Here's your open thread for Orlando City's (2-4-2, 8 pts) return to MLS action against the Eastern Conference leading New England Revolution (5-2-2, 17 pts). It's a tough opponent for the Lions, who are desperate to end their home goal-scoring drought in league play.
In what turned out to be a very eventful MLS bye week, the Lions beat visiting Brazilian side Ponte Preta in dramatic fashion, but at a serious cost; starting midfielder Kevin Molino was lost for 2015 with an ACL tear. Three goals at home and a victory were a big boost for a slumping team, but losing fan and player favorite Molino is clearly a blow.
Not content to simply plug a lesser player into Molino's role, it appears that Head Coach Adrian Heath may decide to push Brek Shea up into the attacking midfield to shore up the attack and insert USL veteran Luke Boden into the fullback role Shea will vacate. While it's a move that many City fans have already been calling for, it represents a fairly dramatic mid-season shake-up.
New England, on the other hand, has very little reason to make any changes at all. The Revs have won their last three, and haven't lost in their last seven. Jermaine Jones is back in control of the midfield this year, and the fearsome attacking foursome of Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, and Charlie Davies are firing on all cylinders.
It's a tough match-up for any side, but Orlando will be hoping that their friendly victory will portend more home goals to come.
Here is your required reading for the match:
- Here's my more extensive match preview and prediction. Give it a read!
- Check out our New England Intelligence Report, scouting the Revs with the Managing Editor of SB Nation's The Bent Musket
- PawedCast: It was a great show this week! We preview the upcoming match with special guest Earl Edwards Jr. from the Lions.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts
Defenders: Luke Boden, Seb Hines, Aurelien Collin, Rafael Ramos
Midfielders: Darwin Ceren, Amobi Okugo
Attacking Midfielders: Brek Shea, Kaká, Eric Avila
Forward: Cyle Larin
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Sean St. Ledger, Tyler Turner, Cristian Higuita, Bryan Rochez, Harrison Heath
New England Revolution (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Bobby Shuttleworth
Defenders: Chris Tierney, Andrew Farrell, , Andy Dorman, London Woodberry
Midfielders: Jermaine Jones, Scott Caldwell
Attacking Midfielders: Juan Agudelo, Lee Nguyen, Teal Bunbury
Forwards: Charlie Davies
Bench: Brad Knighton, Kevin Alston, Diego Fagundez, Steve Neumann, Donnie Smith, Sean Okoli, Kelyn Rowe,
How to Watch:
Match time: 8 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Orlando Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FL
TV: Nationally on UniMás
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).
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