D.C. United open their regular season against the Montreal Impact tomorrow afternoon. After showing improvement in the second leg of their series against Alajuelense, our panel is fairly confident. How do you feel about this game? Let us know in the comments what you think will happen!
The season is here! A season most of us didn't think would start on time will actually start on time, with the CCL semifinalists L'Impact de Montreal coming to town. Our lineup will have a different feel from the ones we put out for CCL, as Fabi Espindola starts his 6-game suspension. Luckily, the player that's going to step in is, in my opinion, our most dominant so far on the season. Arrieta nets a brace and Chris Rolfe adds a 3rd as United kicks off the season in style with a 3-0 victory. Hamid gets the clean sheet and we enter our 2-week break hoping to get Halsti and others healthy for the match at Red Bull on the 22nd.
If one was to go by the performances of the two sides in the CONCACAF Champions League, then this looks like a victory for the team north of the border that I always forget is actually in MLS. However, with the return of Major League Soccer to the capital of the greatest nation on earth, there's only one result that comes to mind. DC United will come away from the match with Montreal as 2-0 winners. Yes, not having Fabian Espindola available is a huge detriment, but DC will get the job done.
I'd love to tell you that this will be easy, but Montreal is feeling great about themselves after knocking off Pachuca while United will be just 65 hours away from a draining win-that-was-not-really-a-win. The Black-and-Red is the better team, even with the rotation both teams will have to engage in, but the Impact aren't the disaster we last saw in 2014. I see the Impact taking the lead through Andres Romero, but United will eventually unlock the Montreal defense enough times to come back. Chris Rolfe scores a golazo, and Nick DeLeon bundles in a winner fairly late. 2-1 United.
I miss Fabi already. But, best get used to his absence since we won't see him for a while, and this team's gonna have to win without him. Can they? Yeah, absolutely. This is our season opener, and it's at home, and ain't no one gonna take a win away from us. Montreal might be riding a CCL high, and I'll say they get a goal into Bill Hamid's net, but the Black-and-Red will win the game 3-1. Good guy goals from Rolfe, Pontius, and DeLeon (because it feels like it's been eight years since he got one and it's about time).
Going to presume both teams are going to want to start the regular season off well before their bye weeks for Conca....well, DC gets to rest at least. Nevertheless, DC will try and find a way to live with a DP-less lineup for the first time in a few years, and the result Saturday will likely disappoint as they learn. Leaning to a 1-1 draw with Arrieta as the scorer.
No Fabi, no EJ, no problem. Montreal will be focused on their trip to Costa Rica in the next 10 days (grumblemutter), and will continue their parallels with previous Canadian club CONCACAF runs by utterly failing to compete in MLS play. 2-0 to the good guys, who still don't look as good as we'd like. Goals from Chris Pontius and Bobby Boswell.
I am most interested in seeing how the likely forward pairing of Jairo Arrieta and Chris Pontius work in an MLS match, and also interested in seeing whether Luis Silva gets any time. I see an ugly Montreal goal sandwiched between two United goals, and a 2-1 win. Let's have a Miguel Aguilar assist on the winner.
DC seems too injured and red carded to be able to pull off a win. And the Impact have some CCL momentum. But hope springs eternal for our first game of the season. So I'll go with a 2-1 last-minute victory for DCU, with Arrieta scoring our first goal and Boswell scoring our second, off of a very late set piece.
Opening day, at home, and looking to take out some frustration. I think D.C. United can and should win this game against the Montreal Impact, and it will be on the back of Jairo Arrieta's brace. 2-1, D.C. United.