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New York City FC vs. D.C. United 2021: Time, TV schedule and how to watch MLS online

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United is in the Bronx for a match with huge playoff implications for both sides

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SOCCER: SEP 29 MLS - Minnesota United FC at DC United Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After two frustrating results at home, D.C. United has made the trip to the Bronx to take on NYCFC in a game that has massive implications in the MLS playoff race. Both sides enter the game on 41 points, with United ahead of the Pigeons by virtue of the games won tiebreaker. That means that at the moment, the Black-and-Red would get the last playoff spot available in the East, while New York City would miss out.

It’s also a critical moment for both teams to correct some iffy recent form. United’s last three games have seen them pick up just one point, letting two leads become losses, while NYCFC has gone winless in their last six to fall out of the playoff places.

Key player: Ola Kamara

Don’t look now, but MLS’s Golden Boot leader has gone off the boil, with just one goal (a penalty) in his last six appearances. That’s not to say he’s playing badly; after all, it was nearly his goal, rather than Nigel Robertha’s, to give United the lead against New England just three days ago.

The issue has more been about support, with United’s attack doing without its craftiest and most expensive players right now. Kamara’s still had some good moments, but there’s some redundancy in the players who have been starting alongside him, and that’s taken some sharpness out of the attack, which has manifested in fewer looks for United’s #9.

That isn’t going to change tonight, so Kamara will have to find a way to overcome this challenge if United is going to win a road game against the Pigeons for the first time ever.

Location: Yankee Stadium (Bronx, NY)

Kickoff time: 7:30pm Eastern

Projected D.C. United starting 11: (352) - Bill Hamid; Andy Najar, Steven Birnbaum, Donovan Pines; Julian Gressel, Russell Canouse, Junior Moreno, Drew Skundrich, Kevin Paredes; Adrien Perez, Ola Kamara

Bench: Jon Kempin, Frédéric Brillant, Tony Alfaro, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Joseph Mora, Felipe Martins, Griffin Yow, Nigel Robertha, Ramón Ábila

The big news here is that Hamid, after appearing to struggle with a hamstring problem Wednesday, was not on the injury report, and made team social media posts showing him on the plane for this one. This situation feels like a pre-match fitness test kind of thing, but we’re erring on the side of optimism here.

It’s hard to say what Hernán Losada is going to do in terms of rotation for this one. Following Wednesday’s match, it sounded like Najar would be back, and players like Moreno, Paredes, and Perez didn’t start, so they should be able to cycle back in today. Still, this is a lineup featuring three players that have played 180 minutes this week, so who knows? It’s a tough spot to be in.

Projected NYCFC starting 11: (3412) - Sean Johnson; Maxime Chanot, James Sands, Alexander Callens; Tayvon Gray, Keaton Parks, Alfredo Morales, Gudmunder Thórarinsson; Maxi Moralez; Santiago Rodríguez, Valentín Castellanos

Ronny Deila’s lineup is even harder to call, as they’re on their third game in six days rather than a full week, and are without a key starter (Anton Tinnerholm) and an oft-used central midfielder (Nicolas Acevedo). There’s not much depth to replace Tinnerholm with either, as Gray is the entire list of right wingbacks that ever get to play. We might see something very aggressive as a result, like winger Andres Jasson being asked to be more conservative in that spot.

Deila has options for multiple formations here, and has often preferred 4231 (including against Atlanta mid-week), so don’t be surprised if we see one of Chanot or Callens out of the lineup and replaced by an attacker (which could mean Jesus Medina, Thiago Andrade, Talles Magno, or Ismael Tajouri-Shradi).

Referee: Joseph Dickerson

Available TV: NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos

Available streaming: dcunited.com if you live within the team’s geofence. For everyone else, ESPN+ or FuboTV (subscribe via those links, & your friends at B&RU get some cash!).

Feel free to check our our DCU how to watch guide to figure out what your best option is.

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

What are you drinking?: I’ve been battling a headache for two-plus days (that’s why this thing came out only a couple hours before kickoff), and having some caffeine at lunch helped, so maybe I’ll treat myself to a Coke?

This is the place for all your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion. Vamos winning hugely important road games!

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