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Orlando City SC vs. DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Orlando City SC vs. D.C. United
2018 MLS Regular Season - Week 1
Orlando City Stadium - Orlando
7:30 pm ET - March 3, 2018

 

Perhaps no match on the first weekend features two teams as eager to show improvement from 2017 than when D.C. United visits Orlando City SC on Saturday evening.

With the departures of Kaká and Cyle Larin, and the arrivals of Sacha Kljestan and Justin Meram as part of head-spinning 13 offseason acquisitions to date, it appears to be playoffs or bust for coach Jason Kreis and a club that failed to reach the MLS postseason in each of its first three years.

Meanwhile, D.C. coach Ben Olsen is facing similar pressure to show that his remade, midfield-driven roster will not face the same struggles as last year's last-place finishers. To add to the difficulty, D.C. begin with a road-heavy schedule before opening Audi Field in July.

Orlando City SC

While Kreis has expressed the belief that this is the first Lions side built more directly in his image, he won't have his full array of weapons against D.C. Kljestan is out the first two games as a result of the suspension stemming from his tussle with Jozy Altidore in last year's Eastern Conference semifinal. Dwyer is one of four players unavailable through injury.

  • Suspended: Sacha Kljestan (Red Card, through 3/10)
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: MF Uri Rosell (fitness), MF Dillon Powers (ankle), MF Josue Colman (thigh bruise), FW Dom Dwyer (quad strain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-1-2, right to left)
GK: Joe Bendik — Scott Sutter, Jonathan Spector, Ludovic Sane, Mohamed El-Munir — Christian Higuita, Will Johnson, Yoshi Yotun — Justin Meram — Jose Villarreal, Stefano Pinho

D.C. United

The Black-and-Red will also be without their creative engine, Luciano Acosta, as he serves a suspension dating back to his ejection from the finale at RFK Stadium. Also of intrigue will be who coach Ben Olsen chooses as his Week 1 starter in goal after a battle between David Ousted and Steve Clark all preseason to assume the role that for nearly a decade belonged to Bill Hamid.

  • Suspended: Luciano Acosta (Red Card)
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: MF Russell Canouse (knee sprain), DF Taylor Kemp (sports hernia surgery); QUESTIONABLE: Darren Mattocks (Calf)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)

GK: David Ousted — Nick DeLeon, Steve Birnbaum, Frederic Brillant, Oniel Fisher — Junior Moreno, Ulises Segura — Paul Arriola, Zoltan Stieber, Yamil Asad — Darren Mattocks

All-Time Series

Orlando won both meetings last year to take a narrow series lead. The teams have yet to share the points in seven all-time meetings.

  • Overall: Orlando 4 wins (11 goals) ... D.C. 3 wins (10 goals) ... 0 ties
  • In Orlando: Orlando 3 wins (7 goals) ... D.C. 1 win (3 goals) ... 0 ties
  • Last Meeting in Orlando: Orlando 2, D.C. 0 (May 31, 2017)

Officials

Referee: Fotis Bazakos
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Peter Balciunas
Fourth Official: Marcos DeOliveira
VAR: Geoff Gamble
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Current Form

Orlando
D.C. United

Season Stats

Orlando City SCD.C. United
0Games Played0
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Connection Lost. Reconnecting...

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