D.C. United and Orlando City SC both head into tonight’s match fresh off wins on the road and looking to extend their win streaks.

The Black-and-Red took all three points when they paid a visit to former head coach Hernán Losada’s new team, CF Montréal, last weekend. Newcomer Lewis O’Brien notched the game-winner in the 46′ taking D.C. to a 1-0 victory.

The Lions found themselves pitted against the Loons in Match Week 8. Orlando claimed the win and three points on the road when Duncan McGuire scored the deciding goal – the first of his Orlando City career – for a 2-1 win over Minnesota.

While D.C. has been pragmatic in play, to be most effective, they need to start using the ball to open up space to create chances for their attackers. When trying to build from the back, the Black-and-Red have struggled with turnovers, defense, and transitions. Head coach Wayne Rooney has been working to implement this system for about a year now in the District, and the pressure is on the Black-and-Red to perform and move up the table.

Tonight it will be all about capitalizing on chances for D.C. United. Wayne Rooney said, “I think the previous game against Orlando, I thought we were very good, in control of the game well, and ultimately we didn’t take our chances which cost us winning the game. I think if we perform the way we did in the previous game, and I think we’ll be okay.”

Check out D.C.’s last visit to Orlando:

Key Player: Lewis O’Brien

O’Brien has shown himself to be an incredibly effective player, able to make a near-immediate impact for the Black-and-Red. His go-ahead-goal against Montréal snagged three points for D.C. and restored a measure of confidence heading into this week’s match against Orlando. Rooney said to the media this week, “I think he’s come in, and he’s been great for us. I think his energy, both on and off the pitch, is infectious. I think he’s very a very down-to-earth young man who wants to learn, wants to improve, wants to get better, and very quick to take information in which you give him.”

Watch Out For: Duncan McGuire

McGuire is considered to be Orlando’s most effective number nine this year as the team struggles to identify their striker of choice. He scored the equalizer during Orlando and D.C.’s last meet-up at Audi Field and the game-winner against Minnesota last week. McGuire is able to occupy center backs off the ball and use his physicality to Orlando’s advantage on the pitch.

Challenges: The Black-and-Red head into their second road match in a row and will have to work hard to keep up the momentum away from home.

Previously: The last meeting between D.C. United and Orlando City SC ended in a 1-1 draw at Audi Field despite a strong performance from the Black-and-Red.

Orlando City Availability:

Out: Michael Halliday (right thigh)

D.C. United Availability:

Out: Brendan Hines-Ike (foot), Martin Rodriguez (knee), Nigel Robertha (ankle), Derrick Williams (thigh), Mohanad Jeahze (thigh)

Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL

Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET

Referee: Lukasz Szpala

Available streaming: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV

Featured image courtesy of D.C. United and Hannah Wagner

BySarah Kallassy

Managing Editor

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Matt Glad

This ref doesn’t understand the new rule with what to do when the ball hits the ref.

Will Nelson

Asad for Taxi and Durkin for Klich

Talonesque #

Asad for Fountas, Durkin for Klich. Conservative moves, but not complaining.

Will Nelson

O’Brien finds Benteke’s head but he puts it well wide with a glancing header.

Brendan Cartwright

Great interplay between O’Brien and Benteke, and Benteke really should have had his second.

Talonesque #

O’Brien provides excellent service to Benteke, who rejects the call. Damn.

Last edited 7 months ago by Talonesque #
Will Nelson

Hopkins coming in for O’Brien

Last edited 7 months ago by Will Nelson
Will Nelson

6 mins of stoppage?….okay then

Brendan Cartwright

Pedro Santos was the best left back in MLS last year, you say?

Will Nelson

Montreal beat NYRB, despite getting a red card in the 65′

Last edited 7 months ago by Will Nelson
Matt Glad

A 6 point road trip! DC took advantage of their chances this game. They need to continue to work harder on defense. Orlando could’ve easily made it 3-3. Sometimes you need luck. Glad it was on DC’s side today!

Talonesque #

It really looked closer at the end to a 3-2 score line and a mad scramble to the end, but it didn’t happen, and the team found some spine to hold them off as the game ground down. A bit lucky, but this is what happens when you finish chances you generate.

Talonesque #

We created and finished three chances. That’s good. Hoping this means we’ve ditched the high line 4-4-2 that got the best out of no one. I’m generally not in love with the 5-3-2 as a formation when I’ve seen it in my soccer watching past, but it’s provided two wins on the bounce across three halves when we really needed it.

Last edited 7 months ago by Talonesque #

6 points.

I’ll take a day before I can break down tactics.

Talonesque #

Our xG was apparently only 1.13, but that must be a bad model, cuz Taxi had a very easy opening.

Matt Glad

I wonder if MLS is either using a different source for xG this year or the model changed. I agree that it seems lower than it should be this year for most games.


Benteke had himself a hell of a game. Easily our most complete forward since Rooney. Great passing, movement, positioning and sometimes finishing (lol). Could’ve had a couple more but for overcomplicating things for himself.

Talonesque #

Yep, agreed all around


Not wild about the formation we’ve evolved to. But (a) it has gotten us results and (b) it probably fits the personnel that we have.

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