Welcome to your match thread for a Sunday afternoon match-up between Orlando City (7-21-4, 25 points) and the Columbus Crew (13-10-9, 48 points). This is the second of two scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2018 and the Lions’ home finale.
The Lions are 1-5-3 in the all-time series (1-2-2 at home). Orlando does have a U.S. Open Cup victory over Columbus back in 2015, however. There should be an additional win — or at least a draw — in the Orlando City column in this series after an absolutely horror call by Silviu Petrescu in the 88th minute that gave Columbus an equalizer from the penalty spot on July 21. Wil Trapp then scored the kind of goal he’ll probably never score again in stoppage time to lift the Crew to a 3-2 victory in a game the Lions had stolen away on a call that Petrescu’s own organization said was an error.
The teams last met in Orlando on Oct. 15, 2017 in Kaká’s final game in purple, with Columbus winning 1-0 on Ola Kamara’s second-half goal. The teams drew 1-1 in Orlando on Aug. 19 of last year. Lalas Abubakar scored to put Columbus ahead in the 35th minute, but Giles Barnes equalized in the 67th. In the first meeting of 2017, Justin Meram scored both goals for the Crew in a 2-0 Columbus win. Meram started 2018 in purple but has since been traded back to Columbus, adding another layer of intrigue to this contest.
The Lions were 0-1-1 against Columbus in 2016. The last meeting in Camping World Stadium saw the Crew beat down the Lions, 4-1. Ethan Finlay and Kamara (with a brace) powered the Crew, who also got a Seb Hines own goal, to more than offset Cyle Larin’s goal. 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, while Kevin Molino and Larin led Orlando back for interim coach Bobby Murphy.
The first ever meeting in 2015 was marred by a Rafael Ramos red card as the Crew won in Columbus, 3-0. The teams drew 2-2 in May of that year and Orlando got its only league win against the Crew in a 5-2 demolition of Columbus that August.
Orlando has a 1-19-3 record in its last 23 games and the Lions are winless in 13 (0-10-3) with three consecutive losses. City is 5-7-4 at home in 2018. Columbus is 3-8-5 on the road this season and 0-3-2 in its last five away from home.
Gregg Berhalter’s team will do what it always does — pass well, defend well, probably out-possess Orlando, and look to make quick, decisive attacks off turnovers. Federico Higuain is still one of the league’s most influential players and he’ll look to set up Gyasi Zardes, Meram, and Pedro Santos. Wil Trapp will Hoover up anything in the midfield as the shield for a strong Crew back line.
Yoshimar Yotún theoretically should return from suspension, as he was eligible to play Wednesday if he had flown home after the Tuesday night friendly against the USMNT and dressed. Jonathan Spector (back) and PC (hamstring) have likely finished their seasons for Orlando City, Pierre Da Silva (knee surgery) is done for the year, Richie Laryea is in concussion protocol, and Stefano Pinho (quad) is day-to-day.
The Crew’s report shows no one injured. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen was sent home from the USMNT with some tightness in his hamstring but he should be available.
Mandatory Match #Content
Here's your mandatory match content to prepare you for the game:
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info 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 score predictions.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Columbus Crew (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Zack Steffen.
Defenders: Milton Valenzuela, Gaston Sauro, Jonathan Mensah, Harrison Afful.
Defensive Midfielders: Artur, Wil Trapp.
Attacking Midfielders: Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain, Niko Hansen.
Forward: Gyasi Zardes.
Bench: Jon Kempin, Josh Williams, Hector Jimenez, Ricardo Clark, Eduardo Sosa, Patrick Mullins, Edward Opoku.
Ref: Kevin Stott.
AR1: Kevin Klinger.
AR2: Eduardo Mariscal.
4th: Marcos DeOliveira.
VAR: Caleb Mendez.
How to Watch
Match Time: 3 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: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go City!