Welcome to your match thread for tomorrow night's match-up between Orlando City (0-0-1, 1 point) and Minnesota United (0-1-0, 0 points) at Orlando City Stadium. It’s just the second meeting between the two sides and the only scheduled match-up between these cross-conference teams this season. It’s also the first time the Loons have visited Orlando.
The Lions are just 0-0-1 at home on the young season while the Loons are 0-1-0 on the road, having lost 3-2 at San Jose last Saturday. Orlando City, of course, came from behind with only 10 men to draw D.C. United in its season opener, 1-1.
Obviously there are story lines. Adrian Heath returns to the City Beautiful with a different team for the first time. We rooted for Inchy’s teams here for four USL seasons and a year and a half in MLS but now he’s the enemy. Heath is 1-0-0 against his old team, having won this fixture 1-0 in Minnesota in 2017. That was the sixth winless game in a row for the Lions, who began a free fall down the table in May after a hot start to the season.
Kevin Molino, a Lion for six years, will face his old team for the first time after missing the meeting last year due to illness. It’s going to be weird. You know it, and I know it. And we’re going to see Molino’s best, because he’ll certainly want to show Jason Kreis and Niki Budalic that they should have opened their wallets wide for him after the 2016 season. Hopefully force of habit will see him passing the ball to the guys with the lion patches on their shirts. Oh, and Harrison Heath is with Minnesota United now, too. And let’s not forget Minnesota assistant coaches Ian Fuller and Mark Watson both held that role with the Lions (and Fuller played with the club in the USL days).
But it works the other way, as well. Stefano Pinho was a Loon in 2016, playing 25 games with Minnesota in the NASL and scoring five goals. Orlando City’s Justin Meram is a former teammate of Minnesota’s Ethan Finlay in Columbus. As I said, story lines.
Orlando City will be missing a bunch of people again this week. Victor “PC” Giro will be on suspension after a red card last week, Pierre Da Silva has two games left on his ban, and Sacha Kljestan will serve his second game out. Dom Dwyer (quad strain), Uri Rosell (fitness), Josué Colmán (thigh bruise), and Dillon Powers (ankle) are all still out. Minnesota will be missing midfielder Sam Cronin (cervicogenic dysfunction) and forward Abu Danladi (left hamstring strain). Ramirez returned to training Thursday so it’s unknown if he’ll be able to go, and he may be a game-time decision. Marc Burch and Harrison Heath are also unlikely for the Loons.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Alek Pierce writes that stopping former Lion Kevin Molino is the key to the match.
- Our Intelligence Report gives us more on the Loons from Eli Hoff from SB Nation’s Minnesota United blog, E Pluribus Loonum.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions, plus we chat up Orlando City rookie striker Chris Mueller
Orlando City (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Mohamed El-Munir, Amro Tarek Jonathan Spector, Scott Sutter.
Midfielders: Richie Laryea, Yoshimar Yotun, Cam Lindley, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Justin Meram, Stéfano Pinho.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Donny Toia, Tony Rocha, Lamine Sané, RJ Allen, Cristian Higuita, Chris Mueller.
Minnesota United FC (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Matt Lampson.
Defenders: Jérôme Thiesson, Michael Boxall, Francisco Calvo, Tyrone Mears.
Defensive Midfielders: Ibson, Rasmus Schuller.
Attacking Midfielders: Sam Nicholson, Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay.
Forwards: Christian Ramirez.
Bench: Bobby Shuttleworth, Carter Manley, Brent Kallman, Collen Warner, Miguel Ibarra, Collin Martin, Mason Toye.
Ref: Sorin Stoica.
AR1: Jonathan Johnson.
AR2: Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho.
4th: Rubiel Vazquez.
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
Radio: 104.1 FM Real Radio (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: MLS Live.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match!