D.C. United go on the road for the second time this season, and hope not to repeat the result of their first road trip. Our writers are again confident, with only one of us predicting something other than a win. Be sure to leave us your predictions in the comments!
I'd hope DC saw what Montreal did to the team that vanquished them in CCL play and used that emotion to carry over into League play. I'd also hope DC took advantage of a Metros team missing two starters in back already. These are things I hope. While I think they will, I think that it will be closer than it has a right to be, and DC squeaks out a 1-0 win on a second half goal from Rolfe.
Earlier this week I went on Red Bull Rant and predicted a 1-1 tie, but that was before it was revealed that they may be without two defensive starters. In light of that, and the fact that Jesse Marsch still had a lot of fine-tuning to do elsewhere, I'm going to change my prediction to a 2-1 win for United. The Black-and-Red are going to be out-possessed, but will create the better looks throughout the match by playing on the counter. Nick DeLeon and Chris Pontius have always had some of their best performances against the Metros, so I have them scoring for United.
Both teams got a bye week to prepare for this match. For United, it was supposed to be a bye week to prepare for CONCACAF Champions League, and we all know what happened there. Ugh. Now we get to see the Black and Red take it all out on our fiercest rival. Sorry, Metros...sorry not sorry! The floodgates open up as goals from Rolfe, Pontius and our new favorite player Arrieta counteract a Metros goal and the good guys win, 3-1, heading back to DC with the only 100% record in the Eastern Conference after 3 weeks.
After a week off, I'm feeling confident. Not for any sort of "we've had extra time to prepare!" reason (though, sure, that's nice). It's mostly just that we didn't play last weekend and it's got me all ready for an awesome win against our rivals. Why not, right? There's nothing about the Red Bulls right now that makes me think the Black-and-Red can't get three points against them on the road. But this is a rivalry--it won't be easy, and I'm expecting a lot of ugly play. Probably some questionable refereeing, too. In the end? It'll be 2-1 to DCU, with goals from Rolfe and Pontius.
I daresay that, even without so many starters, DCU has the advantage against this Red Bull team. If our defense plays as well as they did against the Impact, and better than they did in Costa Rica, we'll walk away with a win. Pontius and Arrieta score for DC. Lloyd Sam scores for NYRB. 2-1, DC.
Adam M Taylor
It seems like in recent seasons, it takes until around the fourth real game of the year before the attack really clicks. If you count ConcaChamps, that makes this match #4, and I think the offense shows up. 3-1 to the Black-and-Red, with the Chrises Rolfe and Pontius (natch) putting United up in the first half before Sacha Kljestan pulls one back for the hosts. Miguel Aguilar opens his official account late on to provide the margin.
Neither team has looked like offensive juggernauts so far this season, but United righted their defense in the two home matches that counted so far this season. If they can bring that to New York, I'd predict another 1-0 win, but I think 1-1 is more likely this early in the season.
Major League Soccer's biggest and greatest rivalry (This is inarguable. Don't embarrass yourself by trying.) returns this weekend with DC United returning to the swamp that is New Jersey for an early season encounter. United's ability to pressure the Red Bulls's central defenders will likely be the key point in this match. I for one think the boys in black and red get the job done and take all three points.