It's been nearly seven years since D.C. United beat the LA Galaxy. For that reason alone, this is a huge game for the Black-and-Red, but there's a lot more on the line than the idea of breaking a streak. It's unusual to catch one of the strongest teams in the league without their top two goalscorers, one of whom is arguably the best forward in the league. It's unusual to play them in what will be wintry temperatures. These factors play into United's hands, but DCU needs to deliver an improved performance over what we've seen in 2015 to take advantage.
Kickoff time: 7:00pm EST
Venue: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium (Washington, DC)
TV/Streaming: CSN Washington will carry the game in English, and they're also doing a pre-game and post-game show. If you're outside the DMV, fire up your MLS Live or head to MLS Direct Kick if you subscribed to that.
D.C. United Projected Starting 11: There aren't too many mysteries here. United is getting players back to fitness, but other than Taylor Kemp there are few reasons to expect changes to the starting eleven. That means Bill Hamid will start behind Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Steve Birnbaum, and Kemp. I do expect one change in the front six: Chris Pontius should move back to left midfield, with Chris Rolfe playing as a withdrawn forward. Pontius will join Nick DeLeon, Perry Kitchen, and Davy Arnaud in the midfield, while Rolfe will partner Jairo Arrieta up front.
Coming in off the subs bench, I'd expect to see Miguel Aguilar get a few minutes now that his work permit has been cleared up (shocking with the help of Congress!). Win or lose, we should probably expect to see Conor Doyle come on either up front or as a wide midfielder. Michael Farfan came off the injury report after missing last week's game with groin strain, so he might be able to come in as well, though Olsen may be tempted to give Luis Silva 5-10 minutes just to get his feet wet after weeks on the shelf. Chris Korb could also come in for Kemp if United wants to seal the deal late on.
Match previews: Here on B&RU, we've been busy. Ben wants to see the same lineup that I do, while Steven went to practice to talk to Ben Olsen about today's game as well as Franklin's thoughts on facing his old club and how Pontius felt about playing a full 90 minutes for the first time in well over a year. We also looked at how the Galaxy will line up and what United can do to beat them. Staying on SBN, Mike Gray previewed the game for LAG Confidential as well. MLSsoccer's preview notes that the referee tonight is Ismail Elfath.
What are you drinking?: I'm thinking that I'll pick up a six pack of some kind of hearty porter on my way to Lot 8. It's that or food. There will probably be a cup of coffee en route too, and I plan on bringing a flask of bourbon that I aged with apple peels, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. In other words, I'm prepared.
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