Loudoun visits a weary but enthusiastic Detroit side.
Within D.C. United’s Open Cup loss to the New York Red Bulls, there was the introduction of some of the Loudoun players, thrown into the deep end against a veteran Red Bulls side after playing 45 minutes 48 hours prior. D.C.’s bowing out of Tuesday’s affair may be predictable, but hopefully the recalls saw the possibilities involved in appearing with the first team and can carry those further into their game today, as they’ll be facing a side new to the USL Championship but is no stranger to North American soccer in Detroit City FC.
player concept: Don’t get awed by the cr(awed), start strong
It’s easy to say from the relative comfort of my house that Loudoun’s bunch could get spooked playing in the cramped but loud confines of the DCFC stadium, but this is probably going to be the biggest crowd the team faces until they hit some of the other independents from the Eastern Conference. They’re going to be facing a weary Detroit bunch that I’ll elaborate on in a bit, and getting them on their heels early is going to help a team that’s underperformed their xG for (again so far) to this point.
Location: Keyworth Stadium (Hamtramck, MI)
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm Eastern
Projected Loudoun starting 11/who D.C. United is loaning: Jeremy Garay, Jacob Greene, and Hayden Sargis made the trip to Motown, with Ted Ku-DiPietro joining them. Gaoussou Samaké is on D.C.’s injured list as out and Kimarni Smith stayed home, which leaves the team a little thin on shooters but Ku-DiPietro may make up for that. Doubtful to appear today, of small note is Kristian Fletcher traveled with the team. From Bethesda Academy, the 17-year-old has trained with Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, and I’m told is with D.C.’s Academy now which, if true, would appear to be a coup of sorts for Patrick Ouckama. There’s enough going on in the backline that I don’t think he appears today, but maybe worth an eye down the road.
Starters: Luis Zamudio; Rio Hope-Gund (C), Sargis, Grant Lillard; Greene, Nicky Downs, Garay, Sami Guediri; Ku-DiPietro, Skage Simonsen, Abdoul Zanne
Bench: Joe Rice, Carson Vom Steeg, Jace Clark, Fletcher, Houssou Landry, Michael Gamble, Ignacio Alem
Key Detroit player/former D.C. players: Antoine Hoppenot
Well there’s a Maxi Rodriguez, but not the former Liverpool and Argentina midfielder, along with Francis Atuahene, whom FC Dallas traded up to get and passed Chris Mueller in the process during the 2018 MLS SuperDraft. But the former Philadelphia Union draftee leads the team in goals and created chances and should he dress is probably the guy to watch. Loudoun is Detroit’s third game of five in a two-week span that began in Tulsa, came home to play 120 minutes in Open Cup play Tuesday, and goes to Miami next Wednesday before returning home next Saturday, so some rotation is probably in order.
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?: Kombucha during, unsure after.
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