Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday night match-up between Orlando City (6-9-4, 22 points) and the Columbus Crew (5-13-2, 17 points). This is the second of two scheduled meetings between the Eastern Conference rivals in 2019 after the first took place in Columbus two weeks ago.
The Lions are 3-5-3 in the all-time series and 2-2-2 at home (3-2-2 if you count a U.S. Open Cup win back in 2015). The last meeting between the two teams took place two weeks ago today at Mapfre Stadium with the Lions getting their first road win in the series, 2-0. Nani assisted on goals by Chris Mueller and Tesho Akindele.
The final meeting of 2018 came Oct. 21 of last year, with Orlando winning 2-1 on a pair of penalty kick goals. Yoshimar Yotún and Sacha Kljestan provided the spot kicks to offset Federico Higuain’s opening goal. A horror call by Silviu Petrescu in the 88th minute gave Columbus an equalizer from the penalty spot on July 21 of last year. Wil Trapp then scored the kind of goal he’ll probably never score again in stoppage time to lift the Crew to a 3-2 victory in a game the Lions had stolen away on a call that Petrescu’s own organization said was an error.
In Kaká’s final game in purple, the teams met at the end of the 2017 season with Columbus winning 1-0 on Ola Kamara’s second-half goal. The teams drew 1-1 in Orlando on Aug. 19 of 2017. Lalas Abubakar scored to put Columbus ahead in the 35th minute, but Giles Barnes equalized in the 67th. In the first meeting of 2017, Justin Meram scored both goals for the Crew in a 2-0 Columbus win.
The Lions were 0-1-1 against Columbus in 2016. The last meeting in Camping World Stadium saw the Crew beat down the Lions, 4-1. Ethan Finlay and Kamara (with a brace) powered the Crew, who also got a Seb Hines own goal, to more than offset Cyle Larin’s goal. The teams drew 2-2 in Ohio on July 23. Tony Tchani and Kamara (penalty kick in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage) put the Crew up, 2-0, while Kevin Molino and Larin led Orlando back for interim coach Bobby Murphy.
The first ever meeting in 2015 was marred by a Rafael Ramos red card as the Crew won in Columbus, 3-0. The teams drew 2-2 in May of that year and Orlando got its first league win against the Crew in a 5-2 demolition of Columbus that August.
Orlando is coming off two games earlier this week. Both were draws, and both should have been wins, although the sting was taken out of Wednesday’s match due to winning the postgame penalty shootout. Orlando conceded a 90th-minute goal to drop two points at Philadelphia in a 2-2 draw on Sunday and then allowed a goal in the 96th minute — with probably fewer than 25 seconds to play in stoppage time — in Wednesday’s U.S. Open Cup match vs. New York City FC.
The Lions have been poor at Exploria Stadium in 2019, with the worst home record in MLS. Orlando is just 3-5-1 on its home patch this season and has lost two consecutive league games at Exploria Stadium. It won’t be easy to stop that slide, as the Lions appeared to be running in wet cement all night on Wednesday in the U.S. Open Cup match.
The Crew under Caleb Porter has had a rocky season. Columbus is on a 1-12-1 run over its last 14 games, including an eight-match winless streak (0-7-1) and a current four-game losing streak. The Crew are just 1-7-0 away from Mapfre Stadium this year but if they’re ever going to have a shot to get back on track it might be tonight against the league’s worst home team with zero legs left after a trying — and extended — trip to Philadelphia, travel issues getting home, and a 120-minute grind against NYCFC.
So, good news, Crew fans! Orlando loves to snap everyone’s run of poor form but its own.
The Lions are without Cristian Higuita (hamstring), Shane O’Neill (concussion protocol), and Sacha Kljestan (suspension). Robin Jansson (hip contusion) and Joao Moutinho (quad) are both listed as questionable. Jansson played 120 minutes Wednesday so he’s not very likely to make an appearance and it’s anyone’s guess when Moutinho will be back on the mend.
The Crew’s report shows a few serious injuries, including Higuain (ACL), Milton Valenzuela (ACL), and Jonathan Mensah (knee) — all out. Josh Williams (heel), and David Accam (hamstring), are questionable. Columbus will get a boost from the return of U.S. internationals Trapp and Zardes.
Mandatory Match #Content
Here's your mandatory match content to prepare you for the game:
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about Columbus with the help from Patrick Murphy of SB Nation’s Crew SC blog, Massive Report.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions. I’m telling you right now we were too optimistic. At least I was. Probably.
Nani unavailable tonight due to food poisoning.— The Mane Land (@TheManeLand) July 13, 2019
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Ruan.
Midfielders: Will Johnson, Carlos Ascues, Sebas Mendez.
Forwards: Benji Michel, Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller.
Bench: Adam Grinwis, Danilo Acosta, Kyle Smith, Uri Rosell, Dillon Powers, Santiago Patino, Dom Dwyer,
Columbus Crew (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Joe Bendik.
Defenders: Waylon Francis, Gaston Sauro, Josh Williams, Harrison Afful.
Midfielders: Artur, Wil Trapp, David Guzman.
Forwards: Luis Argudo, Gyasi Zardes, Pedro Santos,
Bench: Jon Kempin, Hector Jimenez, Aboubacar Keita, Ricardo Clark, Eduardo Sosa, David Accam, Romario Williams.
Ref: Dave Gantar.
AR1: Richard Gamache.
AR2: Kyle Longville.
4th: Elvis Osmanovic.
VAR: Caleb Mendez.
AVAR: Kevin Klinger.
How to Watch
Match Time: 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Exploria Stadium — Orlando, FL.
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!