D.C. United haven't lost to the Colorado Rapids since an April 2011 visit to the Denver suburbs, and the Black-and-Red haven't lost to the 'Pids in DC since May of 2010. With Pablo Mastroeni's team visiting RFK Stadium this weekend, Ben Olsen & Co. will look to keep both of those unbeaten streaks alive. While also trying to extend the Rapids' current three-match losing streak and also end a two-game skid of their own. Here's how we think the game will play out. Be sure to share your take in the comments.
The gauntlet stretch begins. After 2 tough road trips, United returns home where they've been pretty good of late. Is Fabi back to full strength? I think he shows he's getting there, putting one biscuit in the basket and Rolfe adds to his MVP candidacy. 2-0 DCU as they get back to their winning ways ahead of the start of CONCACAF Champions League play.
Playing without EJ and Chris Korb doesn't lend itself to optimism for this Sunday's game against Colorado. But, the 2014 edition of D.C. United has proven to be resilient when facing adversity. Their 2-game road losing streak probably has them more agitated than they've been all year long. Look for the good guys to outsmart this talented, but young, Colorado Rapids side and take all 3 points with a 2-1 win. Goals from Luis Silva and Chris Rolfe set the pace, while the defense (including Taylor Kemp) puts together a solid showing.
Adam M Taylor
Give me 2-0 to the Black-and-Red. Colorado has scored one goal and allowed seven in their last three games (all losses, against Dallas, RSL, and the Revs), and with Perry Kitchen and Fabian Espindola likely to return to the starting lineup for United, I think the Rapids' misery continues. Chris Rolfe scores early from a Nick DeLeon setup, and Steve Birnbaum opens his account by heading in a corner. Bill Hamid once again is nominated for Save of the Week after denying Dillon Powers.
Rolfe and Espindola make minced meat of a Rapids defense missing its key center back. Korb's absence is felt when the Rapids attack the left side repeatedly, mercilessly, and grab a goal. The final score will be, undoubtedly, 2-1. DCU wins.
Marc Burch is probably going to be starting in this game. Marc Burch! So I will take a 2-1 victory for D.C. United, with the Rapids scoring early but Nick DeLeon scoring a brace to bring United back.
Obviously, the question is going to be what kind of lineup we see Sunday ahead of CONCAChamps. I would hope that good Luis Silva shows up and can partner effectively with Chris Rolfe's interchanging and Fabian Espindola's roaming so the offense can strike early against a Rapids defense without Shane O'Neill and possibly Marlon Hairston down its spine. If Boswell and Birnbaum can keep Deshorn Brown in check, it should be a 2-0 win so further planning for Wednesday can occur.
United may struggle to provide a spectacular attacking display - especially if Fabian Espindola is not ready to start yet - but the Rapids have been a naive on the road. Colorado has lost five of their last six road games, with the hosts scoring at least two goals (and, in four of those games, they conceded three) every single time. It's likely that they'll try to play Vicente Sanchez up against Taylor Kemp whenever possible, but Colorado will likely be on the back foot for most of this game. Bobby Boswell will open the scoring on a corner kick, and Espindola convert a PK won by David Estrada en route to a 2-1 victory.
It's unanimous. Our panel sees los Capitalinos scoring two goals en route to three points. The only disagreement is whether the visitors will get onto the scoreboard. Now it's your turn: let us know your predictions for Sunday night down in the comments.