Welcome to your match thread for today’s match-up between Orlando City (9-12-7, 34 points) and Atlanta United (12-8-6, 42 points) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It’s the third of the three scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals this season and the first time in Atlanta’s new stadium after playing at Bobby Dodd Stadium last time around.
The two sides are separated by eight points in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference standings after the hosts put together a 7-0 destruction on Wednesday of a nine-man New England squad that might not have beaten Atlanta’s U-18 team.
The two teams kicked off their first ever season series with Orlando suffering a horrifying late 1-0 loss at home back on July 21. Hector Villalba found the net in minute 86 to ruin what was a pretty good performance by the Lions, despite the dearth of goals. Villalba proved that he was indeed the man Orlando fans should direct all hate towards when his stoppage-time tally rescued a 1-1 draw for Atlanta in the second meeting on July 29. Kaká scored one of his best ever goals as a Lion in that match to provide Orlando’s tally.
Atlanta has won its last two matches and is 8-2-1 at home in 2017, as well as being unbeaten in the last eight home matches (7-0-1). Orlando City is just 3-8-3 on the road but the Lions did win their most recent away game at D.C. United last Saturday, 2-1. It was a costly win, as Cristian Higuita is now day-to-day with a calf injury, while Servando Carrasco and Seb Hines were both sent off and Kaká picked up a yellow card to earn a suspension for accumulation.
Orlando City may get Jonathan Spector (knee, day-to-day) back after the veteran defender sat the bench at D.C. last weekend. Richie Laryea (hamstring) is out. Midfielder Will Johnson remains suspended indefinitely in the wake of his arrest a couple weeks ago. Atlanta United’s injury report shows that left back Greg Garza (hamstring) is questionable.
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- Gavin Ewbank has your match preview and prediction.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more about the Five Stripes from Haris Kruskic from SB Nation’s Atlanta United blog, Dirty South Soccer.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and more predictions, plus we talked to Jacky Ramos from Orlando City’s communications department about the team’s handling of Hurricane Irma and other topics.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Jonathan Spector, Tommy Redding, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotun, Antonio Nocerino, Giles Barnes, Dillon Powers.
Forwards: Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., PC, Leo Pereira, Tony Rocha, Rafael Ramos, Hadji Barry, Carlos Rivas.
Atlanta United (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan.
Defenders: Chris McCann, Jeff Larentowicz, Michael Parkhurst, Anton Walkes.
Defensive Midfielders: Julian Gressel, Carlos Carmona.
Attacking Midfielders: Yamil Asad, Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba.
Forward: Josef Martinez.
Bench: Kyle Reynish, Tyrone Mears, Mikey Ambrose, Kevin Kratz, Jacob Peterson, Brandon Vazquez, Kenwyne Jones.
Ref: Jair Marrufo.
AR1: Frank Anderson.
AR2: Corey Rockwell.
4th: Allen Chapman.
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic.
How to Watch
Match Time: 4 p.m. ET.
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium — Atlanta, GA.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live, FuboTV, Univision Now, Facebook Live.
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