Playing mid-week and on the other side of the country is not an ideal time to be playing a fellow Supporters Shield contender, but that's the job facing D.C. United tonight. The LA Galaxy are in good form of late, and any team with Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan is always going to be dangerous. Still, their schedule is just as congested as United's, and their recent tendency to fall behind early in games might be an opening for the Black-and-Red.
Kickoff Time: 10:30 PM Eastern, so prepare yourself for another round of #DCUAfterDark.
Venue: StubHub! Center, Carson, CA
TV/Streaming: DMV United fans will be able to catch the game on CSN Washington with Dave Johnson and Santino Quaranta on the call. For those in the other 48 states and assorted territories, MLS Live is your option (most likely with the Galaxy feed, which...I'm sorry, it's going to be a long two hours). For those in the rest of the places on earth, I don't know what to tell you.
Projected D.C. United starting XI: We won't see a Waterhouse-level rotation tonight, but after playing in muggy conditions just four days ago against the high-pressing, physical Sporks, there will be some moves made with an eye on Sunday's game against the Metros. Bill Hamid will be in goal, and I think the back four will California natives Sean Franklin and Steve Birnbaum along with Bobby Boswell and Taylor Kemp. In the midfield, my blind guess is that David Estrada fills in at right midfield, Perry Kitchen is partnered by LEWIS NEAL!, and Chris Rolfe starts on the left. Up top, look for Eddie Johnson to get a chance to prove he can be just as good partnering Fabian Espindola as Luis Silva - the man he'd replace in this scenario - has been.
As for subs, I would strongly expect to see Rolfe and Espindola (or Silva, if he's partnering EJ tonight instead) removed after no more than 70 minutes.
Match previews: You want to know what LA is going to look like tonight? Read our scouting report. Want to know what the mood around the Galaxy is of late? Check out our question exchange. We also have a lineup prediction if you're so inclined. MLSsoccer has their own preview as well.
Prediction: This is a really tough one to call. I expect United to rotate players, but I also expect LA to bring in a few lesser-used guys. The Galaxy arguably more depth, though, and cross-country road trips are not easy even with a full week of rest. As such, I think United loses 2-1 despite not playing poorly. Note: Predicting a 2-1 loss worked brilliantly Saturday, so let's hope I'm gloriously wrong once again.
What are you drinking? Speaking of things that worked in the last game, I think I'll stick with my Courvoisier VSOP until results tell me to do otherwise.
You're in the right place for discussion of tonight's game. Go nuts!