Welcome to your match thread for tomorrow night’s match-up between Orlando City (0-1-1, 1 point) and Inter Miami CF (0-2-0, 0 points) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Walt Disney World. It’s the first match of the MLS is Back Tournament and the first ever meeting between these two Florida-based MLS teams. This 8 p.m. match (ESPN, ESPN Deportes) will count in the 2020 MLS regular-season standings.
It’s Orlando City’s first competitive match in 2020 against an Eastern Conference opponent.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
There isn’t any. These teams have never met. Despite the league’s unsuccessful attempts to force a rivalry with Orlando City, this one could potentially have legs. The Lions finally have an in-state league opponent and it’s likely that this will eventually develop into something, complete with a catchy name. I’ve been calling it the Florida Turnpike War on the Mane Land PawedCast but that’s a placeholder. There has to be something better. The Toll Road Tussle? The Sunshine State Slugfest? Ugh. My brain hurts. It’ll come.
Assuming this match takes place in this insane current situation we’re in, the Lions enter the game in search of their first win under Oscar Pareja. Meanwhile, Inter Miami enters in search of its first franchise win. Since the teams last took the field approximately six years and 11 months ago (or so it feels), here’s a quick reminder: Orlando City is 0-1-1 after a tightly contested 0-0 home draw vs. Real Salt Lake and a last-second gut punch on the road in a 2-1 loss at the Colorado Rapids. Pareja was without captain Nani (suspension) and striker Dom Dwyer (lower body injury) for those two matches. The team’s other Designated Player, Mauricio Pereyra, played only 18 minutes against Colorado.
Inter Miami, which still has not hosted a competitive match, opened with a 1-0 road loss at LAFC and followed that with a 2-1 loss at D.C. United. While not quite at Atlanta United or LAFC levels, Miami is a formidable expansion side. Inter boasts one of the league’s best veteran goalkeepers in former New York Red Bull Luis Robles. Mexican international attacker Rodolfo Pizarro is the man the Lions will need to shut down, as he can score and create. Pizarro has Miami’s only goal so far, which he scored against D.C. in Week 2.
As I write this, the most recent MLS Injury Report is dated March 9. Sigh. It’s probable that some players will be missing for both clubs as they haven’t been back to team training very long, but we’ll have to wait for now to see who is available or unavailable. One player who won’t be available is Miami rookie striker Robbie Robinson, who left the tournament “bubble” for personal reasons. In addition, Roman Torres, who picked up a red card in his last match, should be unavailable.
Mandatory Match Content
- Our Scott Carnevale discussed the Lions you should watch in the MLS is Back Tournament.
- Dave Rohe looks at the top questions surrounding Orlando City entering the competition.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and predictions for tonight as well as an MLS is Back preview with special guest Miguel Gallardo.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Ruan.
Defensive Midfielders: Junior Urso, Uri Rosell.
Attacking Midfielders: Nani, Mauricio Pereyra, Chris Mueller.
Forward: Dom Dwyer.
Inter Miami (3-4-3)
Goalkeeper: Luis Robles.
Defenders: Mikey Ambrose, Dylan Nealis, Andres Reyes.
Midfielders: Ben Sweat, Victor Ulloa, Wil Trapp, Nicolas Figal.
Forwards: Matias Pellegrini, Juan Agudelo, Lewis Morgan.
Ref: Rubiel Vazquez.
AR1: Brian Dunn.
AR2: Benjamin Hall-Volpenhein.
4th: Rosendo Mendoza.
VAR: Allen Chapman.
AVAR: Kyle Atkins.
How to Watch
Match Time: 8 p.m. ET.
Venue: ESPN Wide World of Sports — Orlando, FL.
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes.
Radio: 96.9 FM (English), Accion 97.9 FM and 810 AM (Spanish).
Streaming: The match can be streamed on ESPN+ although it will most likely be blacked out locally.
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Enjoy the game! Go City!