How about we turn off The Weather Channel for a couple hours and see if Orlando City can bring us a little joy tonight? I assume the way things have gone lately that I’ll lose power just before the Lions take the lead (if they take the lead).
In a battle for — wait for it — 10th place, Orlando City (8-12-7, 31 points) travels to D.C. United (8-15-4, 28 points) tonight in hopes of turning around the dismal feeling surrounding the club right now. With seven matches left on the season, Orlando will look to right the ship against bottom of the Eastern table, D.C. United.
The Lions are 3-3-0 against D.C. in the all-time series since the club joined MLS. That included a 2-0 win over United at Orlando City Stadium back on May 31. Cyle Larin and Giles Barnes provided the offense to help the Lions snap what was then a six-game winless skid. Perhaps they can do that again and end Orlando’s current eight-game skid (0-6-2).
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.
I’ve already mentioned Orlando City’s 0-6-2 run of results dating back to a 1-0 win at Real Salt Lake on June 30. The Lions are just 2-8-3 on the road this season, including that win in Utah. Meanwhile, D.C. United is 5-6-3 at home but has won its last three consecutive games — all by 1-0 score lines — with two of those at home. It’ll be tough for the Lions to put one past Bill Hamid on D.C.’s current form (and Orlando’s season-long offensive form, but I digress).
Orlando City is without Jonathan Spector (knee), Richie Laryea (hamstring), Josh Saunders (neck surgery), Jose Aja (suspension), and Will Johnson (suspension). D.C.’s most recent injury report listed all of the following as out: Rob Vincent (knee), Patrick Nyarko (concussion), Taylor Kemp (hip), and Bruno Miranda (thigh).
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight’s game:
- Marcus Mitchell 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 an exclusive interview with Pride rookie forward Rachel Hill.
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Seb Hines, Tommy Redding, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotun, Giles Barnes, Cristian Higuita, Antonio Nocerino.
Forwards: Dom Dwyer, Cyle Larin.
Bench: Earl Edwards, Jr., PC, Jonathan Spector, Servando Carrasco, Dillon Powers, Carlos Rivas, Kaká.
DC United (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Bill Hamid.
Defenders: Nick DeLeon, Kofi Opare, Steve Birnbaum, Sean Franklin.
Defensive Midfielders: Russell Canouse, Marcelo Sarvas.
Attacking Midfielders: Zoltan Stieber, Luciano Acosta, Paul Arriola.
Forward: Patrick Mullins.
Bench: Steve Clark, Lloyd Sam, Jared Jeffrey, Chris Korb, Ian Harkes, Deshorn Brown, Jalen Robinson.
Ref: Dave Gantar.
AR1: Eric Boria.
AR2: Jason White.
4TH: Caleb Mendez.
VAR: Guido Gonzales Jr.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: RFK Stadium — Washington, D.C.
TV: WRDQ TV 27 (local only) — No studio show, broadcast will be the local D.C. feed.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
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