Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (6-5-2, 20 points) and D.C. United (4-6-2, 14 points) at Orlando City Stadium. It’s the first of two scheduled meetings between these two Eastern Conference opponents, with the Lions making the return trip to D.C. on Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7 p.m.
The Lions are just 2-3-0 against D.C. in the all-time series since the club joined MLS. The teams split two lopsided games last season, with each team winning at home. United grabbed a 4-1 win at RFK Stadium last September. Patrick Mulllins (brace), Lloyd Sam, and Julian Buescher scored for D.C., while Julio Baptista pulled one back on a superb free kick for Orlando City. The Lions avenged that loss with a 4-2 win to close their tenure at Camping World Stadium. Kevin Molino, Kaká, Cristian Higuita, and Baptista provided the offense. Alvaro Saborio and Kennedy Igboananike scored for D.C.
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 of that inaugural season, 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.
Orlando enters winless in six (0-4-2), as you may have heard a few hundred times. D.C. won its last outing at Vancouver over the weekend to snap a three-game losing streak. The Lions are 5-1-1 at home, while the Black and Red have been better on the road (2-2-1) than at home (2-4-1) this season.
As far as the injured list, Kaká (calf) is out and Kevin Alston (hamstring) is nearing a return. Tommy Redding is with the U.S. U-20s for the FIFA U-20 World Cup for the next few weeks. For D.C., Nick DeLeon (abdominal strain), Rob Vincent (knee), Patrick Nyarko (hamstring), and Sean Franklin (hamstring) are all nursing injuries, although Nyarko is close to a return, and Jose Ortiz is suspended for simulation this past weekend against Vancouver.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Austin David has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about United from Ben Bromley of SB Nation’s D.C. blog, Black and Red United.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus our exclusive interview with defender Scott Sutter.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Luis Gil, Will Johnson, Matias Perez Garcia.
Forwards: Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Josh Saunders, Rafael Ramos, Leo Pereira, Servando Carrasco, Antonio Nocerino, Giles Barnes, Tony Rocha.
D.C. United (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid.
Defenders: Chris Odoi-Atsem, Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum, Taylor Kemp.
Defensive Midfielders: Marcelo Sarvas, Jared Jeffrey.
Attacking Midfielders: Lloyd Sam, Julian Buescher, Luciano Acosta.
Forward: Lamar Neagle.
Bench: Travis Worra, Jalen Robinson, Chris Korb, Sebastien Le Toux, Ian Harkes, Patrick Nyarko, Alhaji Kamara.
Ref: Allen Chapman.
AR1: Claudiu Badea.
AR2: Ian Anderson.
4th: Rubiel Vazquez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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