Loudoun United’s last two road efforts saw them underperform woefully en route to losses at Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh, and while a 5-3 loss Wednesday wouldn’t normally be encouraging, coach Ryan Martin found positives in the team’s effort. They fought to get level the game after being down 2-0 and 3-1, and using essentially a U-21 starting XI (half of the lineup was 20 or younger), buoyed by the USL’s second-youngest starting captain of 2021 in Ted Ku-DiPietro (who logged a goal as part of the effort), Martin noted their return to form mentality wise. They’ve just started a stretch where five of their next six are at home over the next four weeks, so building upon Tuesday’s game is the important part.
player concept: Avoid the slow start, really!
Ahead of Loudoun’s midweek game, I noted that the team’s recent proclivity towards giving up early goals led to the resignation of sorts by the team that led them to not threaten their opponent. So granted when they gave up two in the first ten minutes, needless to say, I was despondent that they hadn’t read my preview! The mitigating circumstance of having to roll out your kids aside, Colorado Springs has the third-best goal total in the USL, so a good, non-deficit opening will go a long way.
Location: Segra Field (Leesburg, VA)
Kickoff time: 7:00 pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. United is loaning: With D.C. United forward Nigel Robertha going on the Injured List due to an adductor issue, Erik Sorga’s recall announcement (in light of his being absent from Loudoun’s lineup Tuesday) was a logical one. Kimarni Smith played 70 minutes in Tuesday’s game after playing 90 the past weekend, so my guess is he goes on the bench. Jacob Greene and Michael DeShields had Tuesday off and Jeremy Garay went 90 in both games, I’d presume the first two start while the latter goes on the bench. This concludes your loanee update.
Martin said after Wednesday’s game that a few players were given a chance to rest after a lot of minutes over the past few weeks, so I’d presume the backline of 17-year-old Owen Walz, 20-year-old Alexxon Saravia, and 23-year-old Hassan Pinto gets a break or at the very least some bench time this week.
Starters: Jermaine Fordah; DeShields, Timmy Mehl, Robby Dambrot; Kairou Amoustapha, Landry Houssou, Nicky Downs, Greene; Michael Gamble; Sammy Sergi, Giovanni Montesdeoca
Bench: Keegan Meyer, Matt Di Rosa, Ted Ku-DiPietro, Garay, Darluis Paz, Jackson Hopkins, Smith
Key Colorado Springs player/former D.C. players: Hadji Barry
Not a former D.C. player per se, but a familiar name for D.C. fans may be Michael Edwards, a former D.C. Academy player whose homegrown rights were traded to the Colorado Rapids, and then the Rapids signed him in March. Edwards has appeared in nine of the Switchbacks’ 13 games, all starts (by comparison, D.C. draft pick Michael DeShields has started in eight of his nine appearances for Loudoun, and logged about 200 fewer minutes).
Switchbacks coach Brendan Burke came from the Philadelphia Union’s USL side and some of those players are likely to appear tonight, including Zach Zandi, Michee Ngalina and Matt Mahoney. At 13 goals, the former Orlando City draft pick is the Golden Boot Leader by 4 coming into the weekend and will require attention.
Referee: As of Friday 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?: Cooler than it was midweek, so maybe a coffee pregame before water.
This is the place for all your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussions.
(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.)