Welcome to your match thread for this afternoon’s match-up between Orlando City (2-0-0, 6 points) and the Columbus Crew (2-1-1, 7 points). This is the first of three scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2017. The remaining two matches are set for Orlando City Stadium on Aug. 19 and Oct. 15.
Orlando City had a week off due to the international break. Meanwhile, Columbus won its second straight game by knocking off previously undefeated Portland, 3-2, last weekend.
The Lions were 0-1-1 against Columbus in 2016 and are just 1-2-2 in five meetings across their first two seasons in Major League Soccer, including 0-1-1 at Mapfre Stadium. Orlando City is 2-2-2 in all competitions over the last two years, defeating the Crew in 2015 U.S. Open Cup play to go along with the MLS results.
The last meeting came in Camping World Stadium last Sept. 17, when the Crew beat down the Lions, 4-1. That was in the midst of a three-skid for Orlando City in which the Lions were outscored, 12-4, before ending the season on a 2-1-1 run. Ethan Finlay and Ola Kamara (twice) powered the Crew, who also got a Seb Hines own-goal, to more than offset Cyle Larin’s goal. That match gave Columbus an unbeaten 2016 against the Lions, as the teams drew 2-2 in Ohio on July 23. Tony Tchani and Kamara (penalty kick in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage) put the Crew up 2-0, Kevin Molino and Larin led Orlando back for interim coach Bobby Murphy.
Kaká (hamstring), Rafael Ramos (hamstring), Tony Rocha (hamstring), and Seb Hines (knee) are expected to miss the match due to injury. For Columbus, Jonathan Mensah (leg) is questionable.
Here's your mandatory match content for today’s game:
- Gavin Ewbank has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about Columbus with the help from Patrick Murphy of SB Nation’s Crew SC blog, Massive Report.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, with insight from Patrick from Massive Report.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose, Aja, Will Johnson.
Midfielders: Giles Barnes, Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino, Matias Perez Garcia.
Forwards: Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Josh Saunders, Tommy Redding, PC, Scott Sutter, Cristian Higuita, Richie Laryea, Hadji Barry.
Columbus Crew (4-4-1-1)
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen.
Defenders: Harrison Afful, Alex Crognale, Nicolai Naess, Jukka Raitala.
Midfielders: Ethan Finlay, Artur, Wil Trapp, Justin Meram.
Attacking Midfielder: Federico Higuain.
Forward: Ola Kamara.
Bench: Brad Stuver, Josh Williams, Waylon Francis, Hector Jimenez, Mohammed Abu, Adam Jahn, Niko Hansen.
Ref: Jose Carlos Rivero.
AR1: Jeffrey Greeson.
AR2: Brian Poeschel.
4th: Chris Penso.
How to Watch
Match Time: 4 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Mapfre Stadium – Columbus, OH.
TV: UniMas, Univision Deportes.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Grande 1030 (Spanish).
Streaming: Facebook Live.
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