D.C. United enters into the final matches of the regular MLS season tomorrow, taking on CF Montreal at 7:30 pm ET.
There will be no more road trips for D.C. this year. Sitting last in the Eastern Conference, the Black-and-Red are out of the running to make the 2022 MLS Cup playoffs. The focus is all on closing this season out strong and building a solid foundation for 2023.
The Bleu-Blanc-Noir are second in the Eastern Conference with 59 points, just behind Philadelphia, which leads the East with 64 points. Suffice it to say, Montreal is not fighting to keep above the playoff line with their closest opponent - New York Red Bulls - in third place with 50 points.
As players return from international duty, there will be two noticeable absences for the Black-and-Red. Andy Najar was injured during a friendly and will miss the final matches of the season. Taxi Fountas will not join the team in Montreal due to the ongoing investigation into allegations he used a racial slur.
Head coach Wayne Rooney said, “We have a really difficult game on Saturday, so we are really just preparing the best we can for that game. We want to go there and compete and hopefully get a good result.”
Key Player: Christian Benteke
In the final stretch of the season, the Black-and-Red will look to veteran players, like Benteke, for leadership (and hopefully a few goals). With the playoffs out of the question, D.C. United will shift focus to building a tough mentality for 2023.
Watch Out For: Romell Quioto and Kei Kamara
Quioto leads the Bleu-Blanc-Noir in goals scored (15 so far), while Kamara is close behind with eight goals scored. Kamara leads the team in assists making this duo a danger to D.C.’s defense.
Challenges: It’s been a tumultuous season for the Black-and-Red. Finishing strong against a difficult opponent will be key in laying the foundation for 2023.
Previously: The Black-and-Red have only won one of their last five matches against CF Montreal.
CF Montreal Availability:
Out: Tomas Giraldo (foot), Ahmed Hamdi (right leg), Lassi Lappalainen (adductor)
D.C. United Availability:
Out: Taxi Fountas (administrative), Adrien Perez (foot), Brad Smith (knee), Brendan Hines-Ike (foot)
Location: Stade Saputo
Kickoff time: 7:30 pm ET
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Available TV: NBC Sports Washington, TeleXitos
Available streaming: dcunited.com
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