Throw the Metros down the well!
I mean, um, the New York Red Bulls. Yeah, they're coming to town and man do we not like them. Now let's hope our beloved D.C. United can actually throw them down the well (ok, not actually) and get that sweet, sweet home win against our biggest rivals.
Here's what we think is going to happen:
Warning: homer pick incoming...
We about to let Red Bull know what time it is. They ain't ready, they're scared. They know we're starting to put it together while they falter. They don't have their engine in the middle, Dax McCarty, for this game so now they're wondering what they're going to do to combat Acosta and Marcelo running the middle. They're gonna catch this L, that's what they're gonna do. And they better just sit there and accept that. Lloyd Sam puts in 1 against his former team, Acosta nabs another and Patrick Mullins slots home a 3rd as the good guys win 3-0.
It's tempting to look at NYRB's 3W-0D-4L run in MLS play coming into this game, but it obscures the truth: The Metros are nothing special away from Red Bull Arena. They're capable of scoring - they've got 8 goals in their last 6 road games, including 6 in their last 3 - but they bleed goals. During those same 6 road games, they've conceded 11 times, including giving away a 2-0 lead in Philly and contriving to let Chicago (MLS's lowest-scoring team) score two on them. With United's improvements going forward, I think the Black-and-Red should be able to finally - finally! - win consecutive games. Mullins gives United the lead around the half hour mark, and Nyarko doubles it shortly after halftime. The Red Bulls get one back via some sort of set piece trickery, but despite a wide-open finish United hangs for a 2-1 victory.
The Metros have allowed exactly two goals in their last four away matches in the league. They have also drawn or lost their last six away matches in the league. One of those trends is going to continue, and it's the winless one. Lloyd Sam is going to score in the second half, and D.C. United is going to somehow, some way, make that stand up at RFK, on what should be a muggy and potentially stormy day.
I'm expecting this one to look a lot like the other games in this home stand. United comes out flying and looks like the better team through the first half, even getting off the mark to carry a 1-0 lead into halftime after Patrick Mullins slots home. DC get plenty of chances after the break but fail to capitalize before the Metros equalize off a set piece. 1-1 draw, and we're left hoping the Black-and-Red both continue the run of good form and also improve their goal scoring.
I'm going to take solace that the Metros' poor road record this year will trump over all, but I think the midfield duels with Marcelo Sarvas, Sacha Kljestan, Sean Davis, Luciano Acosta, Felipe and Jared Jeffrey will result in a red card or injury of some sort. Nevertheless, I'll retain some sort of intellectual honesty from my prediction that I made elsewhere and say DC wins 2-1, with Nyarko and Mullins trumping a goal from Omer Damari, whose presence may cause a headache or two for the Black-and-Red.
Guys, it's our rivals, it's at home, and we're on a pretty decent run. This one has got to be a win, and that's how I'm calling it. I'll have to go with Lloyd Sam with a goal against his former team, and add another from Patrick Mullins and hell, add another from Lucho Acosta. The Red Bulls will get one of their own, but in the end it's 3-1 and we all go home pretty damn pleased.
What do you see in your crystal ball for tomorrow? Let us know in the comments!