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March to the Match: Orlando City SC

WHO: Orlando City SC, former owner of our franchise, part owner of our current franchise, and the purplest team in MLS.

WHAT: A friendly match between Louisville City FC and our former MLS affilliate.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 25, 2015, 7:30 p.m. EDT

WHERE: Louisville Slugger Field, 401 E. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202, U-S-Freakin’-A.

WATCH: At the stadium! With all of us! It’ll be fun! People come in to work on Wednesdays hungover all the time! Your boss won’t even notice! But if you can’t make it because your foot got caught in a hipster trap, you can watch it here:

WHO, AGAIN? Well hey it’s Orlando City SC, formerly the Austin AzTex before the new Austin AzTex. OCSC’s meteoric rise from the USL to one of the best-attended teams in their first year in MLS is something a lot of lower-division teams are trying to copy. Their marketing department is top notch, their stadium atmosphere is great, they’ve got plans to build an awesome stadium of their own that should be forging ahead very soon, etc., etc. It’s a quality organization.

Unfortunately for them, their USL history, burgeoning attendance, fan culture, and stadium hasn’t led them to win a lot of games in MLS so far. Despite signing players like Kaka, Dane Brekken Shea, and Aurelien Collin, the Lions are limping along at 7-12-7, two spots out of the playoffs with a -14 goal difference. Cyle Larin has been excellent this year, and will likely win Rookie of the Year, but Orlando’s been on the wrong side of some bad score lines in the last few months. They’ve lost 3 of their last five, and have given up fifteen goals in that same span. FIFTEEN! That is very bad.

UNSUBSTANTIATED PREDICTIONS: I’ll be frank, I’m not crazy that Louisville City is even playing this game. It comes at a bad time in the schedule, even if the Royals do have second place in the East more or less locked up. There’s an important league match against Pittsburgh on Saturday at Slugger that the Riverhounds are desperate to win so they can make it to the post-season. That Elsie has to take time out of preparation for that game so they can play Orlando City isn’t that great.

All that said, though, this friendly will probably be a sell-out and post the highest attendance of the year for a Louisville City game. It might also be a good opportunity for some guys that don’t get as much run on our bench the chance to play. I’m hoping Cameron Lancaster and Greg Ranjitsingh get to see the field, and maybe Cossette gets a chance to redeem himself at left back. We might even get to see Adam West! It’s not like Orlando’s going to be sending their starters out – they’ve got a playoff push of their own to make, though it’s nice that they’re helping LCFC out with this cash-grab exhibition.

Because we have no idea who’s going to play for either team (I’ll be surprised if Brek Shea’s hair makes an appearance), there’s no real way for me to figure out what the score might be. Let’s say a 2-2 draw? Sure. I’ll go with that.

COME ON, CITY.