Tonight is the annual always-in-mid-spring matchup between our D.C. United and FC Dallas. Since MLS switched to a balanced schedule two seasons ago, the Dallas game has always seen a first of something good for the Black-and-Red. In 2012, it was the first real breakout performance, keying a big unbeaten run for the good guys. Last year, United scored their first set piece goal of the year down in Texas, but they'd go on to lose the game (because 2013). What will tonight's game have in store for us?
Time: 7pm EDT
Venue: Mighty RFK Stadium in the District of Columbia
TV: No regular coverage in the DMV, just the pay package MLS Direct Kick. But, note that starting next week against the Timbers, CSN's coverage will kick in, so there will be somewhat less room for snark on this line, at least for a few short months.
Live Streaming: If you're close enough to DC. watch the game (with Dallas announcers) on dcunited.com/live. Wherever you are, you can watch the game on MLS Live, as well.
Projected DC XI: I expect Ben Olsen to wait another week with the newly healthy Luis Silva and stick with the flat 4-4-2 he's used in the playmaker's absence. The question is whether Bill Hamid will find himself back in goal or will also be waiting another week before jumping back into the lineup. Given Olsen's past decisions, my hunch is we'll get backup Andrew Dykstra for the fourth straight game, but neither way would surprise me. In front of the 'keeper, it's all the same as last week: Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke, Cristian Fernandez; Nick DeLeon, Davy Arnaud, Perry Kitchen, Chris Rolfe; Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola.
Previews: Be sure to check out our StoryStream for our in-depth coverage of tonight's matchup, all in one convenient spot. You'll find a podcast preview, a question exchange with a Dallas blogger, the best damn scouting report on the Toros you'll see anywhere, and lots more. So go check it out. For the visitors' perspective, go visit our SB Nation colleagues down at Big D Soccer.
Prediction: Dallas hasn't looked great against teams that can defend, and - odd as it may seem - right now United look like a team that can defend. I imagine FCD will get their traditional set piece goal, but that'll be it. The Black-and-Red find a way to hang two on their guests and run out with the points. 2-1 good guys.
What Are You Drinking?: Today feel's like an IPA kind of day to me, so let's go with Flying Dog's Raging Bitch Belgian IPA out of Frederick, Md.
As always, if you can't make it out to RFK Stadium, this is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation. Vamos!