This must surely be one of the great cripple fights in the history of Major League Soccer. D.C. United, riding a 12-match league winless streak, host Toronto FC, themselves winless in 11. That's a combined 23 matches between the two sides since either of them collected three points. Both will obviously try to change their fortunes - and avoid the inside track for the wooden spoon - with a victory tonight. Here goes nothing.
Time: 7 pm EDT
Venue: The crumbling, but lovable, monolith that is RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington, DC
TV: Comcast SportsNet for the metro area, and live streaming on MLS Live for everybody else
Projected D.C. Lineup: Lots of injuries to deal with, but look for Olsen to go with his 4-2-3-1 in front of Bill Hamid. Chris Korb and new acquisition Alain Rochat will man the fullback positions with Daniel Woolard partnering either Dejan Jakovic or Brandon McDonald in the middle. Perry Kitchen and John Thorrington will hold down the center of midfield, Kyle Porter and Nick DeLeon running the wings. Dwayne De Rosario will occupy space behind the target man, who could be any of Casey Townsend, Lionard Pajoy, Rafael Teixeira de Souza or even Michael Seaton (who is normally on-loan to Richmond but was not in at their home game last night).
Complicating things further are lingering fitness issues with Canadians Kyle Porter and Dejan Jakovic, both of whom are listed as questionable for tonight. If Porter can't go, we could see Taylor Kemp or Pajoy take over a spot on the wing. Jakovic's absense would just pave the way for McDonald to return to the starting XI.
Prediction: Toronto doesn't get blown out, but they don't win, either. With Thorrington giving the midfield much needed stability and forward oomph and De Ro finally remembering who he is, I think United manage to grab a goal early and another one late to run out 2-0 winners.
What Are You Drinking?: I've got my growler of The Tradition ready to hit Lot 8, and that's what I'll be drinking right up until I head into the stadium. From there, I'll probably grab a Latin beer at the pupusa stand. (And also pupusas, but you can't drink those, can you?)
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