Back at home after a full week off (and before a tight turnaround with another game Wednesday), D.C. United are spending Easter Sunday taking on New York City FC. It’s already the second meeting for these two teams with season, with their first encounter ending 0-0 at Yankee Stadium.
A road win last weekend against the Colorado Rapids helped the Black-and-Red to right a course that was in danger of going rather astray, so the home side will certainly be aiming to prove that that wasn’t a fluke. NYCFC, meanwhile, are hovering near the bottom of the Eastern Conference with zero wins this year.
So what will it be today? We have some ideas.
Donald Wine II
It’s Easter Sunday, and with a full week off, I think the Black-and-Red comes to Audi Field determined to take NYC’s Easter eggs. It starts off slow, but Wayne Rooney opens up things with a goal in the 36th minute. From there, Paul Arriola nutmegs Sean Johnson for a second goal, and Zoltan Stieber comes on late to add one. NYC gets one somewhere in the mix, but it’s a 3-1 win for the good guys.
If you told me in April of 2018 that in one year, D.C. United would be tops in the Eastern Conference and that NYCFC would be the only winless team left in the East, I’d have asked you for some of what you were consuming, but here we are. D.C. looking generally good at home and NYC, winless in their last 9 away games, likely to be 10 as Lucas Rodriguez and Luciano Acosta score first half goals, and fending off a Ismael Tajouri-Shradi strike for a 2-1 win ahead of a prime midweek matchup with Columbus Crew SC for first in the East.
NYCFC are apparently this year’s draw machines, taking one point (and one point only!) from five of their six games so far, including the wild-but-scoreless draw with D.C. United at Yankee Stadium last month. Well not this time, Pigeons! D.C. United get that slick-passing mojo back for a classic Lucho-to-Señor-Wayne opener 20 minutes in, and the Black-and-Red burst out of halftime to double their lead as Lucho finishes off a Paul Arriola pass. At the other end, Bill Hamid does what he does on the few occasions the visitors get through los Capitalinos’ defense to keep the clean sheet. 2-0 good guys.
While NYC has been very far from good this season, they’ve been especially bad defensively in their three road matches, surrendering two, four, and three goals in succession. United’s defense wasn’t particularly tight at Colorado, but it should be a touch better with Leonardo Jara back in training. I’ve got a 3-1 United win, with two goals by Wayne Rooney before Alexandru Mitrita looks to make it a game, but Paul Arriola finishes it off late.
I don’t think anyone is particularly convinced by United’s last three outings, but NYCFC seems to be allergic to winning right now. That’s why I’ve gotta go with D.C. in this one. Rooney pounces on some sort of defensive mix-up late in the first half to give DCU the lead, and then Luciano Acosta bags a second just before the hour mark. A demoralized Pigeons side offers little real fightback until very late, when Maxi Moralez notches a goal to give us all reason to be nervous. That’s all the visitors really have to offer, though, and United finishes the game off without further incident. 2-1 DCU.
No way are DCU letting NYCFC come to Audi Field and leave with points. I think Bill Hamid and his defense keep a clean sheet in this one, while Wayne Rooney and Titi Rodriguez score to lead the Black-and-Red to a 2-0 victory. Simple. The best things sometimes are.
What’s your prediction for today’s game? Share in the comments!
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