D.C. United is finally back in the CONCACAF Champions League, and all I can think of to say is "It's about damn time." Tonight's game against Waterhouse FC of Jamaica is United's first CCL match in nearly five years, and given the four-game group format, it's vital to get off to a winning start. The visitors sit atop Group 4 with three points after pulling off an upset in Panama, but United will take the field as heavy favorites.
Kickoff Time: 8:00 PM Eastern
Venue: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Washington, DC
TV/Streaming: If you're lucky, you get Fox Sports 2. If you're not, you'll have to pay for FoxSoccer2Go to stream the game online. If you live anywhere near the District, though, get to RFK! Don't be the jerk that complains about how no one takes the CCL seriously while also failing to vote with your dollar.
Projected D.C. United starting XI: We know from Steve Goff's piece yesterday evening that Joe Willis will be in goal. In the back, I expect to see Jalen Robinson - apparently recalled from his loan to Arizona United - on the right, Kofi Opare and Steve Birnbaum at center back, and Taylor Kemp on the left. In the midfield, look for Jared Jeffrey and LEWIS NEAL! in the engine room while David Estrada and Alex Caskey man the flanks. Up top, Eddie Johnson is suspended for this weekend's game in Kansas City, so he pretty much needs to play the full 90. I think he'll be partnered by Collin Martin, but we could see him and Estrada switched as well.
Match previews: Staying here at B&RU, we have Ben's lineup prediction, our staff predictions, a scouting report on Waterhouse, and the most recent Filibuster covered tonight's game in depth as well if you need something to blast out of your speakers in Lot 8. The Goff piece linked above is also a match preview, while everyone's favorite announcer Dave Johnson relives United's 1998 CONCACAF Champions Cup in his preview for CSN Washington. For MLSsoccer.com, Pablo Maurer spoke with Fabian Espindola, who came within 45 minutes of winning the CCL a couple of years ago and is desperate to win it this time around.
Prediction: I'm confident in my prediction in the link above. I'm expecting a game that isn't as easy as we'd all hope, but eventually United will send in the cavalry and win 3-1.
What are you drinking? I'll probably be drinking whatever my friends have in their cooler, as I don't think I'll be stopping to pick anything up on my way to the stadium.
As I assume everyone in the area will be at the game because you're all committed to the team, aren't you?!, this thread is the spot for you out-of-towners to discuss this the match before, during, and after