Given the weirdness of the 2020 year and professional sports in it, Loudoun United not only was the first team to host fans at a sporting event in the D.C. area, but this is now the 2nd time in their brief season where they’ll be playing back-to-back games in front of fans. The other time was back-to-back games against Hartford Athletic FC, whom they play for the third time in this season.
This is a bad news good news situation for Loudoun. The bad news is this is their third game at Hartford, where they have played three times in their short history, and have given up an average of four goals a game. Hartford is not without their own controversy at the moment as their coach (former Southampton U-23 boss) Radhi Jaidi is accused and is under investigation of assaulting one of his players.
The good news? Well, after tonight Loudoun has one more game with Hartford to go. I kid, but getting a result against one of the independent teams in their group would go a long way towards buttressing their confidence in this final stretch of games.
Key player: Whomever plays in goal
This is going to sound a little cynical, even fatalist, but with Simon Lefebvre getting the go-ahead in net, Colin Miller has been given a break tonight. So you get two options; Lefebvre coming in cold to 2nd division competition, but he was part of the Reading United teams that appeared in back-to-back finals in USL League Two (Lefebvre played 120 minutes in the 2019 Final), or Lorenzo Gordon, committed to play at the American University and who also appeared in preseason for D.C. United and is reportedly high in the eyes of the view of the organization. Whomever plays between the pipes has to face a team that is third in the East in goals scored (Loudoun faced the highest scoring team in the East on Wednesday in the Pittsburgh Riverhounds and came out as 2-0 losers), so there is some potential interest to see who plays and how well he does today.
Location: Dillon Stadium (Hartford, CT)
Kickoff time: 7:00pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. is loaning: I’d hope that after seeing Kevin Paredes and Griffin Yow play in Friday’s scoreless draw against FC Cincinnati (combined with Moses Nyeman on the bench) that D.C. United’s player loan question is answered.
I babbled about the first part, so my take is below. With Nelson Martinez out to a red card from the midweek game, and Brandon Williamson playing a pant load of minutes over the last 10 days, expect Ally Ng’Anzi (signed in the offseason from Minnesota United FC) to be in the mix between Jeremy Garay and Elvis Amoh. Given Amoh seems to score PKs against Hartford, trendiness are favorable for him! With Loudoun playing their fourth game in 11 days, rotation would have to be a continued expectation.
Starters: Gordon; Allexon Saravia, Adam Lundegard, Timmy Mehl, Joshua Greene; Garay, Amoh; Christian Sorto, Michael Gamble, Erumuse Momoh; Joshua Fawole
Bench: Lefebvre, Peabo Doue, Shane Wiedt, Ng’Anzi, Ted Ku-DiPietro, Kairou Amoustapha, Alioune Ndour
Key Hartford player: Danny Barrera
Barrera remains among the East leaders in chances created (16) and his assist total (6) is second in the Conference to Kenardo Forbes, whom Loudoun faced Wednesday. Barrera has had a goal and three assists in their two previous matchups, and Loudoun is going to need to contain him somehow for any measure of hope in a result.
Referee: As of Saturday night, not announced.
Available streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: Thinking probably Suprette, a collaboration beer between Ocelot and Dynasty Brewing Companies. Both are in Loudoun and Dynasty are very much fans of D.C. and Loudoun United's, and like reading this site, so I’m a fan of theirs.
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.)