The second half of the MLS season starts (late) tonight as the Lions are out west to take on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium at 10 p.m. ET. Rio Tinto can be a tough place for visitors to get a win, as evidenced by RSL's 3-1-5 home mark this season (as opposed to just 2-5-2 on the road).
The late (Eastern) start time, long travel and tough environment will make things difficult for the Lions, who have won their last two outings in all competitions and are 5-1-3 in the last nine games in all competitions (the PK shootout at Charleston counts as a regulation tie). Real Salt Lake is just 1-3-2 in the last six MLS matches, but RSL may be coming out of its funk after beating the Portland Timbers 2-0 in U.S. Open Cup play in the midweek and drawing 2-2 with Columbus Crew SC last Saturday in league play.
Orlando City will be without Gold Cup competitors Cyle Larin (Canada) and Darwin Ceren (El Salvador) and may not be able to field a full 18 due to injuries. Real Salt Lake fans won't shed any tears for Orlando's short bench, however, because RSL will be without USMNT stars, goalkeeper Nick Rimando and defensive midfielder Kyle Beckerman. But that doesn't mean the Lions can relax against RSL.
"I know that if we don't play well this weekend and don't approach it in the right manner, they will have more than enough to beat us," OCSC Head Coach Adrian Heath said after training on Thursday. "We're gonna have to be at our game. We proved it in Montreal. We drop it a notch, we lose the game two-nil. Could have been a lot more."
Here's all the content you need to prepare for tonight's match:
- Our match preview will get you all the basic info you need to be ready
- This week's PawedCast has insight on RSL and match predictions
- My Intelligence Report goes behind enemy lines to get the scoop from RSL Soapbox
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Tally Hall
Defenders: Luke Boden, Sean St. Ledger, Seb Hines, Rafael Ramos
Defensive Midfielders: Lewis Neal, Cristian Higuita
Attacking Midfielders: Carlos Rivas, Kaká, Eric Avila
Forward: Pedro Ribeiro
Bench: Donovan Ricketts, Tyler Turner, Tommy Redding, Amobi Okugo, Harrison Heath, Danny Mwanga
Real Salt Lake (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Jeff Attinella
Defenders: Tony Beltran, Aaron Maund, Elias Vazquez, Demar Phillips
Defensive Midfielders: Luke Mulholland, Luis Gil
Joao Plata, Javier Morales, Olmes Garcia
Forwards: Sebastian Jaime
Bench: Lalo Fernandez, Abdoulie Mansally, Chris Schuler, John Stertzer, Pecka, Sebastian Saucedo, Devon Sandoval
REF: Sorin Stoic
AR1: Ian Anderson
AR2: Jason White
4TH: Alejandro Mariscal
How to Watch:
Match time: 10 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
TV: My 65 locally and Sun Sports regionally
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish)
Streaming: MLS Live
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