After a three game winning + shutout streak (lol wut), D.C. United got a week off. But now they’re back and it’s time to see if that streak can continue or if we’re all about to get a rude awakening.
Today’s opponent is Orlando City, who didn’t get a week off and are winless in their last eight games. They’re also occupying the bottom of the Eastern Conference along with the Black-and-Red. These factors definitely seem favorable for DCU success—and our predictions mostly can’t resist the temptation to give our team the three points.
Donald Wine II
The Black-and-Red return from the international break and hopefully have their full midfield ready to go. Will we finally see the combination of Luciano Acosta, Zoltan Stieber, Russell Canouse, Ian Harkes, and Paul Arriola? I think we will, and the combo of speed and creativity will be fun to watch. But don't get it twisted: even with our win streak, this is going to be a slow, drawn out affair with some flashes of wow and some very frustrating moments as scoring chances are missed. In the end, I think we see Paul Arriola get on the board in the 75th minute, and that's the difference in a 1-0 victory.
D.C. United are playing another bad team at home, having won three straight! They should be able to pull this off, but putting this team on a four game winning streak just seems odd and wrong. I'll go with a 2-2 draw with some good goals by Paul Arriola and Zoltan Stieber, but Dom Dwyer gets a brace to keep it level.
Orlando has been on a horrible run, and they had to play during the international window (taking away the "reset button" factor that a full international break might have carried). They struggle to defend, and their big-name forward duo of Cyle Larin and Dom Dwyer hasn't worked as a partnership yet. In other words, this is a team I'd have expected the pre-transfer window United to have a real shot at beating. Post-window? Yes, this should be a win. Another promising outing sees the Lions hang on to 0-0 through the first half thanks mostly to Joe Bendik, but the Black-and-Red break through early in the second half via the returning Ian Harkes. Before Orlando can recover and try to spark a comeback, it's 2-0 as Patrick Mullins finally gets the sort of fortuitous goal he seems to need right now to get himself back on course. Orlando makes a late push, but this one finishes 2-0 for United. Yes, it is legal to win by scores other than 1-0.
Four straight shutouts? Four straight shutouts. Let's do it. Patrick Mullins breaks his duck early after some coordinated pressure from Lucho and Arriola turn the Lions over in their own half. Chances are there to extend the lead before halftime, but the Black-and-Red can't put them away. Orlando go close shortly after the break, but as they get desperate DC pile on. One of Arriola and Stibi crosses for the other to finish at the back post, and Lloyd Sam bags a goal off the bench. Give me a Hype Station 3-0 W for los Capitalinos.
I mean, yeah, it feels dumb to predict a win for DCU because, like—four games in a row? Come on. But at the same time, the vibe is good right now. It just is. And I gotta predict that the Black-and-Red come out and get the win. Give me 2-0 (yes, 2-0!) for the good guys, with goals from Arriola (yessss) and Mullins (finally yessss).
What are you predicting for today’s game? Let us know in the comments, but first, don’t forget to take the silly poll.
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