free kick. The Lions had the better of the play in that one though, and may be out to avenge what many felt was an unjust result.
D.C. will certainly be the heavy favorite tonight, but I wouldn't count Orlando out entirely. United has gifted clubs far too many points at home this season, and the Lions have to feel confident after dominating the majority of the last meeting.
Here's your required reading for tonight's match:
- Here's my complete match preview for #DCvORL. Astute readers will notice I called the header goal for Orlando last week. I think I'm finally getting the hang of this!
- Head Coach Adrian Heath and Phil Rawlins talked shop in this week's coach's show
- Our weekly Power Rankings are up. Where do D.C. and Orlando City fall? Hint: There's a reason they're heavy favorites
- Shout-out to our friends at BlackandRedUnited.com. They do a great job covering everything D.C. United
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts
Defenders: Luke Boden, Sean St. Ledger, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos
Defensive Midfielders: Darwin Ceren, Harrison Heath
Attacking Midfielders: Brek Shea, Kaká, Eric Avila
Forward: Cyle Larin
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Seb Hines, Tyler Turner, Bryan Rochez, Danny Mwanga, Carlos Rivas
D.C. United (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid
Defenders: Taylor Kemp, Bobby Boswell, Kofi Opare, Sean Franklin
Midfielders: Michael Farfan, Perry Kitchen, Davy Arnaud, Nick DeLeon
Forwards: Luis Silva, Chris Pontius
Bench: Markus Halsti, Chris Rolfe, Chris Korb, Jairo Arrieta, Steve Birnbaum, Miguel Aguilar, Andrew Dykstra
How to Watch:
Match time: 8 p.m. (ET)
Venue: RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
TV: Nationally on ESPN 2
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 AM (Spanish)
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along at @TheManeLand, as well as Orlando City's official Twitter feed (@OrlandoCitySC).
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:
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