Welcome to your match thread for tonight's MLS Eastern Conference match-up between Orlando City (3-3-8, 17 points) and Toronto FC (5-5-4, 19 points). It's the first of three scheduled meetings between the two sides in 2016, with the Reds returning to Orlando on Aug. 24 and the Lions making the return visit to Toronto on Sept. 28.
To say the Lions haven't fared well against Toronto FC since joining MSL would be a drastic understatement. Orlando City is not only 0-3 in the all-time series but has also scored only one goal, while conceding 11. Jozy Altidore's brace was all of the scoring in the first match-up, a 2-0 Toronto win on April 26, 2015. Sebastian Giovinco's hat trick led the way to a 4-1 drubbing of the Lions on Aug. 5 of last year, with Luke Boden scoring Orlando's only goal. Collen Warner also scored for Toronto. In the third meeting last year, Toronto FC blasted Orlando, 5-0, on Aug. 22. Rafael Ramos and Adrian Winter were both sent off that day. Marky Delgado, Giovinco, Justin Morrow, and Altidore (twice) provided the goals.
The Lions are 2-0-3 in their last five matches in all competitions, while Toronto enters on a 3-0-1 streak in its last four competitive matches, including a 1-0 midweek home win over Vancouver Whitecaps in the first leg of the Canadian Championship. The Reds have kept three straight clean sheets, but the midweek game, coupled with another at Vancouver Wednesday, may see Greg Vanney shake up his lineup for tonight.
Orlando won't have to contend with Michael Bradley, who is off with his USMNT teammates in the Copa America Centenario third-place match against Colombia. Altidore is also out with an injury, as is Ashtone Morgan. The Lions will be without Seb Hines, who is suspended for yellow card accumulation. However, the team is starting to regain some semblance of health, with Rafael Ramos, Darwin Ceren and Kaká all returning to training.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Austin Siegel has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report provides some scouting of Toronto FC from SB Nation's blog, Waking the Red.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus Waking the Red's Mitchell Tierney provides insight from the enemy's perspective.
- Wade Williams' weekly TML Roundtable features more talk about tonight's match.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Brek Shea, David Mateos, Tommy Redding, Kevin Alston
Defensive Midfielders: Servando Carrasco, Cristian Higuita.
Attacking Midfielders: Kevin Molino, Kaká, Adrian Winter.
Forward: Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Conor Donovan, Rafael Ramos, Antonio Nocerino, Darwin Ceren, Carlos Rivas, Julio Baptista.
Toronto FC (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Clint Irwin.
Defenders: Justin Morrow, Drew Moor, Eriq Zavaleta, Nick Hagglund.
Midfielders: Will Johnson, Jay Chapman, Jonathan Osorio, Tsubasa Endoh.
Forwards: Jordan Hamilton, Sebastian Giovinco.
Bench: Alex Bono, Josh Williams, Steven Beitashour, Benoit Cheyrou, Marky Delgado, Mo Babouli, Raheem Edwards.
Ref: Ismail Elfath.
AR1: Sean Hurd.
AR2: Kyle Longville.
4th: Caleb Mendez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Camping World Stadium -- Orlando, FL.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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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