Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (8-8-6, 30 points) and the Montreal Impact (6-8-6, 24 points) at Stade Saputo. It’s the second of the two scheduled meetings between these Eastern Conference opponents.
The Lions are 3-2-2 against Montreal in the all-time series since the club joined MLS, The teams split the 2015 season series, 1-1-1, and the Lions captured last year’s spoils, by winning twice against one loss in three meetings. Orlando City is 1-1-1 on the road against the Impact and 1-1-0 at Stade Saputo, with a draw at Olympic Stadium in 2015.
Orlando City got a stoppage time goal from Jonathan Spector to draw Montreal, 3-3, in the first meeting between the two sides back on June 17. Spector’s 94th-minute header rescued a point in a game that Orlando City mainly owned (58% possession and 17 shots) with the exception of a few breakdowns that allowed some individual magic by Ignacio Piatti to give the visitors the lead. Piatti scored twice and set up Blerim Dzemaili for the other. Matias Perez Garcia scored his only goal for Orlando in the match and Carlos Rivas also found the net.
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 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 2-5-3 on the road in MLS play and is 1-0-1 in its last two away from Orlando City Stadium. Montreal has lost two straight games but is 5-3-1 at home in 2017.
Orlando City will be without Rafael Ramos (hamstring) and Kevin Alston (hamstring) but PC (adductor) played 45 minutes Wednesday in a rehab stint with OCB, so he’s nearing his return. New addition Yoshimar Yotún, acquired yesterday, awaits his international paperwork and has yet to train with his new club.
Montreal will be without both starting fullback Ambroise Oyongo, who had season-ending surgery on a ruptured patella tendon in his knee. The MLS website lists Victor Cabrera out with an undisclosed injury, and our friends at Mount Royal Soccer tell us Ballou is day to day.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Gavin Ewbank 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 Orlando City goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Jose Aja, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino, Kaká, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Josh Saunders, Tommy Redding, Luis Gil, Servando Carrasco, Carlos Rivas, Richie Laryea, Giles Barnes.
Montreal Impact (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Evan Bush.
Defenders: Daniel Lovitz, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Chris Duvall.
Midfielders: Blerim Dzemaili, Marco Donadel, Patrice Bernier.
Forwards: Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu, Dominic Oduro.
Bench: Maxime Crépeau, Shaun Francis, Wandrille Lefevre, Calum Mallace, Louis Beland-Goyette, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Michael Salazar.
Ref: Kevin Stott.
AR1: Claudiu Badea.
AR2: Craig Lowry.
4th: Geoff Gamble.
VAR: Ted Unkel.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Stade Saputo — Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
TV: WRDQ TV27 (local only).
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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