If today's game were just an Atlantic Cup match, it would be a big one. This was MLS's first rivalry, and that alone would make it today's biggest game. It's also the most consequential game in the standings, as a win for D.C. United or the New York Red Bulls would see that side sitting in first place in the Eastern Conference. Both of those things happening at the same time? This one's as big as they come in April.
On top of that, it's the first United home game that isn't going to be accompanied by a cold downpour, or a snowstorm the day before, or bone-chilling winds. It's legitimately nice out. Maybe the shift in weather will help United go beyond merely scraping out a 1-0 win?
Kickoff time: 7:00pm EST
Venue: Robert F. Kennedy Stadium (Washington, DC)
TV/Streaming: If you can't get to RFK, CSN Washington will have the game locally, while MLS Live and MLS Direct Kick are there for those of you who live outside the DMV.
D.C. United Projected Starting 11: As Luis Silva is probably not yet fit to play more than a half, I only expect one change from last week. That means Bill Hamid is in goal - hopefully not as busy this time - behind a back four of Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Kofi Opare, and Taylor Kemp. Michael Farfan is the change, coming in for the not-quite-100% Nick DeLeon at right midfield. Perry Kitchen and Davy Arnaud will be in the middle, and Chris Rolfe will line up on the left. Chris Pontius and Jairo Arrieta will start up top.
Silva and DeLeon will both get into the game as subs, though with DeLeon his position might come down to how the game is going. I suspect Conor Doyle will also come on, because Doyle has gotten into just about every game thus far.
Match previews: Here on B&RU, we've talked about the likely DCU lineup; recalled a lovely April game from the past against NYRB (well, the weather wasn't nice like it is today, but you get the drift); checked in with Hamid after his remarkable performance last week; taken a look at how the Red Bulls should line up and what United can do to beat them in our scouting report; and predicted a close game. Elsewhere, Steve Goff points out that United hasn't scored a first-half goal in MLS this year for The Washington Post, and MLSsoccer.com provides their normal preview.
What are you drinking?: I will be wandering Lot 8 armed with 21st Amendment's Back In Black black IPA.
This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.