Barely a year ago, D.C. United announced that Loudoun United FC would be starting its inaugural season, and would have a stadium to call home to boot. The manner in which their season would be conducted was not unlike D.C.’s 2018 season, with a prolonged road stretch, intermittent home games and then a summer christening. So with the organization opening their second major facility in 13 months, with a third (their training facility) being built down the road from their Leesburg home, the move closer and closer to the pack of other MLS franchises can be checked off tonight.
Key player: Connor Presley
The converted fullback was picked on relentlessly by Atlanta United 2 and the speed of Bienvenue Kanakimana to the tune of a hat trick last week, and will likely find himself against Abdoulie Mansally and Aaron Maund tonight, two MLS vets who have some pace to their game. He’s going to need to stay on his toes and pick his spots when he can.
Location: Segra Field (Leesburg, VA)
Kickoff time: 7:30pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11: Griffin Yow’s time at the United States U-17 camp just ended, but would doubt he sees any time this weekend. Collin Verfurth is out to yellow card accumulation and Peabo Doue hasn’t appeared in the last couple of gameday squads, so the Loudoun backline will get a hefty test tonight.
Starters: Earl Edwards Jr.; Presley, Allexon Saravia, Harri Hawkins, Jacob Greene; Nelson Martinez, Antonio Bustamante; Carlos Alvarez, Gordon Wild, Orlando Sinclair; Kyle Murphy
Bench: Calle Brown, Jeremy Garay, Noah Pilato, John Murphy, Alexis Cerritos, Christian Sorto, Elvis Amoh
Key Charlotte player: Dominic Oduro
This is not the Charlotte team that Loudoun walked over in a 3-1 win three months ago. First and foremost, the Independence fired coach Jim McGuinness a month later, being replaced by General Manager Mike Jeffries. Jeffries promptly led the team to a seven-game unbeaten run before falling 1-0 in back to back results before tonight. The team has signed Ricardo Bocanegra from the New York Cosmos, and received Isaac Angking from the New England Revolution and Brendan McDonough of the Vancouver Whitecaps over the last few days to boot for midfield and defensive help. Nevertheless, the team’s leading goalscorer remains the MLS vet, and another (Enzo Martinez) is their midfield leader.
Referee: Luis Guardia
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What are you drinking?: Media tent water, or whatever drink I’ll finagle my hands on.
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