I think we can all agree that Wednesday's night D.C. United match against the San Jose Earthquakes was one of the toughest we'll face all year. Across the country on short rest. The highest-scoring team in the league against a decimated defense? A loss wasn't shocking on Wednesday. A loss would be shocking today.
The defense is still decimated and United is still coming off a cross-country flight on short rest, but the opponent is different. Toronto FC is in last place in the Eastern Conference, and has yet to collect a single MLS point.
We can get over Wednesday's loss pretty quickly. Anything less than three points today would be regrettable. In order to stay on pace in the East, United should aim to average 1.5 points per game. That means today's match is just short of a must-win.
Game time: 4:00 PM
Television: Comcast SportsNet Plus
Projected starting lineup: Since United used the healthiest version of what's been the team's best 11 on Wednesday, we should expect a few changes this afternoon. We think that may mean Bill Hamid finally returning between the pipes. The most likely back line consists of Daniel Woolard, Brandon McDonald, Robbie Russell, and Chris Korb, with Perry Kitchen ahead of them in defensive midfield. The top five could go in a couple different directions, but I'm predicting Nick DeLeon and Andy Najar on the wings, Dwayne De Rosario in the middle, and Maicon Santos and Hamdi Salihi up top.
Prediction: An early goal is vital in this match. More than other matches even. An early goal might cripple the weak TFC back line. From there, United could run away with this match. That's what this team needs to do, and that's my prediction. D.C. wins 3-1 with Santos, De Rosario, and Najar all scoring.
What are you drinking? Sam Adams Alpine Spring
This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.