D.C. United is probably the biggest underdog in MLS play this week, even playing at home. Tonight, the Black-and-Red welcome the Montreal Impact to the District for the home side's last run out before Wednesday night's US Open Cup semifinal in Chicago. The Impact are currently third in the Eastern Conference, but thanks to games in hand on both teams ahead of them, they actually lead the league in points per game. United, as we know, are the bottom of the league, which makes tonight appear to be somewhat of an uphill climb. Especially if Ben Olsen rotates his squad ahead of Wednesday's more important Open Cup clash.
So here's hoping our boys in black manage a competent performance and come out of tonight free of any new injuries. That's not too much to ask, right?
Time: 7:30 pm EDT
Venue: RFK Memorial Stadium in the District
TV/Streaming: This is fun this week. In addition to the usual CSN Mid-Atlantic TV coverage and streaming on MLS Live, the last half hour of the game will also be the opening part of MLS Breakaway, NBC Sports Network's whip-around show, starting at 9.
Match Previews: Be sure to check out ChestRockwell's scouting report on Montreal and our question exchange with the Impact writers over at Mount Royal Soccer. And don't forget to listen to our talk with Sofiane Benzaza from MRS on Filibuster from this week.
Projected Lineup: As I mentioned in the intro, and as I'm sure you're already well aware, Wednesday's game towers over tonight's in importance, and we could see some squad rotation as Ben Olsen attempts to keep players fresh for the trip to Chicago. But with several important pieces returning from injury or still building fitness, some guys simply need minutes, too. With that in mind, here's what I think we'll see: Bill Hamid returns to goal, and Chris Korb returns to the back line, joining Dejan Jakovic, Daniel Woolard and Taylor Kemp. Perry Kitchen should come back into the midfield, and I think we'll see him alongside Jared Jeffrey. Kyle Porter and Nick DeLeon hold down the outside. Up top, we'll see Dwayne De Rosario make his first start since June 29, and Luis Silva will run out in the #10 spot.
Prediction: I expect a loss tonight, so I'll call it 2-1 for the Impact, goals from Marco Di Vaio and Felipe Martins for Montreal and Dwayne De Rosario for United (assisted by Silva, because he can't not be on the score sheet anymore).
What Are You Drinking?: I'm planning on grabbing some DC Brau on my way to RFK, either El Hefe Speaks or the Public.
This is your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game conversation about all things United and MLS. If you keep watching MLS Breakaway after the game, feel free to talk about that here, too.
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- D.C. United Scouting Report: Montreal Impact
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- MLS 2013 Week 22: D.C. United vs. Montreal Impact Match Center