Welcome to your match thread for a late night match-up between Orlando City (6-10-1, 19 points) and Los Angeles FC L (9-4-4, 31 points) at Banc of California Stadium. It’s the first ever meeting between these two clubs and the only one scheduled in 2018 between the two non-conference opponents. This was originally scheduled to be a 4:30 ET kickoff but due to high temperatures in Los Angeles it was moved to 11 p.m. ET. The fact that LAFC played a weather-delayed match late Tuesday night in Houston has nothing to do with the time change. Probably.
It’s going to be our first look at the Lions under James O’Connor, who has been involved since Monday after being hired last week. I can’t imagine too many rougher places to start a tenure than taking over a team with eight straight losses and having to travel to Los Angeles to take on a hot LAFC team that’s unbeaten in four (3-0-1) and unbeaten at home (4-0-3) but these are the cards JOC is holding. Let’s see how he uses them.
There is literally no history in this series. It’s the first time the teams will meet. However, LAFC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye did play under O’Connor for two seasons at Louisville City FC in 2016 and 2017, making 43 appearances and scoring five goals.
The Lions are 2-6-0 away from home this season while LAFC (as previously mentioned) is 4-0-3 at home. Orlando City has free fallen down the standings and is on an eight-game losing streak in league play, while LAFC is unbeaten in four (3-0-1) and hasn’t dropped points at home since a 1-1 May 26 draw vs. D.C. United.
LAFC sports a dynamic attack with reigning MLS Player of the Month Adama Diomande, who only entered the league by scoring seven goals in his first five matches — a league record. It seems almost unfair to add him to an offense that also includes Mexican international Carlos Vela and Uruguayan attacker Diego Rossi. Vela is just returning from World Cup duty with Mexico. Rossi is listed as questionable with hamstring irritation. Even if they don’t start, we might see them at some point. It will be vital for the Lions to stay organized on defense and to transition well when the ball changes hands...err...feet.
But LAFC isn’t just a good attacking team. Bob Bradley has built a solid defense, anchored by center backs Laurent Ciman and Walker Zimmerman. So the Lions will also need to be more clinical in their movement and passing (and shooting) to take advantage of whatever opportunities arise during the match.
Orlando City’s Cristian Higuita (adductor) and Scott Sutter (adductor) did not travel and midfielder/right back Will Johnson will serve a suspension for yellow card accumulation. Additionally, Lamine Sané (quad) was limited in training this week and didn’t travel. LAFC may or may not be without Rossi. In addition, LAFC’s injury report lists goalkeepers Luis Lopez (right tibial stress fracture) and Quillan Roberts (right fibular fracture) as out, along with midfielder Eduard Atuesta (left ankle sprain) and midfielder/defender Omar Gaber (right thigh sprain). I honestly never knew you could sprain a thigh. Latif Blessing also took a knock in LAFC’s game Tuesday night at Houston and may be unavailable.
Mandatory Match #Content
Here's your mandatory match content for Saturday’s late, late show:
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about the hosts from Alicia Rodriguez of SB Nation’s LAFC blog, Angels on Parade.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions, plus we chatted with former Louisville City broadcaster (and former Mane Land writer) Jeff Milby about what we can expect from James O’Connor.
- Our Alek Pierce writes about the three things to keep an eye on in James O’Connor’s debut as OCSC’s coach.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Donny Toia, Amro Tarek, Jonathan Spector, RJ Allen.
Defensive Midfielders: Yoshimar Yotún, Uri Rosell.
Attacking Midfielders: Josué Colmán, Sacha Kljestan, Chris Mueller.
Forward: Dom Dwyer.
Bench: Earl Edwards Jr., Mohamed El-Munir, Chris Schuler, Tony Rocha, Dillon Powers, Justin Meram, Stefano Pinho.
Los Angeles FC (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Tyler Miller.T
Defenders: Jordan Harvey, Laurent Ciman, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour.
Midfielders: Mark-Anthony Kaye, Aaron Kovar, Benny Feilhaber.
Forwards: Latif Blessing, Adama Diomande, Lee Nguyen.
Bench: Charlie Lyon, Dejan Jakovic, Tristan Blackmon, Joao Moutinho, Carlos Vela, Marco Urena, Diego Rossi.
Ref: Chris Penso.
AR1: Jeremy Hanson.
AR2: Danny Thornberry.
4th: Daniel Radford.
VAR: Alex Chilowicz.
How to Watch
Match Time: 11 p.m. ET.
Venue: Banc of California Stadium — Los Angeles, CA.
TV: FOX Sports 1.
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: FOX Sports GO, FOX Soccer Match Pass.
Match Thread Rules
This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. If you’re new, welcome to our happy home! While you’re here, please observe a few basic rules:
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Enjoy the match! Go City!