First-place D.C. United will head north this weekend to face second-place New England Revolution, a classic MLS matchup if ever there was one. Given the two-decades-long history between these clubs, it wasn't too difficult to find a video for today's Throwback Thursday post that paralleled this weekend's affair. But the number of parallels and connections surprised even me.
First, the standings. I'm not sure where things stood at the time of the match in 2007, but the season would end with United in first and the Revs second in the East, just how they'll enter Saturday. Tommy Soehn will be on the sidelines (assistant for New England) just as he was eight years ago (in his first season as United head coach after being promoted from Peter Nowak's top assistant). Even with guys like Jaime Moreno and Luciano Emilio up top, United had plenty of the blue collar we associate with them now, which you can't miss on Josh Gros' opener in the video. In recent weeks, Ben Olsen's side has turned to new contributors, and back in August 2007, the Black-and-Red got a lovely through ball assist from Guy-Roland Kpene. United will play a west-coast team on short rest immediately after this game, just as they did back then.
Okay, maybe I'm stretching. Obviously lots of things are different. United's top attacking threats will be missing this weekend as Fabian Espindola and Luis Silva (not to mention Nick DeLeon) are all out due to injury, and I'm sure we remember how 2007's D.C. United fared without the likes of Moreno and Emilio on the field. But that leads to another difference: last weekend in Philly notwithstanding, los Capitalinos of 2015 have found ways to get results even without their top threats.
If we want to see a paraellel result to 2007's, they'll need to find a way to do it again.