Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (6-7-1, 19 points) and the Montreal Impact (4-11-0, 12 points) at Stade Saputo. It’s the first of the two scheduled meetings between these Eastern Conference opponents, with the Impact visiting Orlando in just 10 days, on Saturday, June 23.
The Lions are 3-3-2 against Montreal in the all-time series since the club joined MLS, and 1-2-1 in Montreal. Last year, the Impact won this fixture in the most recent meeting, a 2-1 Montreal win on Aug. 5. Cyle Larin scored 12 minutes in, but the Impact equalized from the penalty spot on Ignacio Piatti’s PK goal early in the second half. Anthony Jackson-Hamel’s goal in the 84th minute won it late.
Orlando City got a stoppage time goal from Jonathan Spector to draw Montreal, 3-3, in the first 2017 meeting on June 17. 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.
In 2016, the Lions captured the first meeting in Orlando, 2-1, on May 21. 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 winning 4-1 in Montreal. 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 Rivas finishing things off. Montreal avoided the sweep with a 1-0 win on Oct. 2 at Camping World Stadium, scoring once off the counter through Dominic Oduro as the Impact’s 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 teams split the 2015 season series, 1-1-1. The first match-up came in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium 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. 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.
Orlando is 2-4-0 on the road in MLS play and has lost five straight league games. Montreal has lost five of the last six but is 3-3-0 at home and won its last outing at Stade Saputo against the Houston Dynamo.
The key for the Lions will be containing Piatti. He’s tortured Orlando City time and time again over the past few seasons — to the tune of five goals in seven appearances — and getting any relief from the losing streak must start with denying Piatti the ball and forcing Montreal to find another way to break through. Orlando City must find a way to score first to put pressure on the Impact because Montreal has shipped 31 goals on the season while scoring only 15.
The Lions will be without Yoshimar Yotún (international duty) and Mohamed El-Munir (suspension). El-Munir not only picked up yellow card accumulation but was also sent off Saturday so he’ll need to sit for two games. As of yesterday, everyone else on Orlando City was training, including Will Johnson who felt tightness in his hamstring on Saturday and subbed off in the first half.
Montreal has dealt with injuries this season. As with Orlando, several of those have been on the back line. Defenders Zakaria Diallo (ruptured Achilles), Kyle Fisher (tibia), and Victor Cabrera (calf) are all listed as out, as well as midfielders David Choiniere (ankle surgery) and Louis Beland-Goyette (foot).
Mandatory Match #Content
Here's your mandatory match content for tonight:
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions, plus a conversation about the Impact with Paul Vance from SB Nation’s Montreal blog, Mount Royal Soccer.
- Our Intelligence Report dives deeper into Montreal with Emily Santella — also from Mount Royal Soccer.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Tony Rocha, Amro Tarek, Jonathan Spector, RJ Allen.
Defensive Midfielders: Oriol Rosell, Cristian Higuita.
Attacking Midfielders: Justin Meram, Sacha Kljestan, Josué Colmán,
Forward: Dom Dwyer.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Chris Schuler, Donny Toia, Dillon Powers, Jose Villareal, J Chris Mueller, Stefano Pinho.
Montreal Impact (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Evan Bush.
Defenders: Daniel Lovitz, Rudy Camacho, Rod Fanni, Chris Duvall.
Defensive Midfielders: Saphir Taider, Samuel Piette.
Attacking Midfielders: Ignacio Piatti, Jeisson Vargas, Raheem Edwards.
Forwards: Matteo Mancosu.
Bench: Clement Diop, Jukka Raitala, Marco Donadel, Alejandro Silva, Ken Krolicki, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Michael Salazar.
Ref: Armando Villareal.
AR1: CJ Morgante.
AR2: Richard Gamache.
4th: Alan Kelly.
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Stade Saputo — Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
TV: WRDQ TV27 (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
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