Following a week where Loudoun United got into a chancefest against the Tampa Bay Rowdies and following a midweek affair where several of their players got a chance to show off their talents against one of the top club teams in the world in Bayern Munich, things return back to Leesburg tonight against a Miami FC side that just doubles them in points at the moment, but looking past that, Loudoun should have eyes on using their form at home in the last couple of months to get one or even three points on the visitors, as their in a lower-tier logjam of sorts in the Eastern Conference; while they’re sitting in 12th with 15 points, even a point combined with a couple of losses by Hartford (hosting Pittsburgh) and Atlanta United 2 (hosting last week’s Loudoun opponent Tampa Bay) could find themselves in 10th by the end of Saturday night so if there’s a time for Loudoun to get the proverbial act together, this could be it.
Key player: Tyler Freeman, or keeping the goals going
While Abdellatif Aboukoura is with Egypt’s U-20 team, this has given the 19-year-old a chance to leapfrog over the 17-year-old into the team’s goal-scoring lead, with goals in three of the team’s last four games. Freeman is going to need to bump things up a notch tonight, facing a Miami defense that is tied with Louisville for clean sheets on the year (10, including against Loudoun in Miami in March). They don’t score much but they’re defense is stingy and Loudoun and Freeman should hope they falter tonight for the dam to break.
Location: Segra Field (Leesburg, VA)
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. United is loaning: I’m not going to lie, I skipped D.C.’s game with Bayern and the Loudoun appearances (when two kids are sleeping you gotta maximize your time sometimes), so I’ll imagine Abdoul Zanne and/or Skage Simonsen may start Saturday on the bench. Jacob Greene, Jeremy Garay, and Hayden Sargis will probably show up tonight; given Loudoun’s upcoming week may have some intrigue on whether Sargis starts now (after getting 45 minutes last week) or at some point in the next week, along with Garay.
Starters: Luis Zamudio; Rio Hope-Gund, Carson Vom Steeg, Grant Lillard; Jalen Robinson, Nicky Downs, Michael Gamble, Greene; Zoumana Diarra, Skage Simonsen, Azaad Liadi
Bench: Joe Rice, Hayden Sargis, Houssou Landry, Garay, Freeman, Zanne, Kristian Fletcher
Key Miami player/former D.C. players: Florian Valot
The former New York Red Bull may have been the most dangerous player in the first matchup between the teams and leads the team in created chances (30) and assists (5). There are some dangerous other players for the team such as Josh Perez and former Loudoun player Kyle Murphy (former DMV local Christian Sorto is with Miami as well), but locking down Valot would be a good jumping-off point for the Red-and-White, who are on the first game of a Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday fixture week.
Referee: Austin Saini
Available Streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: Assuming I haven’t fried my brain doing outside family stuff, water in the suites of Segra.
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