Welcome to your open thread for the first and only MLS meeting with the Sporting Kansas City this season. Orlando City (7-13-8, 29 points), was once the USL affiliate of Sporting KC and multiple SKC players once played for the Lions. After today, City will have officially played every team in the league.
The Lions are winless in their last six MLS matches (0-4-2) and have drawn two straight at home. The club's last win came Aug. 1 against Columbus Crew SC at the Citrus Bowl.
Sporting Kansas City (11-7-8, 41 points) is 7-1-2 all-time in their first game against MLS expansion clubs and still have hopes of getting in on the Supporters' Shield party. However, SKC is just 0-3-1 in its last four matches. A 0-0 draw in the midweek at Portland snapped a three-game losing streak.
Orlando City will have to contend with Sporting Kansas City's deadly counter-attacking game with weapons all along the front two lines in their 4-3-3 formation. Orlando City USL legend Dom Dwyer leads the way with nine goals, but Benny Feilhaber and Krisztian Nemeth have eight apiece.
It won't be easy with potentially Kaká, Darwin Ceren and Corey Ashe all out with injury, but City could see the return of Brek Shea today. Regardless, the Lions know it won't be easy to get three points, but it's vital to get a win to keep from falling completely out of the playoff race.
"The last few weeks have been tough on us. You can't dress that up," Orlando City Head Coach Adrian Heath said after training on Friday. "We need to try and get a win. It's about time we won a game at home. We've had incredible support. I have no doubt we'll have incredible support again on Sunday evening. So it's important that we give our supporters something to cheer and something to hang onto."
"We just have to be smart," said Lions midfielder Servando Carrasco, who played for Sporting KC just a few weeks ago. "They're a team that lives off of the counter. But we also have to be a little bit aggressive. We're playing at home and we just have to be confident."
Here's your mandatory content to prep for tonight:
- Austin Siegel's match preview and final score prediction
- This week's PawedCast features Thad Bell of The Blue Testament on tonight's match and gives more predictions
- Our Intelligence Report provides answers about SKC's top players and tactics
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Tally Hall
Defenders: Luke Boden, Aurelien Collin, David Mateos, Rafael Ramos
Defensive Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Servando Carrasco
Attacking Midfielders: Carlos Rivas, Lewis Neal, Adrian Winter
Forwards: Cyle Larin
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Seb Hines, Tommy Redding, Eric Avila, Brek Shea, Danny Mwanga, Bryan Rochez
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Jon Kempin
Defenders: Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Kevin Ellis, Saad Abdul-Salaam
Midfielders: Benny Feilhaber, Soni Mustivar,Jacob Peterson
Forwards: Graham Zusi, Dom Dwyer, Krisztian Nemeth
Bench: Trey Mitchell, Jalil Anibaba, Amadou Dia, Jordi Quintilla, Marcel De Jong, Mikey Lopez, Bernardo Anor
REF: Jair Marrufo
AR1: Peter Balciunas
AR2: Mark Cahen
4TH: Ted Unkel
How to Watch:
Match time: 7 p.m. (ET)
Venue: Citrus Bowl - Orlando, FL
TV: FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes (nationally)
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish)
Streaming: FOX Sports Go app
Match Thread Rules:
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