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GameThread 8: D.C. United Vs. Seattle Sounders

I'm reminded of the week of July 15, 2010 . The circumstances, and the level of urgency, were quite similar, but hopefully the results will be different.

At that time, DC United was about to play two home games in one week. The first match was against the Seattle Sounders, and the second match was against the MLS Cup runners-up. United captured 0 points from those two home matches, and we declared it the end of the 2010 season .

With tonight's visit from the Sounders and Saturday's vist from FC Dallas , the season isn't quite on the line. Its still early. But if United expects to compete for a spot in the playoffs this season, they MUST WIN matches at home against second tier opponents.

These are the games that separate playoff teams from lottery teams.  We know that we can beat some of the weakest teams in the league. Now we need to prove we can compete with teams near our level. Losing at home to top tier talent and on the road to second tier talent isn't enough to cause me to lose faith in our long-term goals. Earning less than four points this week might.

Game time: 7:30 PM

Television: No local coverage. You'll need to buy the MatchDay Live package from or the Direct Kick package from DirecTV. Or just do the prudent thing and head to RFK Stadium.

Projected starting lineup: Usually I'm correct at predicting at least 10 of 11 starters. Tonight is far tougher since Ben Olsen has implied that we should expect to see some changes. But until we hear otherwise (and of course I'll update in the comments when available) I'm going with Bill Hamid in goal; Marc Burch , Dejan Jakovic , Perry Kitchen , and Chris Korb along the back; Chris Pontius and Andy Najar on the wings; Dax McCarty and Clyde Simms in central midfield; and Charlie Davies and Josh Wolff up top.

This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.