It feels like a weird time for Loudoun United FC. On the heels of a fairly impressive 3-1 win at Memphis 901 FC, Loudoun United return to Segra Field in the hopes of opening their season with a win for a second straight season, and will be doing it against a near-sellout crowd, the first such crowd Loudoun will see since they opened Segra in August, 2019. Zach Ryan and Kalil ElMedkhar turned in performances that earned them honors for the USL Championship Team of the Week, and Tommy Williamson received a nomination for Goal of the Week. Today’s opponent also won their Week 1 game 3-1, have two players on the Team of the Week and one for Goal of the Week, and also have the wrinkle of being the defending USL champions.
The other side of the coin has Lamar Batista, who decided to take one of the other GotW nominations and was on the Team of the Week as well, two days after signing a 25-day-contract with the club (midfielder PC was the other TotW honoree). But they are a formidable bunch; Mitchell Taintor and Jordan Farr are the returning Defender and Goalkeeper of 2022, respectively, with the latter logging 15 shutouts, which tied the single season high for the team. Justin Dhillon was in the Top 10 in assists last year and he’s back as well. The luster of Loudoun’s win last week may be slightly taken off by the 3-1 drubbing Memphis took at home to Pittsburgh yesterday, but it may not. Only one way to tell!
Combine this with former Loudoun and D.C. United player Kimarni Smith and D.C. Academy alum/Minnesota United midfielder Jacori Hayes joining the team in the offseason, and San Antonio reloaded more than anything else, and this will be an early test for Ryan Martin’s group.
What to know before kickoff? If you’re looking for what Loudoun’s new controlling owner has to say about coming onboard, check this out.
Your random stat: Both teams won 3-1 and both overperformed their xG while being outfired by their respective opposition; Loudoun’s 1.22 xG was short to Memphis’ 1.88, while San Antonio’s opposition last week (Oakland) edged out the hosts 1.06 to 0.95.
How to Watch
Match date/kickoff time: Sunday, March 19, 4:00pm ET
Venue: Segra Field, Leesburg, VA (if tickets are still available, they’re here)
Online Streaming: ESPN+
Loudoun Unavailables: Alex Nagy (ACL) and Kwame Awuah (achilles) are both out for the season, no other injuries.