Welcome to your live match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (7-8-13, 34 points) and Columbus Crew SC (5-11-11, 26 points). It's the second of two scheduled meetings between the clubs this season, after the clubs played to a 2-2 draw back on July 23. You may recall that in the last meeting, Bobby Murphy served as head coach for Orlando, just before the Jason Kreis era began.
The Crew grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first half of that initial meeting of 2016 behind goals by Tony Tchani and Ola Kamara (penalty kick in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage). But the Lions roared back, as they have had a tendency to do, with Kevin Molino and Cyle Larin leading Orlando back into the match.
The teams met four times last season in all competitions, with a 1-1-1 split in three MLS matches and Orlando City winning the U.S. Open Cup match-up, 2-0, in the round of 16 on June 30 of last year. Kaká and Carlos Rivas did the damage in that match for Orlando. Each team won a home match, with the Crew drawing first blood in Ohio on April 18, 2015, with a 3-0 win. Columbus took advantage of a 34th-minute red card on Rafael Ramos, with Federico Higuain, Justin Meram, and Kei Kamara finding the net. It was a nightmare game for Ramos, whose mistake set up the first Crew goal and had him issuing the fans an apology on social media after the match.
The Lions scored last in a 2-2 draw in Orlando on May 30, 2015, but you could say Columbus got the better result, as the Crew were down to 10 men. Tchani and Kamara sandwiched goals around a Kaká spot kick tally and Pedro Ribeiro scored a dramatic tying goal late. The Lions got their first league win over Columbus in style last Aug. 1, with a 5-2 thrashing of the Crew at the Citrus Bowl. Higuain put the visitors up just six minutes in, but then it was all Orlando. Cyle Larin scored twice, with Darwin Ceren, Aurelien Collin and Cristian Higuita each finding the net as well.
The Crew have lost three of their last four (1-3-0), while Orlando City has won two of its last three (2-1-0). As with the last time these teams met, the Lions will need to contain Ola Kamara. He leads the Crew in goals (11) this season. They didn’t quite finish the job last time, as the forward drew a penalty with his movement and then finished it from the spot.
On the injury side, Higuita (hamstring) is out and Antonio Nocerino (hamstring) is doubtful. Center back David Mateos must serve a suspension for yellow card accumulation. Carlos Rivas and Brek Shea must watch themselves tonight on that front or they’ll be next. On the Columbus side, Federico Higuain (sports hernia) and Wil Trapp (concussion) are questionable and Tchani is out on a red card suspension.
Here's your mandatory content for tonight's match:
- Gavin Ewbank’s got your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report features a bit of a scouting report on the Crew from Patrick Murphy of SB Nation's Columbus blog, Massive Report.
- This week's PawedCast has key match-ups and match predictions plus Pat Murphy jumped on with us to give us the Columbus perspective.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Luke Boden, Tommy Redding, Seb Hines, Kevin Alston.
Defensive Midfielders: Servando Carrasco, Tony Rocha.
Attacking Midfielders: Kevin Molino, Kaká, Matias Perez Garcia.
Forward: Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Mikey Ambrose, Rafael Ramos, Brek Shea, Pedro Ribeiro, Julio Baptista, Carlos Rivas.
Columbus Crew SC (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Steve Clark.
Defenders: Hector Jimenez, Gaston Sauro, Michael Parkhurst, Harrison Afful.
Defensive Midfielders: Nicolai Naess, Mohamed Saeid.
Attacking Midfielders: Justin Meram, Dilly Duka, Ethan Finlay.
Forward: Ola Kamara.
Bench: Brad Stuver, Waylon Francis, Chad Barson, Corey Ashe, Adam Jahn, Cristian Martinez, Rodrigo Saravia.
Ref: Drew Fischer.
AR1: Sean Hurd.
AR2: Danny Thornberry.
4th: Ted Unkel.
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).
Match Thread Rules
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