It’s been a long journey, but D.C. United will in fact host Alianza FC tonight at Audi Field. This game was initially scheduled for tonight as part of the Capital Cup, only for Club Puebla’s withdrawal resulting in that game being moved forward a few days. However, with Alianza reportedly having a Covid-19 positive test in their camp, it was decided that the rescheduled version of the game shouldn’t be played, and United instead beat LD Alajuelense 1-0 for the second time in four days.
Now, though, it appears that safety protocols have been met, and Alianza is still in town, so instead of the Capital Cup finale, we’ve instead just got a good old one-off mid-season friendly between the Black-and-Red and the 2020 Salvadoran league Apertura champs.
Key player: Griffin Yow
It’s not clear who will play for United tonight, but it seems reasonable to guess that Yow will be either in the front three, or out wide as a right wingback. Either way, this friendly is another chance to prove that he belongs firmly in the mix when MLS play resumes this weekend. Yow has always shown up for friendlies in which United arguably didn’t bring its A-game in terms of focus, and indeed that ability to give it his all got him on the scoresheet in that 7-1 win against Toronto earlier this month.
With Hernán Losada talking about competition and the importance of every player in the squad, being someone who can be trusted to go all out no matter the score or situation is no little thing. Furthermore, based on recent play, Yow may have an angle on more minutes; there are other attackers who didn’t get those minutes against TFC, and there are attackers who haven’t made as much of their opportunities as Yow has. If he can keep that up tonight, it stands to reason that he’ll get more of a share of the minutes going forward.
Location: Audi Field (Washington, DC)
Kickoff time: 8:00pm Eastern
Projected D.C. United starting 11: (343) - Jon Kempin; Allexon Saravia, Frédéric Brillant, Tony Alfaro; Griffin Yow, Felipe Martins, Moses Nyeman, Gaoussou Samaké; Yordy Reyna, Kimarni Smith, Adrien Perez
Bench: Chris Seitz, Steven Birnbaum, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Jacob Greene, Landry Nanan Houssou, Ted Ku-DiPietro, Yamil Asad, Kairou Amoustapha, Jovanny Bolívar, Nigel Robertha
Given how chaotic things have been concerning this game, it should come as no surprise that we’re in full “just a guess” territory with this gameday squad. It’s also not clear how many minutes some players can log: does the coaching staff want to keep pushing Birnbaum, for example, or let him recover and be ready to possibly step in due to Monday’s news that Brendan Hines-Ike has a hip injury? Can Odoi-Atsem play 45 minutes at this point? And is Greene, who looked to have possibly twisted his ankle before halftime, ready to go again?
If we get more information from the club about the roster for tonight, we’ll update this section, but as of now, this is our best guess.
Available TV: United says there will be “no local broadcast.” So, none.
Available streaming: United is not streaming the match, but Alianza has tweeted that they will stream the game on Youtube:
So check their Youtube page at 8, hopefully it works!
What are you drinking?: It’s been super swampy lately, and tonight looks like it carries a threat of thunderstorms thanks to all that humidity and heat. Water, water, water at the stadium, but maybe an iced tea on the way in.
This is the place for all your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion. Vamos further injury avoidance!
This article has been updated to reflect new information on the potential for a stream tonight.