Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (6-3-0, 18 points) and Sporting Kansas City (5-2-3, 18 points) at Orlando City Stadium. It’s the only scheduled meeting in this cross-conference series scheduled for 2017.
Orlando City is 1-1-0 in the all-time series (1-0-0 at home). Last year, the Lions went into Children’s Mercy Park and gave up an incredible 34 shots en route to a 2-1 loss in Kansas City. With that many shots, it was a minor miracle to escape without a more lopsided score line. At the time, Sporting put up the third-most shots ever in a regular season MLS game and the most since 1998. David Mateos nodded in off Jimmy Medranda for an own-goal to get the Lions on the board with an improbable lead. Joe Bendik made 10 saves but conceded goals to Dom Dwyer (74’) and Jacob Peterson (79’) five minutes apart, as SKC came from behind to win.
The Lions captured the first meeting, 3-1 at home on Sept. 13, 2015. That win snapped a seven-game winless skid at the time and kicked off a club record five-game winning streak. Adrian Winter started the party with a third-minute goal and added another in the 72nd to seal it. After Krisztian Nemeth had equalized in the 59th, Bryan Rochez put Orlando back on top for good with his first MLS goal in the 66th minute.
Rafael Ramos (hamstring) is still yet to play this season and Kevin Alston (knee) is nearing a return from an injury sustained while with OCB. Jose Aja (hamstring) returned to the field last Saturday, which was crucial since Tommy Redding has left the team to join the U.S. U-20s for the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the next several weeks. Former Lion Dwyer is suspended for yellow card accumulation for Sporting Kansas City and Diego Rubin (torn ACL) is out.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Gavin Ewbank has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about Sporting with the help from Cody Bradley of SB Nation’s Kansas City blog, The Blue Testament.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus an interview with Simon Veness, author of the upcoming book, “Defying Expectations.”
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jose Aja, Jonathan Spector, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Antonio Nocerino, Cristian Higuita, Will Johnson, Kaká.
Forwards: Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Josh Saunders, PC, Leo Pereira, Servando Carrasco, Giles Barnes, Matias Perez Garcia, Luis Gil.
Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Tim Melia.
Defenders: Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Ike Opara, Graham Zusi.
Midfielders: Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Benny Feilhaber.
Forwards: Jimmy Medranda, Latif Blessing, Gerso Fernandes.
Bench: Adrian Zendejas, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Kevin Ellis, Soni Mustivar, Daniel Salloi, Soony Saad, Cameron Porter.
Ref: Ricardo Salazar.
AR1: Kyle Atkins.
AR2: Kyle Longville.
4th: Rubiel Vazquez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. ET.
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: TV 27 (local only) / FOX Sports Kansas City (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish), SiriusXM FC.
Streaming: MLS Live.
Match Thread Rules
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