Welcome to your live match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (7-9-13, 34 points) and D.C. United (7-9-13, 34 points). It’s the first of two scheduled meetings between the two Eastern Conference rivals this season, with the return leg in Orlando set for Oct. 23.
United has gotten the better of this series so far, sporting a 2-1 record after three matches last season. The Black & Red were outplayed in the first meeting back on April 3, 2015, but the Lions couldn’t put the ball past Bill Hamid, paving the way for Luis Silva to score with a 91st-minute free kick, breaking Orlando hearts, 1-0. On May 13, Orlando again looked like the better club for much of the game, taking a 1-0 lead on Cyle Larin’s goal, but then bad things happened. Aurelien Collin sustained an injury and was replaced at center back by Tyler Turner. D.C. quickly used that mismatch to score twice and win, 2-1. Orlando finally got on the board in the series on June 14 of last year with Kaká scoring off the rebound of his own missed penalty to provide the Lions’ 1-0 winning margin.
Neither team is on a great run of form. Orlando City rides a two-game losing streak, during which it has been outscored, 8-3. And everything was going so well after those wins over New York City FC and Montreal. Sigh. Meanwhile, D.C. is winless in three matches (0-1-2) with only one win in the last six, but also only one loss over that span, as United has caught Orlando in the draws column.
The Lions will be without the suspended Carlos Rivas (yellow card accumulation) but everyone else is basically back to full training. United will be without right back Sean Franklin (calf), which is a key injury for D.C. and one that Jason Kreis may look to exploit. D.C. also lists key injuries to Chris Korb (knee), Kofi Opare (concussion), and Chris Rolfe (concussion).
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 United from Ben Bromley of SB Nation's D.C. blog, Black and Red United.
- This week's PawedCast has key match-ups and match predictions, plus Adam Taylor from Black and Red United jumped on with us to give us the D.C. perspective.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Luke Boden, Tommy Redding, Jose Aja, Rafael Ramos.
Defensive Midfielders: Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino.
Attacking Midfielders: Kevin Molino, Kaká, Matias Perez Garcia.
Forward: Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Mikey Ambrose, Seb Hines, Tony Rocha, Brek Shea, Pedro Ribeiro, Julio Baptista.
D.C. United (4-1-4-1)
Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid.
Defenders: Taylor Kemp, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, Luke Mishu.
Defensive Midfielder: Marcelo Sarvas.
Attacking Midfielders: Patrick Nyarko, Rob Vincent, Luciano Acosta, Lloyd Sam.
Forward: Patrick Mullins.
Bench: Travis Worra, Nick DeLeon, Jalen Robinson, Lamar Neagle, Julian Buescher, Alvaro Saborio, Kennedy Igboananike.
Ref: Sorin Stoica.
AR1: Mike Rottersman.
AR2: Jose Da Silva.
4th: Mark Kadlecik.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: RFK Stadium – Washington, D.C.
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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