D.C. United returns home to face Orlando City SC after a defeat on the road in Columbus. With the Lions coming off a midweek Concacaf Champions League matchup with Tigres UANL, the Black-and-Red will look to capitalize on the home-field advantage and (some Rooney magic) for a win.
Supporters from both sides could see some familiar faces in unfamiliar colors tonight. The Black-and-Red acquired former Orlando player Ruan, while D.C. alum Felipe Martins made his Orlando City debut on Tuesday. Both could feature in the matchup between D.C. and the Lions.
While Orlando may have some tired legs after Tuesday’s match, the Black-and-Red aren’t being complacent. Assistant coach Fred Brillant told The District Press, “You know, we watched the game on Tuesday. They played a very good game. They were lucky it is not easy to play there, obviously. But they came back with a tie, you know, so they have a chance to do something in the next game. So we expect changes for Saturday if they want to play the midweek game at home seriously. So yeah, we expect changes, and we expect a few new players. Maybe Felipe will be back on the field.”
Also, check out what Victor Pálsson had to say on Thursday:
Honestly, we’re looking forward to a fun matchup this evening. Given the incredible feats head coach Wayne Rooney has pulled off against Orlando as a player and coach, we’re ready! We’ll just leave this little gem here:
Key Players: Christian Benteke and Mateusz Klich
Christian Benteke has been simmering and ready for another goal or two since the meeting with Columbus. Benteke had some dangerous chances, but luck just wasn’t on his side last week. We all know Klich is a dangerous player that can score from distance. He and Benteke will hopefully prove to be trouble for Pedro Gallese tonight.
Watch Out For: Pedro Gallese
Orlando City’s goalkeeper has been able to keep a clean sheet so far in both MLS matches and the Concacaf game on Tuesday. We’re hoping the Black-and-Red can change his perfect record this evening.
Challenges: Orlando City is undefeated so far this season, having played to two scoreless draws (against Tigres UANL and Cincinnati FC) and a win against D.C.’s nemesis, New York Red Bulls. D.C. United will need to draw on a resilient mentality for a win.
Previously: The last time D.C. and Orlando met it was another stunning comeback for the Black-and-Red, with Chris Durkin and Taxi Fountas finding the back of the net in extra time. Relive the highlights from last July and get ready for tonight!
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Brendan Hines-Ike (foot), Martin Rodriguez (knee), Taxi Fountas (thigh)
Orlando City SC Availability:
Questionable: Favian Loyola (left thigh), Ramiro Enrique
Location: Audi Field, Washington, DC
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Jon Freemon
Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV