I can't speak for anybody else, but I'm upbeat today. D.C. United just dispatched Toronto FC with relative ease last night, and now head into a weekend clash with the Houston Dynamo with an eye toward ending their historic futility in Space City. We have accomplishment, and we have opportunity; what more could a red-blooded American team want? With that in mind, I didn't have to dig too deep in the archives for this week's Throwback Thursday - just back to May 21, when United hosted the Dynamo at RFK Stadium.
That match would turn out to be a turning point for both teams. Los Capitalinos came into it having won four of their first ten games - more than all of last year, but hardly world-beating - and the Orange entered RFK trying to build on the momentum of winning three of four. Looking back on it now, this match keyed a five-match losing streak for the Dynamo, and United have since won seven of their last ten. Most importantly, United proved to themselves and the world that they can, in fact, win a game against Houston, something they hadn't done in three matches in 2013 or in the teams' two meetings in the 2012 playoffs (though that had more to do with injuries and referee idiocy than anything else - let's not get into it, okay?).
This weekend, DC will try to do something they've never accomplished: win a soccer game in Houston. They've gotten over the smaller hill of beating the Dynamo in the District, and now it's time to exorcise the next demon, the hotplate that is BBVA Compass Stadium. As Ben Olsen & Co. showed back in May and have demonstrated since, this year, things are different.