What You’ll Watch
After not playing in what feels like forever (at least for me), the Seattle Sounders return to the pitch as they travel to Florida to take on Orlando City SC in mid-week action. This is the lone meeting between these two teams and the Sounders’ second-to-last road game of the year.
Orlando is currently dead-last in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 7-20-4 (25 points in 31 games played; 0.81 ppg), while the Sounders sit in fifth place in the Western Conference with a record of 15-11-5 (50 points in 31 games played; 1.61 ppg). The last time out, the Sounders defeated the Houston Dynamo 4-1 and Orlando City lost 2-0 to the New England Revolution this past Saturday.
Anything but three points for the Sounders against this team would be a huge disappointment. Yes, they will be missing some players due to the international break, but to not pick up a win would be a huge kick in the stomach and will also hurt their chances of finishing in the top four and earning a home playoff game.
A Look at the Enemy
Last Five: L-L-T-L-L with ZERO goals scored and nine conceded
Leading Goal Scorer: Dom Dwyer, 12 goals (eight at home)
Assist Leader: Yoshi Yotun, ten assists (nine at home)
Injury Report, Suspensions and International Duty
Out: Mason Stajduhar (localized Ewing sarcoma), Pierre Da Silva (torn meniscus), and Jonathan Spector (back injury)
Questionable: Stefano Pinho (quad injury)
Suspensions: Yoshi Yotun (yellow card accumulation)
International Duty: Yoshi Yotun, Mohamed El-Munir and Amro Tarek
- Out: Jordan Morris (torn ACL), Felix Chenkam (herniated disc), Harry Shipp (right hamstring strain), and Brad Smith (right hamstring strain)
International Duty: Gustav Svensson, Raul Ruidiaz, Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordy Delem
REFEREE: Mark Geiger
AR1: Brian Poeschel
AR2: Jose Da Silva
4th: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Christopher Penso
What to Watch
Orlando City’s System
With three different coaches during a season in which they’ve given up on one of their top two offseason signings, it’s hard to define a system for Orlando. Their defense is record-setting in its ineffectiveness. The attack is moribund. Usually they are in a 4-2-3-1, but they’ve also used a 5-4-1 and a 4-3-3.
There is heavy squad rotation made more complicated by the international break. There are a few certainties — Dom Dwyer will be up top, in the middle; Sacha Kljestan will be in the attacking band; and Will Johnson will be on the field somewhere.
Half the backline will be forced to shift as both Tarek and El-Munir are off with Egypt and Libya, respectively. While this would normally bode well for the Sounders, the OCSC defense is so bad that an ad hoc version could improve their performance.
- Step up to be champions. The depth will be tested on the first day after the international break. During the early season they struggled. If they are stronger now, the kids can help Seattle host a home playoff game.
- Set-piece success. Orlando City gives up a ton of goals in dead ball situations, plus they are foul prone. A bad defensive team can be exploited a lot of ways; this is one of them.
- Press higher and longer. City is slow on the ball in their own end.
How to Watch
Date/Time: Wednesday, October 17 @ 4:30 PM
Location: Orlando City Stadium — Orlando, Florida
Streaming: YouTube TV
Radio: 950 KJR AM (English), El Rey 1360AM (Spanish)