Sub-in Notes is my name for the "late breaking" news that comes out on the eve of the match. In this column, I talk about what was learned during the week and predict a starting formation/lineup for Orlando City.
Four Players out for Week Four...possibly
- Dillon Powers - Ankle (?)
- Uri Rosell - Knee
- Jonathan Spector - Concussion protocol
- Stefano Pinho - Ankle
There could be four players unavailable due to injury for Saturday's match with the Red Bulls. The three players that will certainly be out are Jonathan Spector (concussion), Stefano Pinho (ankle), and Uri Rosell (knee). Pinho is still recovering from a nasty-looking ankle injury suffered in the loss to Minnesota on March 10. The latest report still puts him at two to four weeks away from returning from that injury. And Jonathan Spector was put into the MLS concussion protocol after a nasty knock of heads at NYCFC on March 17. Media reports indicate that Jason Kreis has ruled Spector out for Saturday as he is still dealing with concussion symptoms. And Uri Rosell will not be available for the match due to a nagging knee injury. According to Jordan Culver of the Orlando Sentinel, Rosell has been dealing with a knee injury suffered while he was with Portimonense. Up until this week, the club had listed "match fitness" as the issue keeping him from being able to play. Now it's revealed that he has had a bum knee all this time.
As for a player that may be still out injured, there's Dillon Powers. Powers suffered an ankle injury in preseason and has not been on the 18-man roster for a match yet this season. He was reported to be a full participant in training last week, but there has been no official word on whether he will be available for selection, so I'm listing him as probable until there is official word from the team that he is fully match fit, or until he shows up in the 18-man gameday roster.
Players Back for Week Four
The biggest news from this week is that Dom Dwyer will be available for Saturday's match. In addition to getting Dwyer healthy to be in the Starting XI, it's also likely that Lamine Sane and Josue Colman could get their first starts of 2018. Sane would likely slot into the place left by Spector's absence, and Colman could play in the midfield along with Sacha Kljestan.
Justin Meram (Iraq) and Yoshimar Yotun (Peru) have also returned from International Duty with their respective national teams midweek and should be rested enough to play in Saturday's match as well. This means Orlando City will have the most projected starters available for the match that they have had all season, but they have still been unable to put together a week where everyone is healthy at the same time.
I know that Jason Kreis loves the 4-4-2 diamond formation, but I think this week we may see something a bit different. Inchy loved the 4-2-3-1 formation, and we might see that played out this weekend. At any rate, here's my notion of how the Starting XI could look for the match against the Red Bulls.
I have seen other projections with Yotun and Higuita as the holding midfielders, and that may happen. However, I think after Yotun's involvement in giving away the first goal of the NYCFC match, he's earned the punishment of starting on the bench to give him a chance to think more clearly about maintaining his focus throughout the match. If teams reward players for good results, then I'm all for handing out punishment when they screw up.
Tomorrow, look for my Preview and Prediction. I'll give you my best guess about the final score and I'll also offer up any late-breaking developments that I believe will impact the lineup or the match.
Do you think Jason Kreis will (or should) abandon the 4-4-2 formation for this match and try something different? Which players do you believe will give Orlando City the best chance to take three points from the Red Bulls on Saturday? Let me know in the comments below!