Happy 4th of July! Today, D.C. United is in Florida to take on Orlando City SC. The Black-and-Red sits at the very bottom of the Eastern Conference and is under intense pressure to secure all three points tonight. D.C. has been winless in all their regular-season matches since May 7, when they beat Houston Dynamo 2-0 at Audi Field.
Orlando has fared better, picking up two wins in their last five matches, and sitting in 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Orlando last played Nashville SC on Wednesday in the Open Cup quarterfinal, giving the Black-and-Red some hope of facing a side with tired legs.
Currently, D.C. United is focusing on course-correcting the season from within. On Saturday, head coach Chad Ashton and defender Brendan Hines-Ike spoke to the press, discussing how the Black-and-Red plan to reflect and move forward. With half of the season already behind them, D.C. United’s players and coaching staff will need to dig deep to stage a comeback.
Tonight, the Black-and-Red will need to rely on good judgment to see them through what is sure to be a tough match in Orlando. Ashton said, “I think a huge key for us is recognizing when it’s time to go fast and try and hit them in the counter. And when it’s time to maybe win the ball get forward and not go make the decision that hey, this is not the right time, we need to keep the ball we need to force them to defend for longer periods of time, it’s going to be hot, so you don’t want to defend over long periods of time.”
Listen to Chad Ashton and Brendan Hines-Ike here:
"We believe in ourselves and we believe we'll dig ourselves out of it."— D.C. United (@dcunited) July 3, 2022
Chad Ashton speaks to the media ahead of #ORLvDC ⤵️
Brendan Hines-Ike on the sense of urgency heading into Monday's match.— D.C. United (@dcunited) July 3, 2022
Key Player: Taxi Fountas
Taxi Fountas netted D.C.’s only goal of the match against Nashville SC. Hopefully, he can strike early to give Orlando some trouble tonight.
Watch Out For: Ercan Kara, Júnior Urso, João Moutinho
Orlando’s top goal scorers will certainly test the Black-and-Red this evening. Moutinho is listed as questionable for this evening, giving D.C. a possible break.
Challenges: D.C. United is at rock bottom. If the Black-and-Red can shore up their mental strength, they have the talent to turn the season around.
Previously: Orlando City bested D.C. United in both of their meetings in 2021. The teams will face off twice this month, giving the Black-and-Red a chance at redemption.
Orlando City SC Availability:
Out: Mason Stajduhar, Michael Halliday (international duty)
Questionable: João Moutinho (right lower leg)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Bill Hamid (hand injury), Adrien Perez (foot), Andy Najar (yellow card accumulation)
Questionable: Russell Canouse (hamstring)
Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, FL
Kickoff time: 7:00 pm ET
Available TV: NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos
Available streaming: dcunited.com, ESPN+ (blacked out in the DC area)
Feel free to check our DCU how to watch guide to figure out what your best option is.