The Black-and-Red have a confusing record on the road this season—where home performances have mostly been, let’s say, not great, the team seems to occasionally do just a bit better away, even finding a couple wins (flukes or no, they still count). Toronto, though, is top of the Eastern Conference and boasts DCU mood killer Sebastian Giovinco, so we probably shouldn’t get our hopes up too much here.
Indeed, the most we’re predicting United get from this game is a point.
Donald Wine II
The Black-and-Red hit the road to the land of maple syrup, Caribana, and Drake to take on Toronto FC. The only wins United have in two months have been on the road, so maybe it’s good to hit the road in search of three points. The team should be mostly rested after the international break, and most of the main stars are hopefully ready to contribute. Will they? I’m hard-pressed to see us do much up north. Toronto has been great lately and United hasn’t. I think Giovinco nabs one because he usually does and we get a Neagle goal in the closing minutes to steal a 1-1 draw.
Toronto hasn't played a competitive game since June 3, which will amount to a two-week layoff by Saturday. They're undefeated at home, with five wins in their seven matches at BMO Field, and they've allowed the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference. Things don't bode well for a D.C. United team that has scored one goal in their last six matches. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore each score once as Toronto win 2-0.
Rick's taken most of my thunder, though I'll irrationally suggest Alhaji Kamara starts and combines with Patrick Nyarko for a nice goal, which is cancelled out by goals from Jozy and Gio for a 2-1 loss.
And I'll add to Donald's list, because I learned recently that it's not GTO or T. Dot anymore, it's "The 6." Education shared from an old.
After a nice break, this is a statement game for United, facing a better team. A win could help put the rest of the season off on a good foot, a draw would show that they're still in it but with work to be done, and a blowout could signal bad times coming in this insane stretch of game. I think a 1-1 draw is possible, though not likely; however, that is my prediction, with Steve Birnbaum scoring off of a set piece for United.
The last team to go to TFC and win—not via tiebreaker, but actually truly win—was D.C. United, and they did it just as Toronto was gearing up towards an impressive playoff run. So the good news is that, broadly speaking, this group can go to BMO Field and get the job done. The bad news? TFC is better today than they were last fall, while United is undoubtedly playing closer to their collective floor than the ceiling they were bumping up against last year. Oh, and TFC has averaged over two goals a game at home since that aforementioned DCU win. Plus, you know, Sebastian Giovinco reserves his cheat code best for United, for whatever reason, and he'll be starting this one
United entered the break having clearly improved their process, if not their results, so I don't expect them to get stomped tomorrow. However, I can't sit here and say that a team that can't finish is going to beat a TFC team fielding Giovinco, Jozy Altidore, and Victor Vazquez. As such: Giovinco scores some kind of unstoppable goal just as it appears that United has weathered the initial storm. The Black-and-Red respond admirably, getting back level through Ian Harkes before halftime. However, the second half is a difficult one, and despite some intelligent possession play and Bill Hamid doing Bill Hamid things, Giovinco scores another impossible goal because that is what he does to United every time. 2-1 TFC.
I feel like DCU’s “hey, we’re not quite as bad on the road!” thing...won’t be a thing tonight. TFC are a clearly better team—and they can actually score goals, whereas the Black-and-Red are currently unable to execute on this key soccer concept. Giovinco undoubtedly gets one tonight, and I think the home side bags another as well. None for DCU, and it ends 2-0.
What’s your prediction for today’s game? Share in the comments, but first take this extra important silly poll, which is extra important because it’s all about me:
It’s my birthday! What soccer-themed gift are you getting me?
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A permanent Benny mic for DCU games, so we always know what he’s yelling at the refs
Miroslav Klose out of retirement, signed for DCU, and scoring double digit goals every season forever
The USMNT wins World Cup 2018 in Russia, because hell yeah
None of this nonsense—just three points for DCU, geez, you greedy millennial