Remember when New York City FC beat D.C. United 4-0? Me neither, I’ve blocked it from my brain and that game is in the dumpster where it belongs.
Now, NYCFC are coming to United’s turf, and the Black-and-Red are coming off their first win of the season. It wasn’t the most comprehensive win ever, perhaps, but it was still a win, and this team needs whatever confidence boost it can get.
We’re not too quick to hand DCU three points in this one, though. And that David Villa guy, man, we’ve basically all just accepted that he will score.
Donald Wine II
The Black-and-Red and the fans have new vigor after last week’s victory and this week they face a tough NYCFC team that pummeled them 4-0 in the Bronx a few weeks ago. On the face, not much has changed from both teams since then. But, on the big field of RFK, the hope is that DCU can expose the Pigeons by spreading out the play and not allowing them to play the compact style that is necessary at Yankee Stadium. The defense will likely allow in a David Villa goal, but goals by Ortiz and Neagle will be the difference. 2-1 United, in a game that will see Bill Hamid make several key stops in another MLS Team of the Week performance.
Good news! D.C. United is not going to be balled up and tossed into a garbage can like they were at Yankee Stadium. Bad news: I don't think they're going to start their first winning streak of the year just yet. Without Marcelo Sarvas or Rob Vincent, it's just too much to ask of a team that is short on defensive midfielders at the best of times.
Steve Birnbaum will put DCU into the lead with a header from a corner kick, but NYCFC will come flying back with two David Villa goals before halftime (one set up by Rodney Wallace, because that's just what DMV players do when they come back to town). Bill Hamid will stand on his head to keep the score close, and United will snatch a draw after a counter sees Lucho Acosta slot Jose Ortiz in behind for an equalizer with 15 minutes to go. 2-2 draw.
I don't want to say it's in the bag this week or give in to superstition, but I did drink a shrub on Fiilibuster this week, and when I did that the last two weeks, we saw the U.S. Men's National Team dismantle Honduras 6-0 and D.C. United get their first win of the season. So, what more do you need?
Anyway, the Black-and-Red get after it early but can't quite find the finishing touch, and the visitors get on the scoreboard first when David Villa finishes off a counterattack. Los Capitalinos equalize late in the half through Lloyd Sam and keep the momentum going after the break, grabbing the go-ahead goal on Ian Harkes' first professional tally. Both teams threaten a few more times, but Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson keep the score at 2-1, where it finishes. Drink more shrubs!
I have trouble reconciling who will score goals for D.C. United this week with the nature of the first two goals of 2017 last week. I think Patrick Nyarko gets onto the books this week, but David Villa scores to equalize (because that's what he does), and Thomas McNamara comes on in the 57th and scores 15 minutes later (because that's what HE does), and D.C. drops more early season home points in a 2-1 result.
Allow me to be the one to point out that, while United finally scored goals, they came on a ridiculous deflection and a penalty. Sure, you've got to shoot to score, but I'm not on board with the idea that the dam has broken. In any case, I do think that Jose Ortiz prods one in, which will be offset by a David Villa goal, and DCU will earn a point in a 1-1 draw.
United looked even more assuring in the first half than they did last week in the win against the Union. They get their goals again, but only go into halftime up 2-1. Without Marcelo, New York City run wild in the second half, scoring twice, thanks to David Villa. United mount a push late, but it's not enough in a 3-2 loss that puts a disappointing end to the opening stretch of the season.
Not that my predictions are ever particularly accurate, but I have a distinctly meh feeling about this game. Despite United’s win last week, I’m not 100% convinced that this team is totally on the right track yet, and David Villa is a damn menace. On the other hand, I think that 4-0 loss just a few weeks ago probably still stings for the Black-and-Red, and they’ll want to rectify things at home. I’m somewhat optimistic that in the end, it’s only a 2-2 draw, with Lloyd Sam and Jose Ortiz getting on the board.
What are your predictions for tomorrow’s game? Let us know in the comments, but not before you take this week’s silly poll:
Afternoon game means brunch tailgate! Don’t overthink it—which player goes with which brunch staple?
This poll is closed
Jared Jeffrey is french toast
Julian Buescher is some sort of hash
Marcelo Sarvas is a mimosa (or ten)
Lamar Neagle is eggs benedict
Bobby Boswell is waffles