Loudoun United came away from their 2-0 win Friday over the Tampa Bay Rowdies saying that it was their most complete performance to date, one where they played 90 minutes. It kept their playoff hopes alive briefly, but with Birmingham and Charleston playing the next day, even a draw eliminated Loudoun from playoff contention, and the two teams did play to a scoreless one at that.
They get the chance, again, to put together a win streak, and do so against an opponent they’ve seen before and done well against, drawing 2-2 against Saint Louis FC in July. It was a case, however, where the team didn’t show up for the full game. Now that they’ve done so against arguably tougher competition, the next step is putting more of those together.
Key player: Gordon Wild
Guess I’m going to have to start writing this in pen more and more for the time being! Seriously though, his second USL Team of the Week honors in three weeks to go with the brace in Loudoun’s 2-0 win over Tampa Friday, and outside chances to take parts of all of the team lead in goals, assists and chances created by the end of the year. Hopefully the team continuing to click improves him personally.
Location: Segra Field (Leesburg, VA)
Kickoff time: 7:30pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11: I’d presume that most of the loanees from D.C. United make an appearance; given that the first team has two weeks off, I’ll loosely speculate as to the status of Donovan Pines; Chris Odoi-Atsem looked good in 62 minutes of work Friday, though I’d imagine they don’t rush him back this soon. Griffin Yow may be ready to go and could get minutes either tonight or Saturday ahead of his U-17 World Cup appearance, I’ll go with the former based on nothing.
Starters: Calle Brown; Hunter Gorskie, Collin Verfurth, Harri Hawkins, Peabo Doue; John Murphy, Antonio Bustamante; Andrew Lubahn, Wild, Yow; Kyle Murphy
Bench: Collin Miller, Connor Presley, Miguel Garduno, Moses Nyeman, Carlos Alvarez, Alioune Ndour, Orlando Sinclair
Key Saint Louis player: Sam Fink
Saint Louis sits in ninth in the East with 42 points, with Birmingham and Charleston at 40, so their fate isn’t exactly determined, plus they have the double game week two (the only one of the three who does), and play Pittsburgh on the weekend, so they maybe come in looking for three. Fink leads the team in appearances and goals, the latter being mostly in the box, so it’ll be interesting to see if he dresses and what the plan for him will be.
Referee: Sergii Demianchuk
Available streaming: ESPN+ (click here and subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: Well Friday night was deceptively cold pretty fast and am not making that mistake again. If I go, coffee, warm and lots of it.
This is the place for all your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.
(Black and Red United has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Black and Red United and SB Nation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our guiding principles.)