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GameThread 32: D.C. United Vs. Toronto FC

If you were going to pick any opponent in MLS to face in a must-win match, you'd pick TFC right? United has a chance to come a point away from wrapping up a playoff bid today against the last place team in the league.

Larry French - Getty Images

This is the first must-win match of the 2012 season for D.C. United. A win would put the team six points clear of the playoff line, and one win away from essentially clinching a return to the playoffs for the first time since 2007. A win would guarantee that the Columbus Crew could do no better than tie United for the final playoff spot, with D.C. holding a significant advantage in the tiebreaker of Goals Scored.

The opponent today is Toronto FC - last place, tired, easily frustrated, struggling to keep the ball out of their goal. This is exactly who we want to face in a must-win match. All United has to do is take advantage of a great opportunity.

Game time: 1:00 PM.

TV: Comcast SportsNet

Projected starting lineup: With Toronto employing two defensive midfielders, this might not be the match for Branko Boskovic to play the deep-lying role that he mostly played earlier in the year. But in the absence of Dwayne De Rosario, this United team needs Boskovic, so I'm going to predict that he'll play the withdrawn forward role that saw him score his first MLS goal against Chivas USA. With Lionard Pajoy above him as the target forward and Perry Kitchen and Marcelo Saragosa behind him in central midfield, Boskovic will have the freedom to find the gaps in the TFC defense and spray the ball outside to Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon on the wings. The back line will once again consist of Chris Korb, Dejan Jakovic, Brandon McDonald, and Andy Najar, with Bill Hamid in goal.

Prediction: I'm calling for United to close out the season series against Toronto with nine points. United will win 2-0.

What are you drinking? Its early, so I'm drinking Wolfgang Puck's Breakfast In Bed coffee.

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