D.C. United takes on the draw kings of MLS this evening when they invite the Chicago Fire into RFK Stadium. The Fire now have the two seasons with the most draws in the history of the league; however, the Black and Red United staff does not think that they will improve on that number today. Let us know what you think will happen in the comments!
It's the last home game of the regular season and DCU is hosting the 2nd-worst team in the Eastern Conference. But, 1 point and DCU secures the #1 seed in the playoffs and a spot in the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League. Look for the team to seize control early, even with Silva out, and dominate throughout. A Chris Pontius goal gives us the point we need and an Espindola rocket ensures it's 3 in the point column. 2-0 United over the Fire.
A big crowd and nice Fall weather will make for a great atmosphere at RFK stadium on Saturday. D.C. United has something to play for, while Chicago is just playing for a modicum of pride. This is a game in which the expected narrative will play out according to script as the Black-and-Red win 3-1 with goals from DeLeon (he's due), Pontius (he's back), and EJ (he's motivated). Espindola nabs two of the three assists, and Bill Hamid will be nominated once again for MLS Save of the Week. And the stands will be bouncing in celebration. Lots and lots of bouncing.
D.C. United has tied Chicago 2-2 and 3-3 this season. So what the hell, I say 4-4, point and Conference title acquired. Realistically, my guess it that things would be closer to a 2-1 or 1-0 score for D.C., with goals from Fabian Espindola and Eddie Johnson, and another Bill Hamid Save of the Week that everyone will marvel at yet nobody will bloody well give the credit that is due.
Chicago has been frustrated by their unprecedented stretch of draws. They will come into RFK eager to come off that pattern one way or the other. And it will be the other. DC takes 3 points. Goals by Fabi, EJ, Pontius. Hamid has a clean sheet. And there will be much talk of playoff momentum in the post-game presser.
This is not a good Chicago Fire team by any stretch of the imagination, and Ben Olsen is talking about establishing a playoff rhythm starting now. Playoff teams need to be ruthless when they have the advantage, and that's precisely what the Black-and-Red will have all over the field. Chicago will be organized and pesky, but ultimately the home team will step the game up to a level the visitors can't handle. 2-0 United, goals from Perry Kitchen and - at long last - Steve Birnbaum buries a header on a corner kick.
Adam M Taylor
Last week, we saw a professional 3-1 win over a determined, if not particularly good, team on the outside of the playoffs looking in. I think we see precisely the same thing at RFK this weekend. United won't confuse anybody looking for Barcelona, but I expect them to come out flying and to see the game out. Steve Birnbaum will get his first career goal off a set piece, and EJ will net the eventual game-winner, with Pontius providing the final margin over a Quincy Amerikwa strike.