Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City (6-6-1, 19 points) and the Vancouver Whitecaps (5-5-5, 20 points). This is the only meeting between the two teams from opposite conferences this season.
The Lions are on their third game of a four-match road swing in all competitions, having lost at New York City FC last Saturday and won at Miami United FC in U.S. Open Cup action on Wednesday night. The entire squad traveled but it’s anyone’s guess who is healthy enough for Jason Kreis to work into the lineup at Vancouver.
The Lions are 0-2-1 in the all-time series against Vancouver and Kreis will be the first Orlando City coach to face the Whitecaps twice in MLS league play. The Caps stole a 2-1 win at Orlando City Stadium last year, with former Lion Brek Shea sticking in the dagger with the winning goal. Orlando City dominated the match, firing 25 shots, but could only find the net once — through Cyle Larin. Tommy Redding produced a goal but it was an own goal to open the scoring.
Julio Baptista and Cyle Larin brought Orlando from behind to draw 2-2 the last time the Lions visited BC Place back in 2016 under interim coach Bobby Murphy. Nicolas Mezquida and Masato Kudo scored for the Caps. Baptista had a chance to give the Lions all three points but skied a penalty over the bar.
The Whitecaps got the best of Orlando City deep in stoppage time in 2015 in the first meeting. Octavio Rivero’s flicked header off a Pedro Morales free kick beat Donovan Ricketts in the sixth minute of stoppage time, just moments after Vancouver’s Jordan Harvey was booked for time wasting in stoppage time. The goal was a gut punch that gave Vancouver a 1-0 win at the Citrus Bowl.
Orlando City has lost four straight matches in league play, so Wednesday’s USOC match was a welcome diversion, but it was just that. The Lions shouldn’t have ever been threatened by the NPSL side and they largely weren’t. But the competition ramps up considerably and things will be tougher after crossing the continent. City is 2-3-0 on the road this year and despite a lopsided score line, actually played pretty well at NYCFC, but simply clobbered the woodwork instead of putting the ball in the net.
The Lions have everyone on the road except Yoshimar Yotún (international duty). Captain Jonathan Spector played 45 minutes on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if he comes back on a couple days rest to play again or if he’s on the bench. Chris Schuler also played 45 minutes and will be available. Dom Dwyer (adductor) and Scott Sutter (knee) are the big question marks. Amro Tarek should also be available after returning from Egypt’s camp.
Vancouver is 2-1-4 at home in 2018 and unbeaten in five overall (1-0-4). The Whitecaps are without center back stalwart Kendall Waston, who is with Costa Rica for the World Cup. Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovich (knee) is out, with Jordon Mutch (hamstring) and Marcel de Jong (hamstring) both questionable. Remember Brek Shea at left back? That could happen again against Orlando. In addition to Shea, the Caps have settled former Lion Jose Aja into a regular center back starting spot. It will be his first time facing his former club.
The Lions must keep track of the ever-dangerous Kei Kamara in this one, in addition to attacking midfielders Alphonso Davies and Cristian Techera.
Mandatory Match #Content
Here's your mandatory match content for today’s game:
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about Vancouver with help from Mark Dailey of the From the Back Line podcast.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions, plus an exclusive interview with Orlando Pride/Aussie international midfielder Emily van Egmond.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Mohamed El-Munir, Amro Tarek, Chris Schuler, Will Johnson.
Defensive Midfielders: Oriol Rosell, Cristian Higuita.
Attacking Midfielders: Justin Meram, Sacha Kljestan, Chris Mueller.
Forward: Josué Colmán.
Bench: Earl Edwards, Jr., RJ Allen, Tony Rocha, Richie Laryea, Dom Dwyer, Stefano Pinho, Jose Villareal.
Vancouver Whitecaps (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Brek Shea, Doneil Henry, Jose Aja, Jake Nerwinski.
Midfielders: Alphonso Davies, Aly Ghazal, Felipe, Cristian Techera.
Forwards: Yordy Reyna, Kei Kamara.
Bench: Sean Melvin, Sean Franklin, Anthony Blondell, Nicolas Mezquida. Aaron Maund, Russell Teibert, Jordon Mutch.
Ref: Jose Carlos Rivero.
AR1: Brian Poeschel.
AR2: Chris Wattam.
4th: Dave Gantar.
VAR: Geoff Gamble.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7 p.m. (ET).
Venue: BC Place — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
TV: WRDQ TV 27 (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Match Thread Rules
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