Time to get a win. That has to be the goal tonight for Ben Olsen & Co. as they enter their fourth game of the 2014 MLS season. D.C. United host the New England Revolution tonight, and the Revs aren't exactly a powerhouse team, especially when missing one of their most important midfielders in Kelyn Rowe. (Of course, United will also be without important midfield asset Luis Silva.) The defense has to show up, the midfield need to compete, and the forwards absolutely have to play well.
It's time to get that first win of the year.
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How should DCU replace Luis Silva?
Luis Silva's injury against the Chicago Fire has left United with a big question to answer ahead of Saturday's game against the New England Revolution. How do you want to see Ben Olsen cope with the loss of his only experienced midfield playmaker?
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Time: 7pm EDT
Venue: RFK Memorial Stadium in the District of Columbia
TV: Fat chance.
Live Streaming: The match will be available, with New England's commentary team, on MLS Live and dcunited.com/live.
Projected DC XI: Two big questions for this week's lineup: (1) Will Olsen stick with the 4-1-3-2 he's returned to this season, even without Luis Silva, who has played in the central attacking midfield role? and (2) Will newcomer Chris Rolfe slot into the starting lineup or begin his first match as a United player on the bench? My hunch is that Benny will stick with the 4-1-3-2 and Rolfe will appear only as a substitute today. Look for a lineup of Bill Hamid; Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke, Cristian Fernandez; Perry Kitchen; Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud, Lewis Silva; Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola - with lots of interchanging among the midfield band of 3 and the forward pairing.
Previews: Be sure to check out our extensive coverage here at B&RU, including a podcast preview, an early lineup projection, a question exchange with a Revs blogger and the best scouting report on New England you'll find anywhere. Oh, and plenty more. Over on United's website, they have a tactical look at today's game as well as their usual video preview. For the New England perspective, be sure to check out our sister site The Bent Musket.
Prediction: 1-0 to the Black-and-Red. I think United manage to disrupt New England's midfield enough to keep them from finding their rhythm, and Lee Nguyen alone isn't enough to best Bill Hamid, who keeps his first clean sheet of the new season. At the other end, Eddie Johnson gets the game-winner, making up for that wrongly-disallowed goal for the USMNT on Wednesday.
What Are You Drinking?: For some reason, today is just screaming for Flying Dog's Underdog Atlantic Lager, so that's what I'll be drinking at the tailgate.
You know the drill, folks. This is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation, so have at it in the comments.