Well, that road trip didn’t go quite as expected, did it? After a surprise (and lucky) win in Vancouver, karma came back around with a vengeance in Orlando to ensure that D.C. United remain firmly on the struggle bus.
While returning to RFK is usually a prime opportunity for the Black-and-Red to secure three points, that has been far from the case this season. The LA Galaxy come to town on a three-game winning streak, and even missing some players for international duty, this won’t be an easy game for a tired DCU team (who are now missing Patrick Mullins).
We’re divided on how this one will go down.
Donald Wine II
All right, we get to once again play the game of “Which D.C. United team will show up today” Saturday at RFK. This time, the Galaxy will be there to see the answer to this question. They started out old and slow but have since picked up steam. I thought the Black-and-Red played well enough to win Wednesday night, but just made too many mistakes and couldn’t put away chances. They’re going to need to do that against the Galaxy if they’re going to get a result. Good news: LA will be without a couple key players due to international duty. I’m probably delusional, but I think that means we somehow steal one. The team that could only muster one PK goal in the month of May will bag three to kick off June, and the good guys win on 1999 MLS Cup Pennant Night, 3-1.
That the Galaxy are in playoff position right now is odd. As all of us here can confirm, their coach is terrible. Truth be told, a team with the Galaxy's roster should be better than sixth in the Western Conference right now, and it's that talent that has me worried this weekend. Can a D.C. United defense on short rest contain Romain Alessandrini? Can a D.C. United attack score goals without Patrick Mullins? I'm not optimistic. 2-0 Los Angeles, with an Alessandrini brace.
United has lost four of their last five, and the other game in that sequence took quite a bit of luck. They've been beaten and shut out in each of their last three home games, and they're ending a week that has seen them play games in Vancouver and Orlando. Patrick Mullins could be out for a while, and the goals they gave up in Florida were principally the fault of two of the three best players on the team. It also looks to be a bad time to be playing the Galaxy, who are on a three-game winning streak (all on the road) and haven't lost in five. However, LA is limping into this one. They'll be without their top two goalkeepers (and third stringer Jon Kempin hasn't played in MLS since 9/27/15). They're missing a starting center back, and they're down to starting probably the sixth best central midfielder on their team due to injuries. Oh, and Giovani Dos Santos is away with Mexico.
I'm not really sure how, I'm not really sure why, but I've had a feeling about this game for a while. I'll have to guess at the specifics—a goal from Lamar Neagle via a defensive error from LA and Luciano Acosta slicing up the Galaxy defense on a solo effort on either side of a Gyasi Zardes strike, while Bill Hamid bounces back from his error Wednesday—but I've had this scoreline in my head for weeks. 2-1 United. No damn way do the Galaxy get to leave RFK for the last time without taking an L.
I'm all kinds of conflicted about this game. On the one hand, the Black-and-Red are in serious strugmode. On the other, the Galaxy deserve nothing good in this world, and karma seems to have over-collected United's debt (incurred in Vancouver) with the two goals down in Florida. (And obviously, cosmic balance is a deciding factor in any soccer game.) That and United played their best soccer in weeks at Orlando.
I think United come out on top. Without GDS, the guests aren't able to consistently threaten Bill Hamid's goal. Alessandrini sets up a Gyassi Zardes opener but Luciano Acosta finds himself an assist of the week candidate, putting Lloyd Sam in for the equalizer. Patrick Nyarko, in his second substitute appearance after his injury layoff, nets a late winner. 2-1 to the good guys.
A month ago, this looked like a very different game with the Galaxy struggling as badly as United. The Galaxy, however, have turned it around, while United has just lost their starting striker. Even with Brian Rowe out, I think that LA has too much for United to handle, so I predict a 2-1 victory for the forces of evil.
I don’t know, you guys, I’ve got a kind of feeling that maybe, just maybe the stars align a bit for us tomorrow. Maybe I’m just looking forward to our B&RU tailgate, or maybe I simply feel like we’re due for some good vibes at home, but damn it, this game is gonna be all right. Somehow, some way, the good guys will manage to actually score goals and, in the end, hold on to a 2-1 victory. Overly optimistic? Probably. But let me have this!
Share your predictions in the comments, but first, it’s silly poll time!
Which zoo animal is the best? This has nothing to do with DCU, I just want opinions.
This poll is closed
Lion/tiger/cheetah/other big cat
Gorilla and/or orangutan
Another animal I will discuss in the comments