United are on the road again—is it time for a step forward? Is it time for another step back? Where is this road going, anyway?
We're actually split pretty evenly on this one, so feel free to choose sides in the comments. #TEAMNOPOINTS wait what am I doing
Last week was a tough loss at Philly and it doesn't get any easier with the travel to play Sporting. KC has been clicking lately, particularly at home. Will our team respond? I think they can get enough to salvage the draw. 1-1, goals by Dwyer and Saborio send the Black-and-Red back home with a point.
For some reason—despite being half a continent away, in a different conference, and against a team that doesn't really play anything like the same style—this game feels like a redux of the 1-0 loss in Philadelphia. Neither team creates much going forward, and a mistake late costs United a share of the points. Phila... I mean Sporks take it 1-0 through Roger Espinoza, and we're glad for the "quick" turnaround to next Wednesday.
Hopefully, Acosta's frustration from last week doesn't hurt his performance on the field. If he's in a good mindset, I predict another puzzlingly ridiculous swing in the week-to-week roller coaster of DCU's season. I wouldn't bet the farm on it (though I did predict last week's game correctly, so!), but DCU pulls out a road win, 1-0. Goal by Acosta.
I started writing this: "In a game where D.C. misses Steve Birnbaum and Alvaro Saborio and Sporting Kansas City miss Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Soni Mustivar to Copa America call-ups, where the fourth and fifth fewest-scoring teams will play on National TV, I'll irrationally go the other way and say we'll get a pantload of goals by these clubs."
Then I took at look at something, and changed my mind. Anyone care to guess the last time D.C. won on the road, anywhere? If you had a August 19, 2015 CCL win over Arabe Unido on the tip of your tongue, go claim your prize. That's 12 straight winless road games, across CCL and MLS (regular and postseason).
So yeah, KC wins 2-0.
This team has been so up and so down this year, so in theory they're due for an up swing. On the road against the Sporks is always a tough game, but they have been just as inconsistent as D.C. United this year, so perhaps there is hope. Give me a hard fought 1-0, with the return of Bill Hamid preventing Sporting KC from doing anything.
I am really not looking forward to seeing Benny Feilhaber play against United with Jurgen Klinsmann in the same area code for a friendly. I actually see United taking an early lead before Feilhaber assists on the equalizer and then scores the winner himself. And then he lifts his jersey in celebration to reveal "Are you watching, Jurgen?" in both English and German on a t-shirt. What? It could happen.
2-1 Kansas City. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
DC is an up-and-down team, which is bad. However, since last week saw United produce a sloppy performance punctuated by a stoppage time goal, we have to assume that this week will be good...right?
Well, sort of. Sporting is a mistake-prone mess right now who are vulnerable to psychologically crumbling when they don't get their way quickly. I think United will see their way through the early storm before copying RSL's playbook and forcing a turnover that becomes a goal for Fabian Espindola. That should set the Black-and-Red up to counter their way to a win, but I suspect some wayward finishing will undo those plans. KC will eventually scrape out a goal from Dom Dwyer, and United will have to survive a late onslaught to get back on the plane with a 1-1 draw.
My optimism is waning. The gut-punch feeling of the late, late conceded goal against the Union has not quite left me, and I just can't see this team making an away game against SKC their moment of "see, we're not so bad!" I think they are just bad enough—to lose 1-0.
What are you predicting? Hit the comments!