It's go time. D.C. United go for their second straight win tonight, taking on the team they've tormented in every imaginable way since 1996, the New York Red Bulls (née:
MetroScum MetroStars). The Atlantic Cup rivals couldn't shared exactly one thing in common last season: each won a trophy. Beyond that, they couldn't be more different. United's trophy, in the US Open Cup, was lucky #13, while the Red Bulls claimed the first major championship, the Supporters' Shield, in their 19th season; Metro carried the best regular season record, while D.C. set historic records for futility. But they both got silverware. Go figure.
In any event, neither team has impressed so far in the young 2014 season, each claiming a mere four points. The Metros are winless this year (drawing four and losing one), and the Black-and-Red will try to keep it that way. The 2014 edition of the Atlantic Cup kicks off tonight.
Time: 7pm (moved back from the originally scheduled 2:30)
Venue: Venerable Robert Francis Kennedy Memorial Stadium on the banks of the Anacostia River in the District of Columbia
NBCSN Nope - originally planned to be nationally televised, the network suits came to their senses and dropped their coverage. Nobody in the local area has picked it up.
Online Streaming: If you're in the immediate D.C. area - I understand as far away as Richmond still counts - you can watch the game (with - shudder - Jersey-friendly commentators) on dcunited.com/live. If you live farther away, get thee to MLS Live!
Projected DC XI: Ben Olsen will have one forced change tonight, as Lewis Neal is suspended for a bad tackle (or two) last weekend against the Revs. Luckily, there's a readymade stand-in in the form of a newly acquired man from Chicago, who just so happened to score in that same game. Look for the usual 4132: Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke, Cristian Fernandez; Perry Kitchen; Chris Rolfe, Davy Arnaud, Nick DeLeon; Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola. Expect lots of interchanging among the front five.
Previews: We've got our usual crop of previews for this one, including a question exchange with a Red Bulls blogger, a podcast preview (featuring a different Red Bulls blogger/podcaster), staff and reader predictions and the best scouting report of the Metros you'll see today. All that and more in our Story Stream for this week. Of course, dcunited.com has their own previews, including a look at strategy and a video preview. If you're interested in seeing evil's perspective on the match (spoiler: they don't know they're the bad guys), be sure to head over to Once a Metro to check out their offerings (to their dark, Austrian gods).
Prediction: 1-0 to the Black-and-Red. Despite having lots of the same names, this is not the same Metro from the end of last season. I think United manages to frustrate the visitors' midfield, denying Thierry Henry of service and forcing him to drop ever-deeper to find the ball, all while Bill Hamid comes up big when he has to. At the other end, Fabian Espindola finds Eddie Johnson to put the US international on the board.
What Are You Drinking?: Well, you'll just have to come down to Lot 8 and find out. Our big B&RU meetup/tailgate is going on down at the stadium from the moment this post is published until some reasonable time just before kickoff. So come meet the other members of this community!
If you can't make it to East Capitol Street for whatever reason, I understand. As always, this is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation. Vamos!