Loudoun United is in the envious position of hyping themselves up for tonight’s game with the Columbus Crew, when things like ‘massive’ and ‘biggest game in team history’ are tossed around frequently. This is pressure on top of pressure for the team, who are losers of two straight, and are likely handling this huge organizational challenge without their top two center backs, a starting winger and potentially starting midfielder to injury, facing an MLS team who was off this past weekend, getting ready to start a three game in eight day stretch while Loudoun hits game two of a five game in 14 day stretch. It will be interesting to see if Loudoun can rise to the challenge they’ve set for themselves.
The Crew is, well, the Crew. Cucho Hernandez is just returning from injury and scored a banger goal of his own recently, and started at Watford after Loudoun midfielder Panos Armenakas left. The Crew has Lucas Zelarayan and Darlington Nagbe to round out the Designated Player quotient, and includes players like Yaw Yeboah and Kevin Molino, and got to this phase of the Open Cup by dispatching Loudoun’s last opponent Indy Eleven 1-0. The big question mark in all of this of course is how many of those I listed actually come to Leesburg; expect Loudoun’s big guns, such as they are, to start, but an already thin backline is going to get their biggest test by far.
What to Know Before Kickoff
Your Random Stat
47.5% – the combined transfer numbers of Hernandez ($10m) Zelarayan ($7m) and Yeboah ($2m), which are roughly half of the valuation of Loudoun as a franchise when Attain Sports and Entertainment purchased a controlling share.
How to Watch:
Match date/kickoff time: Wednesday, May 10, 7:00pm ET
Venue: Segra Field, Leesburg, VA (tickets are available here for the compelled)
Online Streaming: B/R Football YouTube Channel or app
Loudoun Unavailables: Alex Nagy (ACL) and Kwame Awuah (achilles) are both out for the season, Cole Turner (meniscus) is out until approximately August. Yanis Leerman (ankle) is out for 10 days.