Loudoun United’s opening game at Segra Field was full of goals and perhaps just as significantly, full of people. So while the game was a 3-3 draw, it did provide thrills and excitement to the crowd of 5,000. That was the opener, how does Loudoun work in game 2 on a weeknight? Even with a three game unbeaten streak in both Segra and Audi Fields, with the onfield adrenaline wearing off a slight bit, Loudoun can’t afford to disappoint themselves or the fans, and need to secure three points on a more consistent basis. Getting a win tonight would bring them to three points of a playoff berth, and within four of tonight’s opponent, the Charleston Battery.
Key player: Connor Presley
In speaking with coach Ryan Martin after Friday's game, he noted that the intent of bringing on Griffin Yow was to work with Gordon Wild to confuse Charlotte with their pace and their runs, and open up Presley to put some service into the box, which he was able to do with some effect, including a pass that led to the tying goal. The game before that? Bad Connor, as Atlanta United torched the right side early and often for goals and a win. Hopefully Good Connor sticks around for another few weeks.
Location: Segra Field (Leesburg, VA)
Kickoff time: 7:30pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11: Peabo Doue remains out to injury and Emily Olsen notes that Chris Seitz will get some Loudoun time. Since D.C. United leaves Thursday to play the Vancouver Whitecaps, I’d imagine that’s tonight, next to Donovan Pines. Yow and Wild presumably fall into this pot as well as would Antonio Bustamante, who Jason noted had himself a day in the Segra opener.
So when you add in D.C.’s travel this week, Loudoun beginning a five game in 17 day stretch, the returns of Collin Verfurth (yellow card accumulation suspension) and Elvis Amoh (eye injury), and Martin saying that there will be rotation of some sort in the coming games, tonight’s lineup should be interesting.
Starters: Seitz; Presley, Verfurth, Pines, Jeremy Garay; Nelson Martinez, Bustamante; Yow, Wild, Orlando Sinclair; Kyle Murphy
Bench: Calle Brown, Jacob Greene, Harri Hawkins, John Murphy, Carlos Alvarez, Christian Sorto, Amoh
Key Charleston player: Zeiko Lewis
The Battery play a 4-4-1-1 of sorts, scoring an early goal before hanging on to get a road draw with Saint Louis FC on Saturday night on the road. So they travel again out to Loudoun, sitting in 9th with 27 points ahead of Birmingham (26) and Loudoun’s next opponent Ottawa (33). Lewis is the 2nd forward and leads the team in goals (6), shots (30) and chances created (24), which being tied for the lead in assists (3). Easily the leader of the offense, Martin’s attempt to shut down the Bermuda international is going to be necessary, assuming longtime Battery coach Mike Anhaeuser starts him tonight and not Saturday at home against Louisville.
Referee: Calin Radosav
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 the media tent lacked water last time, so will bring my own.
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