Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (6-8-1, 19 points) and the Montreal Impact (5-11-0, 15 points) at Orlando City Stadium. It’s the second of the two scheduled meetings between these Eastern Conference opponents, and the second consecutive league match between the two sides.
The Lions are 3-4-2 against Montreal in the all-time series since the club joined MLS, and 2-1-1 at home. The teams met just 10 days ago in Montreal, with the Impact claiming all the points with a 3-0 win. Ignacio Piatti’s penalty in the fifth minute set the tone and the Argentine ended up with a brace, along with an Amro Tarek own goal.
Last year, the Impact claimed a 2-1 win in Montreal win on Aug. 5. Cyle Larin scored 12 minutes in, but the Impact equalized from the penalty spot on 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 — both off Kaká assists — after Piatti opened the scoring four minutes in. The second match-up saw Orlando City winning 4-1 in Montreal in September. Didier Drogba’s free kick goal one minute into the match was answered by Brek Shea 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 4-3-1 at home in MLS play but lost the last two at OCS to Atlanta and Chicago. City has lost six straight league games. Montreal has lost five of the last seven games overall and six consecutive road matches. However, the Impact have improved of late and have won two of the last three overall — both at home.
The key, as always, 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 seven goals in eight 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 18.
The Lions will be without Yoshimar Yotún (international duty), Cristian Higuita (suspension), and Mohamed El-Munir (suspension). El-Munir not only picked up yellow card accumulation but was also sent off at Vancouver. Orlando won’t be rushing Lamine Sané (knee) or Scott Sutter (knee) back but both are closing in on a return.
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). Jeisson Vargas is also dealing with an undisclosed injury.
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 with Jason Anderson of Black and Red United that includes a preview of the Orlando Pride at the Washington Spirit.
- Our Intelligence Report dives deeper into Montreal with Emily Santella from Mount Royal Soccer.
- Sean Rollins provides a history lesson on Orlando City’s back-to-back matches against the same opponent.
Orlando City (3-4-3)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Jonathan Spector, Amro Tarek, Lamine Sané.
Wingbacks/Midfielders: Donny Toia, Sacha Kljestan, Oriol Rosell, Will Johnson.
Forwards: Justin Meram, Dom Dwyer, Josué Colmán.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Scott Sutter, Chris Schuler, Dillon Powers, PC, Chris Mueller, Stefano Pinho.
Montreal Impact (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Evan Bush.
Defenders: Daniel Lovitz, Rudy Camacho, Rod Fanni, Jukka Raitala.
Midfielders: Saphir Taider, Samuel Piette, Ken Krolicki.
Forwards: Ignacio Piatti, Matteo Mancosu. Alejandro Silva.
Bench: Clement Diop, Shamit Shome, Michael Petrasso, Victor Cabrera, Chris Duvall, Anthony Jackson-Hamel, Raheem Edwards.
Ref: Drew Fischer.
AR1: Gianni Facchini.
AR2: Eduardo Mariscal.
4th: Elvis Osmanovic.
VAR: David Barrie.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, FL.
TV: WRDQ TV27 (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
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