June has been a bit of a mixed bag for Loudoun United, but the trouble has also had some encouraging results. Now that the team’s game on Sunday is the halfway point of their 2022 USL Championship campaign, and the team has a two-week break before hitting the back end of their season where they play four of their next five at home, tonight they get a chance to extend their time. Tonight’s opponent FC Tulsa is on a modest three-game home winning streak with a chance to jump a couple spots in the standings to get within a point.
Key Player: Abdullatif Aboukura
We’re all rightfully cheering what DC’s U-16 team did yesterday in the MLS Next Cup, but on a related note, it’s June for the 17-year-old Egyptian:
This will be touched upon a little more shortly, but while this is the highlight reel of his work, pay particular attention to what he does with the ball. I’m going back to what Sami Guderi said about his pass that set up Aboukoura’s first goal against Phoenix, if the run directs the pass and finds that space now for shots and frees up short and long passing, that’s very encouraging. The odds are in his favor.
Location: Segra Field (Leesburg, VA)
Kickoff Time: 7:30 pm Eastern
The planned Loudoun 11/Yaru is starting DC United Lending: The U-20 games are just wrapping up and the U-16s are enjoying that win, a mostly Loudoun/DC centric lineup, with an emphasis on Loudoun since DC has a game tomorrow. Jeremy Garray should return, Jacob Green and Gaussau join Samake as loan losses, and Green is most likely the starter. Missing Joe Rice today, the team is likely to field compatriot Dane Jacomen in support of Luis Zamudio. Jacqueline was recently loaned to the Charlotte Independence and has taken a shellacking (giving up seven goals in one game), but Charlotte seems like a chore to get organized so he can focus on things here for a minute.
Starters: Luis Zamudio; Jalen Robinson, Carson vom Steeg, Grant Lillard; Green, Nicky Downs, Housou Landry, Abdul Zanne; Aboukoura, Skage Simonsen, Michael Gamble
Bench: Jacome, Samake, Rio Hope-Gund, Gare, Azad Liadi, Tyler Freeman, Christian Fletcher
Key Tulsa Player/Former DC Players: JJ Williams
Not really a player, but former coach Michael Encin was the subject of DC interest before settling with Hernan Losada (Encin’s contract was not renewed and former MLS goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is the interim gaffer). Williams enjoyed some breakout success with the Birmingham Legion between stints with Atlanta United and Columbus Crew SC before moving to Tulsa and led the team in goals (8), assists (2), shots (41), and chances created (14), and today Vom Steig or Lillard Gets more attention from them.
Referee: Wes Coyette
Available streaming: ESPN+ (Click to subscribe to ESPN+, and your friends at B&RU get some cash!)
What are you drinking?: Between a small covid outbreak in my old class (and the 101 flu he and I shared last night), tea and electrolytes for myself at home.
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