Following what could be categorized as the best performance yet in their shift to a 4231 in their 2-0 win over LA Galaxy II Saturday, Loudoun United has a quick turnaround to try and keep the momentum going, with a bunch of stuff working against them. They’re playing San Antonio FC, who are:
- Leading the USL Championship in points currently (50)
- Lost their first game Saturday, ending a nine-game unbeaten streak
- Have conceded as many goals as Loudoun has points (18) and are tied with two other teams with 11 league-leading clean sheets
- Have only lost as many games at home as Loudoun has won on the road (1)
Following an emphatic 3-0 loss Saturday, San Antonio will likely be chomping at the bit to right things and have the perfect opponent to do it, so Loudoun’s work will be cut out for them.
Key player: Kristian Fletcher
Since everyone else is rightly spotlighting the youngster, may as well! Via the USL, Fletcher is the third-youngest player to record a multi-goal game in the USL after his brace to celebrate his 17th birthday, with the two younger players (Efrain Alvarez and Ayo Akinyola) both on MLS rosters. While he may feel like a hundred dollars at the moment, he’s got a swagger to him that includes a certain amount of fearlessness now that he’s got the confidence in knowing that he can handle the speed of play here, and as players return to the Loudoun roster, he’ll be part of a promising attack.
Location: Toyota Field (San Antonio, TX)
Kickoff time: 9:00 pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. United is loaning: The quartet of Jeremy Garay, Jacob Greene, and Gaoussou Samaké and Hayden Sargis comes down from D.C. United, to be joined by Moses Nyeman, in line for presumably his first competitive minutes since May. On the Academy side, Ignacio Alem is doing All-Star Game festivities (Gavin Turner and Matai Akinmboni join Fletcher), but Tyler Freeman is back in the pool as well and should get a look or two.
Starters: Luis Zamudio; Greene, Jalen Robinson (C), Carson Vom Steeg, Samaké; Nicky Downs, Garay; Abdoul Zanne, Skage Simonsen, Zoumana Diarra; Fletcher
Bench: Dane Jacomen, Akinmboni, Sargis, Nyeman, Houssou Landry, Freeman, Turner
Key San Antonio player/former D.C. players: Justin Dhillon
Well, one-time midfielder Mohammed Abu leads San Antonio in created chances (34), and former DCU U-23er Carter Manley has logged more than 1,000 minutes on the backline. However, Dhillon leads a group of former Seattle Sounders (including Jordy Delem, Samuel Adeniran and Saad Abdul-Salaam) in producing for the Texas club, leading them in goals and assists with 6 each, and edges Adeniran with 33 shots to 31. There are a few weapons in the club, he’s the one who should garner the most attention.
Referee: Melvin Rivas
Available streaming: ESPN+ (click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get a little bit of cash!)
What are you drinking?: I’m not completely sure. I had a triple-barrel stout last night in 95 degree weather because I’m a crazy person, so I imagine I’ll stick with water or something.
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