Following today's rematch with the New England Revolution, D.C. United gets a well-earned three-week break from MLS action. Hopefully there will be more than just one U.S. Open Cup match during that break, but regardless of that, no team wants to enter an extended break with a loss as its most recent result. Or even a home draw. No, you want to enter a break with a win.
United has already defeated the Revolution once this year, and there's no reason to think that the team won't do it again here tonight. It could be argued that both teams have improved since that last meeting, but only one team has improved so much as to now being capable of claiming first place in the Eastern Conference with a win. That team is United, and first place is the goal.
Game time: 7:30 PM
Television: Nada. This is one of only a small handful of matches without local TV coverage. So your options are limited to attending the match at RFK Stadium (that's what you should be doing), watching on MLS Live (that's what I'll be doing), or subscribing to your cable company's Direct Kick package. If none of those are enticing, you can follow along with the conversation here, but we won't be sharing any illegal links per SB Nation policy.
Projected starting lineup: Coming off two-straight home wins and with a good chance to claim a third, we shouldn't expect to see many changes to Ben Olsen's current preferred lineup. While Olsen may elect to use this opportunity to work early-season MVP contenders Emiliano Dudar and Maicon Santos back in the starting lineup since both are listed as probable, I think we're more likely to see the status quo. That will mean a back line of Daniel Woolard, Brandon McDonald, Dejan Jakovic, and Chris Korb, with Bill Hamid retaining his starting job despite Joe Willis' return to full health. Its not improbable that either Chris Pontius or Nick DeLeon will be back on the field at left midfield, but I think they'll probably both be on the bench instead, with a possibility of returning as a late substitute. Instead, Lewis Neal and Andy Najar will occupy the wide roles with Branko Boskovic and Perry Kitchen in the middle. Dwayne De Rosario and Hamdi Salihi will start up top.
Prediction: Although the Revolution will be the best offensive team that United has faced in several weeks, Hamid and his line will still be up for the challenge. I'm looking for United to expand on their victory from earlier in the year and finish with a 3-1 win.
What are you drinking? Definitely not Sam Adams, tea, or anything else Boston-related. I'll be rushing home from a party at my brother-in-law's house to hopefully catch the kickoff, and if I know my brother, I'll probably be drinking Corona most of the day.
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