Congratulations, D.C. United fans. You made it through the cold, dark winter and have emerged on the other side stronger, wiser, and somewhat oddly more handsome. The "winter," of course, refers not only to the literal never ending cold that has beset the DMV since the winter solstice but also to the entirety of the 2013 MLS season. You made it. And now it is time we move forward into the future. That starts tonight against the visiting Columbus Crew, who will be looking to get the Gregg Berhalter era started with three points. Our job is not to let that happen.
Time: 7pm EST (last time for a while I'll get to use standard time in one of these posts - btw, set your clocks ahead when you get home from the game tonight)
Venue: Venerable Robert Francis Kennedy Memorial Stadium in the District of Columbia
TV: Ha! Fat chance.
Streaming: United will have a stream up on dcunited.com/live website for anybody within the CSN Mid-Atlantic viewing area. Unfortunately, if you're outside of the local market, you'll have to sign up for MLS Live or MLS Direct Kick.
Projected D.C. XI: This should actually be pretty straight forward, which is a bit surprising given all the roster churn we've had this year. Bill Hamid will start in goal. The all new and all improved back four will comprise Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke and Christian Fernandez. Perry Kitchen will hold down the center of the park behind the trio of Davy Arnaud, Luis Silva and Nick DeLeon. Up front, Ben Olsen will run out his newly minted designated player Eddie Johnson partnering Fabian Espindola.
Previews: Be sure to check out everything in our Week 1 StoryStream - we've got a scouting report, a chat with a Crew blogger, predictions, our Filibuster podcast and more. The team site has also put together their own preview, of course.
Prediction: As I said in our predictions thread yesterday, I see a high-scoring draw that will give both coaches acid reflux for the next week. 2-2, with Columbus scoring first through the chaos following an Higuain set piece before United pull one back via DeLeon and take the lead with a tally from the Grown Ass Man only to give it up with a late penalty.
What Are You Drinking?: Normally, I'm very live and let live when it comes to this question, but today there really is a right answer. You're drinking The Tradition. Well at least I am. And if you're not, just know that somewhere in Lot 8, I'm judging you.
Welcome to your gamethread, folks. This is your place