Welcome to your match thread for tonight’s match-up between Orlando City (8-10-6, 30 points) and the Columbus Crew (11-12-2, 35 points). This is the second of three scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2017. The remaining match is set for Orlando City Stadium on Oct. 15.
The Lions are 1-3-2 in the all-time series, falling in the first meeting this season way back on April 1 by a 2-0 score. Orlando City suffered its first loss of the season that day. Justin Meram scored both goals for the Crew that day. 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 Lions are 1-1-1 at home against the Crew in MLS play, 2-1-1 in all competitions, although this is the first meeting in Orlando City Stadium.
The Lions were 0-1-1 against Columbus in 2016. The last meeting in Camping World Stadium was 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.
Orlando City is 0-4-1 in its last five outings and 0-2-2 in its last four at home. The Lions have two wins since April and have been free falling. There’s really nothing else to say except this is a must-win if the postseason is going to remain a realistic possibility. How strange that sounds considering where the Lions were at the end of April, but in many ways it’s all too familiar. Columbus, meanwhile, is on an upswing. Despite being just 3-9-1 on the road, the Crew are 3-1-2 in their last six matches, climbing over Orlando in that span, which includes a win last week at home against Chicago.
Kaká is out due to red card suspension because reasons. Jonathan Spector (knee) is out as well, with PC (adductor strain) listed as day-to-day, while Dom Dwyer (nose surgery) is probable. Columbus lists Gaston Sauro (left PCL surgery) and Ben Swanson (right ankle surgery) as out, and Federico Higuain (right knee sprain), Niko Hansen (thigh injury), and Kekuta Manneh (left ankle sprain) as 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, plus an exclusive interview with OCB midfielder/defender Austin Martz.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Tommy Redding, Leo Pereira, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotun, Giles Barnes, Antonio Nocerino, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Carlos Rivas, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Josh Saunders, Jose Aja, Cristian Higuita, Servando Carrasco, Richie Laryea, Dom Dwyer, Carlos Rivas.
Columbus Crew (3-4-2-1)
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen.
Defenders: Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Lalas Abubakar.
Defensive Midfielders: Harrison Afful, Mohammed Abu, Wil Trapp, Waylon Francis.
Attacking Midfielders: Cristian Martinez, Justin Meram.
Forward: Ola Kamara.
Bench: Brad Stuver, Jukka Raitala, Hector Jimenez, Nicolai Naess, Adam Jahn, Pedro Santos, Alex Crognale.
Ref: Juan Guzman.
AR1: Brian Dunn.
AR2: Jeff Muschik.
4th: Caleb Mendez.
VAR: Matthew Franz.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: WRDQ TV 27 (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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