D.C. United may have just played the Philadelphia Union a week ago in the U.S. Open Cup, but tonight's match is actually bigger in the long term. This United team has high aspirations for the postseason. And the team proved in June that it can win at home, as playoff teams must do. RFK is officially a fortress. But now United heads out on the road with two straight matches against Eastern Conference rivals. Tonight against the Union, and then next Sunday against the New York Red Bulls.
This game also marks the first of Branko Boskovic's four remaining games under contract with United. The biggest storyline of the summer for this team continues. Will Boskovic earn his stay? Will he even get the chance?
Game time: 7:00 PM
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Projected starting lineup: With almost the entire team at full strength, Ben Olsen will be thankful to have lots of difficult decisions to make, especially when concerning the High Five. Since Boskovic is listed as probable with an abductor strain, I think he'll find himself beginning on the bench tonight, with Dwayne De Rosario returning to boss the central midfield. That will leave Hamdi Salihi and Maicon Santos starting at forward, with Chris Pontius set to come off the bench. Nick DeLeon and Andy Najar will occupy the wings, with Perry Kitchen behind them in the defensive midfield role. The back line will feature Daniel Woolard, Emiliano Dudar, Brandon McDonald, and Robbie Russell. Bill Hamid will be in goal.
Prediction: Playoff teams also win on the road against weaker opponents. That's what needs to happen tonight, to give United back its swagger heading into New York. I'm calling a 1-0 victory.
What are you drinking? The last of my six-pack of Alexandria's own Port City Porter.
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