Last week, we felt bizarrely optimistic about playing the New York Red Bulls on the road, and it turned out that we were dumb with that optimism. D.C. United lost 2-0, and in retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have expected much more than that.
This week, we are still feeling relatively optimistic, but hear us out, okay?
D.C. United was poor against the New York Red Bulls, but the Dixie Wanderers are another story. The New England Revolution have a bad defense, which is just what the doctor ordered for United, even if it is on the road. I will boldly predict a 2-1 victory for United, with Lucho Acosta scoring in the first half and Patrick Mullins coming off the bench to score late to bring three points home.
Donald Wine II
The team that played in Jersey last weekend will not be the team that heads to Foxborough this weekend. I think that the team will play with a sense of urgency and, while allowing a goal, escape with a 2-1 victory. Acosta and Franklin both end up with goals, while the defense allows one late to make it interesting.
No Birnbaum, no Nyarko, possibly no DeLeon. Patrick Mullins possibly coming back from injury, most likely off the bench. I think Benny runs out a conservative gameplan to deny Lee Nguyen space in the midfield with a low block. Unfortunately, as we learned last week, Jose Ortiz doesn't have the speed or the understanding with Luciano Acosta to provide a credible threat on the counter. I think Bill Hamid does some Bill Hamid things to keep it close, and Lucho scores United's first road goal of 2017 against a shaky Revs back line, but los Capitalinos drop their second straight, 2-1 on a Juan Agudelo brace.
So I write this early Thursday morning, I figure D.C. United will have a centerback pairing of Kofi Opare and Bobby Boswell, harkening back to early 2015, and Sebastien Le Toux, Lamar Neagle, Nick DeLeon or character actor Brian Dennehy will start at left midfield, while Jose Ortiz will presumably start at forward though possibly on a short leash with Patrick Mullins ready to go. They'll be playing a Revs team that will be on their third game in a week, and the difference between them and us at this point? We have a game in hand, with their extra game being a five goal romp over Minnesota. So either this will be the dynamic scoreless draw similar to last March, or the Black and Red sneak out a 2-2 draw, with Jose Ortiz giving the Revs backline fits before Lucho brings things level.
United has looked bad on the road and will be missing several starters, but the Revs are facing their third game of the week and Ben Olsen has had Jay Heaps' number in recent years. As such:
Grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind Kei Kamara goal grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind Lloyd Sam equalizer grind grind grind grind grind. 1-1.
I'm hoping that the injuries D.C. has to deal with will be offset by New England's fixture fatigue. New England is a team that doesn't shoot a lot (10.6 per game, 19th in the league) or allow many shots (10.3 per game, second in the league), so opportunities to score aren't likely to be plentiful. I see United holding on for an ugly 0-0 draw on a cool, cloudy New England night.
Okay, it was naive of me to believe that DCU would get a result at Red Bull Arena. But! Even though the Black-and-Red are proving once again that they are not great at away games, winning against the Revs on the road seems like a much more doable task. And I’m doing this all on gut feeling, folks. This one ends 2-1 to the visitors, with goals from Lloyd Sam and Patrick Mullins off the bench.
What are you predicting for tomorrow’s game? Let us know in the comments, but first! It’s a very special silly poll of the week:
It’s Jason’s birthday! What are you getting him?
This poll is closed
Just three solid points for D.C. United
An audiobook series on building your brand, with complimentary Twitter follows from marketing "experts"
All the Maryland flag gear you can find, with bonus Old Bay thrown in
Some fine, rare liquor you unearthed from, like, the depths of the sea