Welcome to your match thread for tonight's match-up between Orlando City (3-5-3, 12 points) and the Seattle Sounders (6-1-4, 22 points) at CenturyLink Field. It’s the only scheduled meeting between these cross-conference opponents.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. When these teams met last October, Orlando City had not scored in its previous five games. This season, the Lions have not scored a goal in their last two. The good news is that the Lions did score a goal against the Sounders at home last season to snap a 507-minute scoreless drought, but the bad news is that City still lost the match. The current Orlando City goal famine stands at 252 minutes since Nani scored the team’s last goal and it’s been 459 minutes of play since anyone other than Nani has put the ball in the net for the Lions. Woof.
The Lions are 0-3-1 against Seattle in the all-time series since the club joined MLS, and 0-1-1 on the road. Last year’s meeting saw the Sounders jump out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Victor Rodriguez and Handwalla Bwana inside the first 15 minutes. Dom Dwyer scored his 13th goal of the year to put Orlando on the board in the 57th minute but the Lions couldn’t complete the comeback in a 2-1 loss.
Orlando City got its first ever point in the series in its last visit to CenturyLink Field, when Scott Sutter’s stoppage-time header equalized in a 1-1 road draw. Will Bruin scored for Seattle in the first half.
In 2016, the Sounders came into Camping World Stadium in August and won, 3-1. The Lions struck first through a Seb Hines goal, but Clint Dempsey’s hat trick more than brought the Sounders back.
The Sounders blew Orlando off the pitch in 2015 in the Lions’ first trip to Seattle, cruising to a 4-0 victory. Right back Tyler Turner picked up a pair of first-half yellow cards in that match and the Lions were forced to play 50+ minutes a man short. Obafemi Martins scored a brace and Seattle added goals by Nelson Valdez and Thomás. The final score would have been worse if not for goalkeeper Tally Hall stopping a Martins penalty.
The Lions are 0-2-1 in their last three matches and 1-2-2 on the road this season. The team’s lack of offense is worrying, as the Lions have scored more than one goal only twice this season (both at home) — in opening day’s 2-2 draw and a 4-3 win over Colorado.
Meanwhile, Seattle has been nearly unbeatable anywhere, at 6-1-4, and remains unbeaten at home, at 5-0-2. The Sounders are led by a resurgent — and finally healthy — Jordan Morris, who has four goals and an assist on the season. The Sounders and USMNT forward is getting more than half his shot attempts on target (7/13). Defensive midfielder Cristian Roldan has pitched in a surprising three goals already this season, putting him on even footing with more offensive-minded players like Raul Ruidiaz. Seattle can strike from just about anywhere at any time and the Sounders are riding a four-game unbeaten streak (1-0-3) into tonight’s match. Seattle’s lone loss on the year came on the road vs. LAFC.
Orlando City will likely rotate some personnel for tonight after playing at Atlanta on Sunday. Nani (calf) did not travel to Atlanta and is listed as questionable for tonight, as is Carlos Ascues (hamstring, quad). I’m not expecting either to return in a road match on artificial turf. I’ve projected quite a different starting 11 below, although James O’Connor has been difficult to predict.
For Seattle, Gustav Svensson (left hamstring strain) and Rodriguez (left hamstring strain) are both listed as out, with veteran center back Chad Marshall (right knee inflammation) questionable for the match.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about the Sounders from Mark Kastner of SB Nation’s Seattle blog, Sounder at Heart.
- This week’s PawedCast features our key match-ups and score predictions for tonight’s match.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Greg Ranjitsingh.
Defenders: Danilo Acosta, Lamine Sané, Shane O’Neill, Kyle Smith.
Defensive Midfielders: Oriol Rosell, Sacha Kljestan, Dillon Powers.
Forwards: Josué Colmán, Santiago Patino, Benji Michel.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Kamal Miller, Joao Moutinho, Sebas Mendez, Cristian Higuita, Dom Dwyer, Chris Mueller.
Seattle Sounders (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Stefan Frei.
Defenders: Brad Smith, Kim Kee-hee, Roman Torres, Kelvin Leerdam.
Defensive Midfielders: Cristian Roldan, Jordy Delem.
Attacking Midfielders: Harry Shipp, Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris.
Forwards: Raul Ruidiaz.
Bench: Bryan Meredith, Jonathan Campbell, Saad Abdul-Salaam, Nouhou Tolo, Alex Roldan, Handwalla Bwana, Will Bruin.
Ref: Dave Gantar.
AR1: Jeff Hosking.
AR2: Jeremy Kieso.
4th: Farhad Dadkho.
VAR: Daniel Radford.
AVAR: Cameron Blanchard.
How to Watch
Match Time: 10:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: CenturyLink Field — Seattle, WA.
TV: My65 (local only).
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: ESPN+, YouTube TV.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go City!