D.C. United travel up to the plastic turf of Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution this weekend. After the loss to Philly, we are a little less bullish on United's chances, but most of us think the team can eek out a point. Let us know what you think in the comments!
United gets a full week off after playing 3 games in 8 days. Sadly, it's so they can prepare for the turf field of Foxboro and the Revs, who had a pretty rough go of it Wednesday night in KC. I think both teams get back on their respective tracks, but that means a draw. Goals from Rolfe and Halsti (marking his first for the Black and Red) offset goals from Chuck D and Tierney, and DC comes home with a point in their overnight bag. 2-2 final.
If Bennyball was made for any scenario, it's the scenario where you've lost your highest-scoring strikers to injury. And so it is. DCU will need to hunker down and play Korb-like. This, of course, means Korb must start over Kemp, with Franklin on the other side. Opare and Boswell in the center. Arnaud will have to start over Halsti. If we're down, bring on the energy of Aguilar and Farfan in the last 20 or 30 minutes. We'll be playing for the draw, but it will escape us. New England scores early (Lee Nguyen). DC evens it up late in the second half (Chris Rolfe). New England squeaks out another goal before the whistle (Chris Tierney). The Revs prevail, 2-1.
Over the last season-and-change, D.C. United have not often lost consecutive games - by my count, it happened twice in all of 2014 and has yet to happen this year. I'll predict that doesn't change, as the Black-and-Red get a 1-1 draw on the league's worst surface. Goals from United-killer Juan Agudelo (set up by ex-United man Charlie Davies) and from Perry Kitchen (assisted by Chris Pontius). Bonus prediction: both Bobby Shuttleworth and Bill Hamid will be nominated for Save of the Week.
The Revs will press United early, and the Black-and-Red will bend...and bend...and eventually break. Look for Charlie Davies to pounce in a loose ball inside the box. However, after halftime New England's tired legs will leave them vulnerable. United will equalize via a Bobby Boswell header off a corner kick, and United will nearly steal the game before settling for a 1-1 draw.
I can't quite bring myself to predict a loss for DCU in this one--two in a row would be too frustrating. But I'm also not sure the Black-and-Red can grab all three points here, so I'm going to say they come away with one. I'll also predict a few goals--let's say 2-2, and keep it interesting. Pontius and Arrieta netting for the good guys.
I've never been anything but an optimist, and I think that United can get a decent result out of this. New England just had a bizarre performance against Sporting Kansas City, with Jay Heaps going a little crazy. Give me a 2-1 win for United, with Chris Pontius and Perry Kitchen scoring for the good guys, and Charlie Davies getting one back for New England.
Like Sunday, D.C. faces a Eastern Conference team looking to regain its form after a disappointing previous game (go with me here). Though New England is far more dangerous offensively than the Union are, which makes the stakes a tiny bit higher, saying nothing of the standings position of each. I think without some of its weapons that D.C. drops this one 2-1 (though Michael Farfan is involved with D.C.'s goal) ahead of their cross-country travel next week.