With D.C. United mired in the MLS cellar, welcoming the firepower of the LA Galaxy this afternoon, you'll excuse me if I focus instead on the feel-good element of today's affair: Jaime Moreno. United will induct the All-Time MLS Best XI and four-time MLS Cup winner into the club's Hall of Tradition at halftime of today's game, honoring the founding member of the Major League Soccer 100/100 club (goals/assists, a distinction he shares with only... Landon Donovan of the Galaxy. Neat symmetry, that).
As much as any player, Jaime is D.C. United. He is the only player to have a hand in all twelve major trophies the team has claimed. He embraced the supporters, joining them in the stands on days he wasn't on the field. After his retirement, he stayed with the team, taking the reins of the U-23 team. No players in the young history of MLS deserve to be honored more than Moreno, and he'll get his due at halftime.
Before and after that featured halftime event, of course, we'll see a very bad soccer team try not to embarrass itself.
Time: Early game today! 4pm EDT
Venue: RFK Memorial Stadium
TV: Enjoy the dulcet tones of Dave Johnson and John Harkes on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic if you're in the DMV, and online via MLS Live or on PPV through Direct Kick if you're outside the metro area. If you prefer your futbol en Espanol, you can catch it nationally on UniMas.
Match Previews: As usual, ChestRockwell has the most in-depth scouting report on United's opponent you'll find anywhere. We also spent some time on our Filibuster podcast this week with Galaxy writer Josie Becker from LAG Confidential, so check that out before kickoff. The official team site also has its usual complement of previews, comparing the teams, looking at player connections between United and the Galaxy, giving us the keys to the match and just straight-up previewing tonight's encounter. LAG Confidential has the Galaxy perspective.
Projected D.C. Lineup: Tonight we'll see if Ben Olsen is ready to try something new, or stick with the 4-4-1-1/double-false-nine he's preferred since first partnering Luis Silva and Dwayne De Rosario up top. Our writer Benuski would like to see a return to the diamond midfield, and I think he may be onto something - though I expect a more conservative version of that flavor of 4-4-2. Bill Hamid will start in goal, behind a back line probably consisting of Chris Korb, Ethan White, Daniel Woolard and Dennis Iapichino. Perry Kitchen will anchor the midfield, with Nick DeLeon and Lewis Neal playing the role of pinched-in outside midfielders in support of Silva in the 10-spot. Up front, it'll be Conor Doyle and DeRo.
Match Prediction: At this point, and against this opponent, switching up formations amounts to rearranging deck furniture on the Titanic. It's hard for me to pick anything other than 0-2. Here's hoping I'm wrong, and United plays a bit of spoiler today to honor their best ever player. Which reminds me, Jaime Moreno! That's a much happier thing to focus on than actual "soccer" being played "today," amiright?
What Are You Drinking?: With the early kickoff, we get to have some day drinking today. I'll be enjoying Founders Brewing's All Day session IPA during the tailgate this afternoon.
You know the drill. This is the place for pre-game, in-game and post-game commentary and conversation. Let's get the conversation started with your favorite Jaime Moreno memories, down in the comments.
More from Black And Red United:
- Dos a Cero: My unique view from the capo stand at USA-Mexico
- D.C. United Scouting Report: LA Galaxy
- D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy lineup: Is a diamond in our future?
- World Cup Qualifying: United States vs. Mexico - USA WINS DOS A CERO
- Filibuster Podcast - Week 28: Resigned sighing, LA Galaxy, and USA vs. Mexico