Welcome to your live match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (5-6-12, 27 points) and the Colorado Rapids (11-3-9, 42 points). It's the first and only match-up between the two sides this season. Orlando City is 1-0-0 in the all-time series in MLS play and hasn’t visited Dick’s Sporting Goods Park yet as an MLS side. However, it was the site of a 5-2 Lions loss in the 2014 U.S. Open Cup while the club was still in the USL.
But, hey, Luke Boden scored a goal in that game!
The Lions won 2-0 last year in the stadium formerly known as the Citrus Bowl, with Cyle Larin and Kaká scoring for Orlando City. But it was the insertion of Carlos Rivas for an ailing Brek Shea – who had sustained a groin injury while on international duty and eventually required sports hernia surgery – that changed the game. Rivas’ pace on the left wing opened the middle for Larin and Kaká to operate. The Colombian assisted with a cross on the first goal and drew the defense away from Cristian Higuita and Kaká to allow them room to operate on the second. Tally Hall got the clean sheet.
The Rapids have only one loss since early April, which was a 5-1 dismantling at Yankee Stadium to New York City FC. Those five goals represent a quarter of what Colorado has allowed all season. The Rapids have won and drawn the last two since, allowing only one goal. Orlando City is winless in two (0-1-1) after that feel-good 3-1 win in Jason Kreis’ debut against New England.
If you’re looking for reason for optimism, I can’t give it to you. Orlando City is winless in 10 straight road matches (0-5-5) while the Pids are unbeaten at home (9-0-3).
Cristian Higuita (hamstring) and Pedro Ribeiro (back surgery) are out. Matias Perez Garcia (quad) is day-to-day. Rafael Ramos (hamstring) is close to a return after rejoining his teammates in full squad training. Kevin Molino was hampered in training by tightness in his hamstring but made the trip so, barring a setback, he should be available. Colorado’s injured players include former Lion Sean St. Ledger, who has been out all season, and Jermaine Jones.
Here's your mandatory content for tonight's match (no PawedCast this week due to scheduling conflicts):
- Austin Siegel's got your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report features a bit of a scouting report on the Rapids from John Rosch of SB Nation's Colorado blog, Burgundy Wave.
- Wade Williams presides over this week’s TML staff roundtable, in which our writers discuss tonight’s match.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Mikey Ambrose, Jose Aja, David Mateos, Kevin Alston.
Defensive Midfielders: Antonio Nocerino, Servando Carrasco.
Attacking Midfielders: Kaká, Julio Baptista, Brek Shea.
Forward: Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Tommy Redding, Luke Boden, Carlos Rivas, Tony Rocha, Matias Perez Garcia, and Hadji Barry.
Colorado Rapids (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard.
Defenders: Marc Burch, Axel Sjoberg, Bobby Burling, Eric Miller.
Defensive Midfielders: Sam Cronin, Dillon Powers.
Attacking Midfielders: Sebastien Le Toux, Shkelzen Gashi, Marlon Hairston.
Forward: Kevin Doyle.
Bench: Zac MacMath, Mekeil Williams, Jared Watts, Dennis Castillo, Marco Pappa, Dominique Badji, and Micheal Azira.
Ref: Sorin Stoica.
AR1: Jeff Hosking.
AR2: Peter Balciunas.
4th: Alex Chilowicz.
How to Watch
Match Time: 9 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park -- Commerce City, CO.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
Match Thread Rules
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