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Atlanta United vs. D.C. United 2018: Time, TV schedule and how to watch MLS online

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United’s first road game of the Wayne Rooney era is against the Supporters Shield favorite

On the field at least, D.C. United’s first game at Audi Field went swimmingly. Wayne Rooney was impressive in his debut, the Black-and-Red put on a show in winning 3-1, and D.C. picked up the first of what needs to be many wins between now and late October. However, beating a middling Western Conference side is far different from going on the road to tackle Atlanta United, who currently sit atop the MLS standings and appear to be a solid bet to win the Supporters Shield.

Key player: Frederic Brillant

Lost amid the largely positive vibes that came from brushing off Vancouver in the first game at Audi Field was the fact that United’s defense got off a bit easy. The Whitecaps didn’t create all that much, but they still had 3 significant scoring chances at 0-0 or 1-0. Facing a far stronger opponent on the road today, there’s distinct pressure on the entire defense to produce one of their strongest outings of the season.

The biggest focus has to be on Brillant, though, as a) those big Vancouver chances came in the air, where he’s supposed to thrive, and b) Atlanta’s speedy, mobile attack will already be a severe test for his relative lack of pace. The Five Stripes want to get out and run, and they excel at making defenders play on the turn. If Brillant’s anticipation isn’t top-notch for all 90 minutes today, United’s potent attack might not be able to save them.

Location: Mercedez-Benz Arena (Atlanta, GA)

Kickoff time: 3:30pm Eastern

Projected D.C. United starting 11: (4141) - David Ousted; Oniel Fisher, Frederic Brillant, Steve Birnbaum, Joseph Mora; Chris Durkin; Zoltan Stieber, Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta, Yamil Asad; Darren Mattocks

Bench: Steve Clark, Jalen Robinson, Junior Moreno, Russell Canouse, Ian Harkes, Bruno Miranda, Wayne Rooney

For the first time in seemingly forever, it feels like we’ll see the same 11 starters and same 7 options off the bench. It feels like Ben Olsen will give Rooney another 30-35 minutes, but if they want to push him a bit, we could even see a sub at halftime. It’s likely that we’ll see Canouse coming in a bit earlier than last week, provided the circumstances allow for it. Olsen also has to be mindful of Wednesday’s home game against the hated New York Red Bulls.

Projected Atlanta starting 11: (4231) - Brad Guzan; Franco Escobar, Michael Parkhurst, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Chris McCann; Jeff Larentowicz, Julian Gressel; Hector Villalba, Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco; Josef Martinez

Martinez and Gonzalez Pirez somehow avoided suspension despite video evidence of violent conduct against both, so United will have to face a stronger version of Atlanta. That’s not to say the strongest version, though, as Greg Garza is done for the year and Darlington Nagbe is out for at least another month. If Tata Martino wants to make an adjustment to add some speed to his back line, he might opt for Mikey Ambrose over McCann, who is more of a utility player than a true left back.

Referee: Drew Fischer

Available TV: Univision, Univision Deportes

Available streaming: Univision Now, Twitter (yes, Twitter)

For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.

What do we have to say about it?: Steven Streff got Olsen to discuss Rooney’s potential impact on this game, and later talked Yamil Asad with the boss and Paul Arriola. Our predictions for today are...well, we think there are plenty of goals coming.

What are you drinking?: In an effort to watch this game and also be at the Spirit game later tonight, I’ll be watching this one from a coffee shop somewhere in Montgomery County. So, you know, probably coffee.

This is the place for all your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion. Vamos giant upset!