Welcome to your match thread for today's meeting between Orlando City (2-2-5, 11 points) and Sporting Kansas City (4-6-2, 14 points). This is the one and only scheduled match-up between these two teams from opposite conferences.
Neither team is at its best right now. Orlando City is winless in five (0-2-3) while SKC has gone seven matches since its last victory (0-5-2) and has lost its last two matches by a combined 3-0 score.
The Lions defeated Sporting 3-1 in last season's only meeting at the Citrus Bowl on the strength of two Adrian Winter goals and Bryan Rochez's first MLS tally. That win, the team's first ever without Kaká, also came after a winless streak. It snapped the Lions' six-game skid (0-4-2) and propelled Orlando to a five-game winning streak that nearly got the team into the MLS playoffs.
Orlando City's injury situation is pretty good entering today, with center back Seb Hines a game-time decision after sustaining a knock this week. If he can't go, look for Tommy Redding to start alongside David Mateos. Hines didn't practice much this week so I expect Redding. Pedro Ribeiro (back surgery) remains out but Luke Boden (hamstring) is healthy again. Midfielder Cristian Higuita will serve a red card suspension today, as will Sporting's Ike Opara. SKC played a midweek game at Colorado, so we should see some rotation in Peter Vermes' squad.
Here is your mandatory content to prepare you for today's match:
- Austin Siegel's got your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about Sporting Kansas City from SB Nation's The Blue Testament blog.
- This week's PawedCast has our key match-ups and more predictions (plus, we talk MLS expansion into Atlanta with Dirty South Soccer).
- Our staff roundtable takes a critical look at today's match and recaps the Red Bulls.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Both the club and the MLS website are calling it a 4-2-3-1, so we'll watch and see where Nocerino plays.
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Brek Shea, David Mateos, Tommy Redding, Rafael Ramos.
Defensive Midfielders: Servando Carrasco, Darwin Ceren.
Attacking Midfielders: Antonio Nocerino, Kaká, Kevin Molino.
Forward: Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Luke Boden, Kevin Alston, Harrison Heath, Adrian Winter, Carlos Rivas, and Julio Baptista.
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Tim Melia.
Defenders: Jimmy Medranda, Matt Besler, Nuno Coelho, Saad Abdul-Salaam.
Midfielders: Roger Espinoza, Soni Mustavar, Benny Feilhaber
Forwards: Graham Zusi, Dom Dwyer, Brad Davis.
Bench: Alec Kann, Chance Myers, Paulo Nagamura, Lawrence Olum, Connor Hallisey, Jacob Peterson, Diego Rubio.
Ref: Ismail Elfath.
AR1: Corey Rockwell.
AR2: Jeremy Hanson.
4th: Rubiel Vazquez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 3:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Children's Mercy Park - Kansas City, KS.
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish), SiriusXM FC.
Streaming: MLS Live, Watch ESPN.
Match Thread Rules
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