D.C. United take on FC Dallas tonight, their first MLS game in two weeks. Despite the fact that D.C. United are the leaders of the Supporter's Shield race, none of us predict that they will win. What do you think will happen tonight?
D.C. has an abysmal road offense, and you expect them to go to Dallas, in July, on Oscar Pareja bobblehead night, without their most potent offensive weapon? No sir, I don’t buy it. I think Dallas’ speed will give D.C. fits and result in a 3-0 Dallas win, thus bringing back some bizarro "Andrew Dykstra sux!" narrative which was fun when we went through it four months ago, wasn’t it?
Dallas's Akindele is a veritable Espindola, with his intimidating wiliness in the final third. Unfortunately, our own Espindola is locked in the MLS spanking room for violent conduct. Akindele will score twice. Rolfe will score once off of a Kemp assist. Possession numbers and shots on goal will heavily favor Dallas, and it will feel like the goal difference should be wider. FCD prevails, 2-1.
It's going to be 200 degrees Saturday in Frisco when United takes on FCD. Hopefully, DCU packed as much water as can possibly fit on a flight. Hamid (injury) and Espindola (timeout) won't be in the lineup, which means that the offense and defense will be quite depleted. Dallas hasn't been lighting the world on fire though, so I'm inclined to call it a 1-1 draw and an escape from the heat with the point.
When's the last time DCU fielded a full first-choice lineup? Ever? Well, it won't be this weekend, alas. That's a disadvantage, obviously, especially since this is a road game, but for some reason I'm relatively optimistic that the Black-and-Red can come away with a point. I'll go 2-2, why not, with goals from Rolfe and a second guy I can't decide on (I'll take prediction credit for whoever it is though).
I feel like I'm watching a scary movie, and the dark and foreboding music eases into the background while unassuming people are doing regular activities. You know something terrible is about to happen to them, and there's nothing you can do because it's a movie that isn't Last Action Hero. FC Dallas have won three games in a row in the league, scoring seven goals and allowing zero. Bill Hamid is out, Luis Silva is not 100%, Fabian Espindola is serving a suspension, and it's going to hit 100 degrees during the day. 2-0 Dallas, with Fabian Castillo and Mauro Diaz.
Ben Olsen has only lost one of five meetings with FCD as a head coach, and has been adept at slowing down an attack that can be a terror if it gets going. I think United can go to Dallas on a hot day and turn the game into a grind early, which means the weather might actually help us out. It's tough to go hard and win a game against an obstinate opponent in withering Texas heat. Both teams score set piece goals - Bobby Boswell header for United, and let's say David Texeira finishing after a scramble for FCD - and the game finishes 1-1.
Even coming off a bye week, Ben Olsen's side aren't at full strength, and wearing black in Dallas in a July heatwave just screams Bad News Bears. I think United do everything right to get a result out of this one - bottling Mauro Diaz up as much as he can be and getting the little things right to contain Fabian Castillo. But this one just won't be in the cards. Whether it's from a penalty (real or make believe), a freak blunder at the back, or something else, I think the Black-and-Red let one in and fall 1-0 to a surging Dallas team.
The theme of D.C. United-FC Dallas games, at least in the minds of D.C. United fans, is 4-1 victories. They have scored four goals on Dallas a couple of times, but usually at home. I wish I could predict a 4-1 United victory, but I'm going to actually predict a 2-1 FC Dallas win. Please prove me wrong.