GameThread 27: D.C. United Vs. Real Salt Lake

Some are saying that tonight's visit to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake is a must-win match for D.C. United. It's not. At least not in the usual context of a must-win match.

This match doesn't specifically have major playoff implications in the Eastern Conference. Not at this time of the year, and not in the western half of the country. But in a different context, this might actually be a must-win match. Because United needs to show its fans and itself that it can win matches on the road. For a team to make noise in the playoffs, it has to be able to earn points away from home. Well this United team has lost five-straight matches. That's a problem that can and should be fixed tonight.

Game time: 9:00 PM

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Projected starting lineup: It might be hard to see Ben Olsen making many changes to the lineup that competed so strongly against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night. But guys like Lionard Pajoy, Andy Najar, Marcelo Saragosa, and Perry Kitchen have logged a high number of minutes in the past two weeks, so its possible that we could see Olsen mix things up tonight, given that the match has fewer playoff implications than the last three we've faced.

Still, I think the starting lineup will be largely the same. This would mean Pajoy and Dwayne De Rosario up top, Bill Hamid in goal, and a back line of Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, and Najar. The one change I could see happening would be Lewis Neal in place of Saragosa next to Kitchen in central midfield. Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon will occupy the wings, giving Olsen the flexibility again to move to a 4-3-3 if he feels it necessary.

Of course I could also be very wrong, and we could see a lineup that surprises us. Olsen has done it before, and he doesn't give an eff what we think.

Prediction: I'd love to see United get a road point to gain some confidence heading into this next short break. Let's go with a 1-1 draw.

What are you drinking? Pumpkin spice cappuccino from Wawa

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