While D.C. United has been dealing with their own turmoil over the last week, they had lost three in a row in the weeks before that. Loudoun is on a similar streak after last week’s loss in Oakland, but at least they broke their scoreless streak thanks to some nifty footwork by Academy player Abdellatif Aboukoura. Loudoun return to Segra again to try and find the same sort of comfort that D.C. did last night, with an opponent that is potentially primed to get got.
player concept: Finding continuity in turmoil
In the wake of D.C. firing Hernan Losada, Frederic Brillant was brought up as an assistant coach for the first team. Even thought it was a short time with Ryan Martin’s staff, the contributions were very much appreciated, not only from a man management perspective but Brillant was able to coach the reserves and speak directly to Loudoun’s numerous Ivory Coast players in their native language. While they still have the resource to do that, the dynamic may differ slightly. The backline will be dealing with intelligence and speed in the opposition attack and is going to have to be ready for it as if nothing; Brillant leaving, several players out due to Open Cup play and injury, like nothing’s happened.
Location: Segra Field (Leesburg, VA)
Kickoff time: 4:00 pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. United is loaning: Barring surprise, expect to see Hayden Sargis, Jacob Greene, Kimarni Smith and Jeremy Garay return following their midweek Open Cup time with the first team, with Gaoussou Samaké joining them. Greene and Sargis played at least 75 each there (and in Oakland last week) so they may be a little gassed, while Samaké played 45, but he’ll likely be on the left of Sargis in back.
The other note, in light of Bill Hamid’s injury, is that Luis Zamudio was recalled and was on the bench in last night’s win. It’s my understanding (as of Saturday afternoon) he will return and start, with Joe Rice backing him up, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see things flip in that. Past that, there aren’t any surprises, most of who traveled last week in Oakland will come in this time.
Starters: Zamudio; Rio Hope-Gund, Hayden Sargis, Samaké; Greene, Nicky Downs, Garay, Sami Guediri; Michael Gamble, Azaad Liadi, Kimarni Smith
Bench: Rice, Carson Vom Steeg, Matai Akinmboni, Jace Clark, Houssou Landry, Abdoul Zanne, Aboukoura, Zoumana Diarra
Key Birmingham player/former D.C. players: Enzo Martinez
Hey, remember D.C. United coach Tom Soehn? He moved to coach the Vancouver Whitecaps, then the New England Revolution, then joined Birmingham for their inaugural season in 2019, where he’s been since. Former United States player Juan Agudelo signed with the team recently, but will be out today due to injury.
So that brings us to Martinez. The former Colorado Rapids player appeared in almost 150 games for the Charlotte Independence before moving to the Legion when Charlotte moved down, and serves as the playmaker for the group, getting chances to Ghanaians Anderson Asiedu and Prosper Kasim. Birmingham played a number of their starters in their midweek Open Cup game with Tormenta FC, a game they hosted and lost 2-0. Loudoun is their fourth game of five in a 17 day span, so they’ve presumably got to rotate some guys here.
Referee: Elvis Osmanovic
Available Streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: Vitamin C I think, my kids and wife have all been trying to avoid germs like Hugo Weaving in the Matrix and failing, so I’m either going, staying home or dead, one of the following.
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.)