D.C. United are about to head off on a five-game road trip—but before they do that, they have to face Atlanta United FC at RFK Stadium tonight. The Black-and-Red played—and even beat—Atlanta back in April, but it’s a different night, a different game, and we’re thinking a different result.
Here’s what we’re predicting for tonight’s match.
Donald Wine II
This is a crucial time for the Black-and-Red. What lasting impression do they want to leave on fans when they hit the road for a month? We have Atlanta coming in who has played pretty well since we beat them April 30 in Atlanta. But, the home fans have not seen a goal for the good guys since April 8 and Atlanta’s ability to score means that United cannot hope to keep this game at 0-0. Sadly, I think the goalless drought continues for another game, Josef Martinez nabs 2, and it’s a 2-0 victory for Atlanta.
This is a bad time to be an offense that can't score, since Atlanta United either wins games by multiple goals or loses games by multiple goals. I don't think this will turn out well for the original United, but I think there will be a sliver of hope: give me a 2-1 loss for DCU, but with Deshorn Brown coming on late, scoring an impressive goal, and giving fans hope as time goes on.
Lost in all the completely justified angst within DCU fandom these days is the fact that United has been giving themselves a chance to win or tie all of their recent games. The nadir in terms of actual play was the three-game home stand. The problem has been wasting chances, rather than the hapless showings we saw against Montreal or Chicago. As such, and against a team that throws numbers forward like crazy, I think United will end up breaking this wretched scoreless run. However, I'm not sure I see the vital three points coming just yet. Luciano Acosta and Miguel Almiron exchange first half goals, Josef Martinez puts Atlanta up after halftime, but United scratches out an equalizer from Steve Birnbaum on a late set piece. 2-2. No, I'm not on drugs.
Since losing 3-1 to DCU at home, Atlanta has put together consecutive wins of 4-1, 3-1, and 3-1 at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Luckily for D.C., this game is at RFK, and Atlanta hasn't won on the road since April 23. I see that streak coming to an end. Atlanta has had recent trouble scoring on the road, but they only need to do it once against this punchless United attack. Josef Martinez scores the only goal of the game, and United loses 1-0.
How many people do we think will show up at RFK tonight? Because I’m wondering—if the crowd is especially sparse (which it very well may be), can DCU score a goal? Maybe they just need less pressure, you guys. I actually do think United may be able to get a goal in this one, because seriously, how close can you get and for how long before you either get lucky or actually demonstrate some skill? That said, Atlanta is going to score, too. 1-1, not the worst scoreline in the world, but not one that gets us all too excited, either.
How do you think things will go down at RFK tonight? Let us know in the comments, but first it’s silly poll time:
DCU just signed a new forward, Deshorn Brown. But let’s play with some imaginary money—who should the Black-and-Red have actually signed to fix their scoring problem?
This poll is closed
The eccentric Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The ageless and legendary Miroslav Klose
The Polish pro Robert Lewandowski
The ambitious Cristiano Ronaldo