The 2014 preseason has officially begun. Sure, there's something to be said about ending the year on a high-note, but with the U.S. Open Cup now officially added to D.C. United's unmatched trophy collection and nothing at all to play for in the four remaining MLS games this year, the time has come to turn both eyes to the future. Ben Olsen's squad has the chance to play spoiler to some playoff hopefuls, but it will be infinitely more satisfying and useful to learn once and for all who can contribute going into 2014.
None of that means that fans don't also want to celebrate the club's 13th major trophy with another win tonight against the Chicago Fire, though. We're kind of complicated that way.
Time: 8 pm EDT
Venue: Venerable RFK Memorial Stadium
TV: NBCSN - Yes, you read that right. This game is nationally televised because of course it is. Troll so hard, United. Online, you should be able to see the game on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Match Previews: Benuski predicts tonight's lineup, and ChestRockwell gives his scouting report on the Fire. I go behind enemy lines with the guys over at SB Nation's Fire site Hot Time in Old Town. MLSSoccer.com gives the match some video treatment.
Projected D.C. Lineup: Bill Hamid in goal, behind Chris Korb, Ethan White, Conor Shanosky and Dennis Iapichino. Perry Kitchen and Jared Jeffrey in central midfield with Nick DeLeon, Luis Silva and Chris Pontius running ahead of them. Conor Doyle up top, trying to force Dave Kasper and Ben Olsen to exercise the option on his loan deal.
Match Prediction: United's feeling good, and the Fire are in a bit of the doldrums. Chicago's a bad road team, to boot. Give me the Black-and-Red, 2-0 on a Doyle brace. (What? I like him, and it fits perfectly into my narrative.)
What Are You Drinking: It's good enough for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Champions, and it's good enough for me. As the whiteboard said, "Regen: Champagne." I'll be tailgating in style with the bubbly stuff.
This is the place for the fans of any team with 13 major domestic and international trophies to chime in with pre-game, in-game and post-game conversation.
More from B&RU:
- Setting the Stage for October: 2013's Final Act
- Will D.C. United be the next team to receive a "league designated player"?
- Dave Kasper offered multi-year extension by D.C. United?
- D.C. United won The Cup, now let's update their SuperMagic Numbers
- The Last Word On D.C. United's Improbable U.S. Open Cup Win
- D.C. United fans do the Open Cup right (UPDATED)