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D.C. United vs. New England Revolution MLS Playoffs TV/streaming, previews, prediction, lineup and gamethread

It's all or nothing tonight as United hosts the Revs in an MLS Eastern Conference knockout game.

Somehow, MLS hasn't seen a playoff meeting between D.C. United and the New England Revolution in 9 years, and tonight's knockout round game will be just the fifth postseason meeting between two MLS originals ever. Playing tonight wasn't really the plan for United, who were in the lead in the East for most of the season, but a late-season swoon was capped off with a crushing defeat on Decision Day. The result? Dropping to 4th place, having to play one more game in a season that has been jammed with midweek games, and a game against a Revs team that went to MLS Cup last season.

D.C. United Projected Starting 11: As much as it's tempting to call for major changes after a 5-0 loss (or after a little over 2 months of mostly below-par performance), I have my doubts there is even time to prep a team for an overhaul in the 73 or so hours between games that MLS so generously afforded the teams playing today. I expect just two changes as a result. Bill Hamid will stay in goal behind a back four featuring a return for Steve Birnbaum along with regulars Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, and Taylor Kemp. In the midfield, look for Nick DeLeon on the right, Perry Kitchen and Markus Halsti in the middle, and Chris Rolfe on the left flank. Fabian Espindola will partner with Alvaro Saborio, who will get a recall due to his aerial prowess in a game that will probably see more long balls and crosses than normal due to the weather.

Off the bench, Chris Pontius is sure to get into this game for either Saborio or Rolfe (though with penalties possible, Ben Olsen could look to use Pontius, a decent penalty taker, to replace someone who isn't as strong as those two from the spot). If United is trailing, Michael Farfan will probably step in for Halsti. If DC has a lead to protect, Conor Doyle subbing into this game is a sure thing. We may also see some unusual late subs, like Kofi Opare coming in to move to a back 5 if the Revs are bombarding United's penalty area in stoppage time.

Match previews: We said a lot of things about this game yesterday, all of which are linked here in our general preview. Today, we looked at what United has to do to win tonight and tried to predict the outcome as well. Our friends at The Bent Musket looked at the game from a New England perspective.

Referee: Mark Geiger

What are you drinking?: I'm going to pick up some coffee on the way in because of the weather, and will be carrying my flask of homemade apple-cinnamon infused bourbon. Probably a beer or two as well. I'm going hard for the playoffs!

Prediction: Looking back over DC-Revs games in recent years, I expect a very close, tense game. That favors United, as will the weather and New England's record against the rest of the playoff field. On the other hand, the Revs look closer to their best right now than United, so even with the Black-and-Red having some major advantages I'm not sure they're going to be able to capitalize. Instead, I expect the Revs to score in the opening half hour (because of course), and for United to level the game in scrappy fashion (because of course). Let's go with Charlie Davies and Bobby Boswell as the goalscorers.

Extra time will probably be a nervous wreck for both teams, and I sense this one heading to penalties. There, United almost certainly misses a shot - this club doesn't have a stellar record from the spot over recent years - but Hamid saves the day because he's Bill freakin' Hamid and he does stuff like that. United advances via the tiebreaking procedure that terrifies everyone.

This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.