Welcome to your match thread for a late Saturday night match-up between Orlando City SC (9-12-7, 34 points) and the San Jose Earthquakes (12-10-5, 41 points). This is the only meeting between the teams in 2019.
City is coming off a tough loss last Friday in which the Lions generated 17 chances but scored no goals against Atlanta. San Jose is coming off a 3-1 win in which the Earthquakes fired 43 shots at the net and got 19 of them on target — both league records. And they did it with their coach suspended. Matias Almeyda remains suspended for tonight.
Orlando City is 1-0-3 in the previous four MLS meetings with the Quakes since the club joined Major League Soccer in 2015, and 0-0-2 on the road. The most recent meeting was a 3-2 Orlando win in the building now known as Exploria Stadium. It was the first win in the series for either side after three straight draws. Chris Mueller, Sacha Kljestan, and Dom Dwyer gave the Lions a 3-0 lead before Florian Jungwirth pulled two back in the game’s late stages.
The Lions led all of the first three matches in the second half only to see San Jose pull level, with two of those tying goals coming very late. In the 2017 meeting, Carlos Rivas finally broke the scoreless tie and gave Orlando City the lead in the 81st minute, but Chris Wondolowski spoiled the Lions’ night with an equalizer two minutes later as the teams drew at Avaya Stadium, 1-1.
In 2016, the Lions were gut-punched in the 94th minute in an emotional match that ended in a 2-2 draw. It was the first home match following the Pulse nightclub tragedy and what appeared to be a storybook ending to a cathartic win turned sour on a last-gasp equalizer by Shea Salinas. Seb Hines opened the scoring for Orlando only to see Chad Barrett tie it up. Julio Baptista restored the lead in stoppage time but Salinas ruined everything.
The two teams also drew in the first meeting, a 1-1 affair at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, with the Lions down to 10 men after Brek Shea was sent off in the first half. Kaká (64’) and Wondolowski (68’) each scored from the penalty spot in that initial meeting.
Orlando City had a four-game unbeaten streak (2-0-2) snapped last Friday at home. The Lions are currently on a skid of 0-1-4 on the road dating back to a Jan. 29 win in Columbus.
San Jose is 9-3-2 at home in 2019 and snapped both a three-game losing streak and a four game winless skid (0-3-1) last Saturday against Vancouver.
For the Lions, only fullbacks Ruan (hamstring) and Joao Moutinho (hamstring) are listed on the injury report. So midfielder Cristian Higuita is presumably finally available for selection. The Earthquakes show only Salinas (lower leg) as questionable on their report.
As the Lions have repeatedly discovered, they’ll have to mark Wondo from kickoff through the final whistle, as the veteran striker has a knack for finding space and scoring league goals. I wrote in last year’s preview that San Jose has a roster full of talented players but couldn’t seem to put the pieces together. Those pieces have come together this season under Almeyda. Although suspended tonight, the manager has the Quakes playing their best soccer in years. Attacking players like Danny Hoesen, Vako, and Cristian Espinoza will also bear careful marking by the Orlando defense.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides more info about San Jose with help from Oz Lucero of SB Nation’s Earthquakes blog, Center Line Soccer.
- This week's PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions.
- Our bearded guy looks back at Orlando City’s MLS history against the Earthquakes.
Orlando City (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Brian Rowe.
Defenders: Kamal Miller, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sané, Kyle Smith.
Midfielders: Will Johnson, Uri Rosell, Carlos Ascues.
Forwards: Nani, Dom Dwyer, Benji Michel.
Bench: Greg Ranjitsingh, Shane O’Neill, Sebas Mendez, Cristian Higuita, Robinho, Chris Mueller, Tesho Akindele.
San Jose Earthquakes (4-3-3)
Goalkeeper: Daniel Vega.
Defenders: Marcos Lopez, Floridan Jungwirth, Guram Kashia, Tommy Thompson.
Midfielders: Magnus Eriksson, Jackson Yueill, Judson.
Forwards: Chris Wondolowski, Vako, Cristian Espinoza.
Bench: Andrew Tarbell, Harold Cummings, Nick Lima, Andrés Ríos, Anibal Godoy, Carlos Fierro, Danny Hoesen.
Ref: Silviu Petrescu.
AR1: Ian Anderson.
AR2: Felisha Mariscal.
4th: Joe Dickerson.
VAR: Victor Rivas.
AVAR: Michael Kampmeinert.
How to Watch
Match Time: 10:30 p.m. (ET).
Venue: Avaya Stadium — San Jose, CA.
TV: My65 (local only).
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM, Accion 99.7 FM (Spanish), 810 AM.
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ and YouTube TV.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go City!
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