Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (7-5-3, 24 points) and the Montreal Impact (4-4-5, 17 points) at Orlando City Stadium. It’s the first of two scheduled meetings between these Eastern Conference opponents, with the Lions making the return trip to Montreal on Saturday, Aug. 5.
The Lions are 3-2-1 against Montreal in the all-time series since the club joined MLS, splitting the 2015 season series, 1-1-1, and the Lions capturing last year’s spoils, by winning twice against one loss in three meetings. Orlando City is 2-1-0 at home against the Impact.
Last season, the Lions captured the first meeting in Orlando, 2-1, on May 21. Cyle Larin scored a brace in that match — both off Kaká assists — after Ignacio Piatti opened the scoring four minutes in. The second match-up came in September, with Orlando City putting together its best road game since joining MLS, winning 4-1 in Montreal’s Stade Saputo. Didier Drogba’s free kick goal came just a minute into the match but Brek Shea answered two minutes later, with Kaká adding a brace and Carlos Rivas finishing off a great night in Canada for the Lions. Montreal avoided the sweep with a 1-0 win on Oct. 2 at Camping World Stadium, scoring once off the counter through Oduro as the Impact’s massive bunkering strategy paid off. That win came despite a 22-4 shots advantage for the Lions and knocked Orlando out of the playoff race.
The first match-up came in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium in 2015, with many players away on international duty in a 2-2 draw on March 14. Despite falling behind 2-0 on early goals from Piatti (pen.) and Jack McInerney, the Lions rallied with goals from Kaká and Pedro Ribeiro. The Impact won 2-0 at Stade Saputo on June 20 of that year, with the Lions coming off a midweek U.S. Open Cup tie at Charleston. Donny Toia — now a Lion — and Oduro scored for Montreal. The Lions won at home on Oct. 3, 2-1, with goals from Larin and Seb Hines, offsetting an Oduro goal, which he kicked out of goalkeeper Tally Hall’s hands.
Orlando is 6-1-2 at home in MLS play but lost Wednesday — 3-1 to Miami FC — in a U.S. Open Cup match-up. It was only the Lions’ second loss at Orlando City Stadium in any competition. Montreal is unbeaten in three games (2-0-1) and has taken points in five of seven road games (1-2-4) this season.
Orlando City will be without leading goal scorer Larin due to his midweek arrest for DUI. He is out indefinitely while going through the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program. Antonio Nocerino is suspended due to the red card he picked up against Chicago. Montreal will be without both starting fullbacks, Chris Duvall and Ambroise Oyongo, as Duvall will serve a red card suspension and Oyongo just had season-ending surgery on a ruptured patella tendon in his knee. Starting striker Matteo Mancosu is questionable with a thigh injury and usual starters Hernan Bernardello (undisclosed injury) and Andres Romero (hamstring) are doubtful.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Austin David has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about the Impact from Peter Alper of SB Nation’s Montreal blog, Mount Royal Soccer.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus our exclusive interview with former Orlando City defender Brad Rusin.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jose Aja, Jonathan Spector, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Servando Carrasco, Kaká, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Carlos Rivas, Giles Barnes.
Bench: Josh Saunders, PC, Tommy Redding, Luis Gil, Tony Rocha, Matias Perez Garcia, Hadji Barry.
Montreal Impact (5-4-1)
Goalkeeper: Evan Bush.
Defenders: Daniel Lovitz, Kyle Fisher, Laurent Ciman, Hassoun Camara, Blerim Dzemaili.
Midfielders: Ignacio Piatti, Marco Donadel, Patrice Bernier, Dominic Oduro.
Forward: Anthony Jackson-Hamel.
Bench: Eric Kronberg, Victor Cabrera, Wandrille Lefevre, Michael Salazar, Matteo Mancosu, Nick DePuy.
Ref: Chris Penso.
AR1: Cameron Blanchard.
AR2: Kathryn Nesbitt.
4th: Caleb Mendez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: WRDQ TV27 (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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