Today, most D.C. United fans are celebrating the independence of this great country. In the world of CONCACAF, however, it's just a Friday. And Friday is when CONCACAF loves to drop major announcements. However, this week it seemes that CONCACAF wanted to also get a jump on the holiday weekend, as late yesterday they released the final schedule for the group stages of the 2014-15 CONCACAF Champions League.
D.C. United, having known since late May their draw into Group 4 along with Jamaican side Waterhouse FC and Panama's Tauro FC, now knows when it will host both teams at R.F.K. Stadium as well as when it will make the trips down to Kingston and Panama City in group stage play. The 4 matches add to an already packed final three months of the D.C. United season. Only the winner of each group will make it to the knockout stage, which means that United will look to make its mark in both Kingston and Panama City against tough opponents if it wants to advance in the tournament.
D.C. United's first match will see them welcome Waterhouse FC to RFK Stadium on Wednesday, August 20th, creating a stretch where they will have 3 games in 7 days as part of a very loaded August schedule. United will then have two CCL matchups a week apart in September, traveling to Kingston on Tuesday, September 16th to visit Waterhouse FC and then hosting Tauro FC at RFK Stadium on Wednesday, September 24th. The final week of the Major League Soccer regular season will see D.C. United compete in 3 countries, as the final CCL matchup will be in Panama City against Tauro FC on Tuesday, October 21st, sandwiched between the last MLS regular season home game on October 18th against the Chicago Fire and and their last regular season match on October 26th at the Montreal Impact.
As we begin the second half of the MLS season slate, Coach Ben Olsen will undoubtedly be hoping to get everyone on the roster healthy. With 7 games in August, 6 in September, and 5 in October (on top of a packed July), everyone on the roster will be called upon for minutes as D.C. United seeks to solidify playoff position and make it out of the group stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.
Which game are you looking forward to the most? Which road trip has you scrambling to your favorite internet search engine to check on flights?
Full D.C. United CONCACAF Champions League Group 4 Schedule (home team listed first):
D.C. United-Waterhouse FC: Wednesday, August 20th, 8:00pm Eastern
Waterhouse-D.C. United: Tuesday, September 16th, 8:00pm Eastern
D.C. United-Tauro FC: Wednesday, September 24th, 8:00pm Eastern
Tauro FC-D.C. United: Tuesday, October 21st, 8:00pm Eastern