The heat is a worry when D.C. United take on the New England Revolution. It is United's last home game in a month, so we hope that they can put on a good performance. Let us know what you think will happen in in the comments!
After witnessing the Open Cup victory in Pittsburgh Wednesday night, I wonder if we've seen sort of a reboot of the offense that has sputtered the past couple games. My sense is with the afternoon heat, both teams will struggle to get out of the blocks running, with the goals coming in the second half. The two best teams in the East battled to a 1-1 draw last time, and I think that's once again the score. Rolfe nets a rocket for the lone Black and Red tally.
New England are not a good road team. D.C. United are better than good at getting results in the friendly confines of RFK Stadium (the most recent TFC match notwithstanding). United will concede a goal - as they always seem to do against lineups featuring Juan Agudelo - but los Capitalinos net a couple of their own through Fabian Espindola and a newly streaking Nick DeLeon to get the win and start a new home run.
This game will depend entirely on the lineup. If we see Halsti and Opare to start, we have a solid chance to win 1-0. No Opare? Then no dice. 1-1. No Halsti? Even worse. 0-1. I predict Halsti starts, Halsti scores, and DCU wins, 1-0.
I have a hard time reconciling how D.C. is going to score goals against this New England team in the heat when they couldn't do it in similar conditions against an inferior defense in Orlando. It sounds like we'll have the Chris Korb/Taylor Kemp show which could potentially mean bad news down one of those sides of the field, and I think it may lead to a 2-1 New England win, with Fabian Espindola scoring the D.C. goal.
For once, United gives us a complete first half. Considering the inhumane temperatures and humidity that this game's going to be played in, that's going to be key. United opens the scoring via Fabian Espindola, and then gets a second on a set piece - they've had 4 goals in their last 4 games from corner kicks, after all - before the Revs get on the board just before halftime. New England will make their push for a few minutes in the second half, but you don't play good soccer in a sauna. This one slows to a crawl in the final half-hour, and United takes it 2-1.
After two MLS losses in a row, one of them at home, but a midweek Open Cup win, I think the Black-and-Red are more than ready to get back to that whole winning thing. This is going to be a hot, humid one, and it'll show on the field. I'm expecting a frustrating, ineffective first half, followed by a struggling second half from both sides that eventually yields a few flukey goals. In the end, it's 2-1 to DCU, Rolfe and Espindola on the scoreboard.