D.C. United takes on the Montreal Impact tomorrow evening, and we are kind of split: about half of us thinnk that D.C. United will win, and the others think that a draw is at hand. Let us know what you think will happen in the comments!
United hit the road for the first match in a 2.5 week stint that will see the team hit 3 different countries. First up: Montreal, who has greatly improved from their early season woes outside of CONCACAF Champions League. Our offense has been on a tear the past 2 games, but our defense has been torn up as well. Can we have a match where we don't spot the opposition an early 2-0 lead? Luckily, I think that doesn't happen here. I think the offensive onslaught continues and Montreal will not be able to outgun us. 4-2 DCU, goals by Rolfe, Saborio (2) and DeLeon.
A couple of days back, some dummy rambled on about the fact that D.C. United faced two bad defenses, so there is bound to be sound regression to the mean. There is the additional consideration that D.C. has three road goals in MLS (one an own goal) since beating the Vancouver Whitecaps on April 29(!), a span of eight games. I don't think D.C. has three in them, much less six, but I think they get two goals from Chris Rolfe and Nick DeLeon, though the defense still has issues and the result turns out to be a 2-2 draw.
D.C. has used the last two home games to into an offensive groove, and now is one of the better times to hit the road. Montreal hasn't been particularly welcoming hosts, allowing just seven goals at home since the start of May, a span covering nine games. Despite that, and with Montreal coming off of a midweek game against the Metros, I think DC is up to the test with a 1-0 win, and Fabian Espindola assisting on Nick DeLeon's goal.
This game should entirely come down to whether D.C. United can handle Montreal's pace and counterattack. If we see Dominic Oduro or anyone else wearing that light blue abomination of a uniform (we all know they should be wearing the Inter-like stripes from their badge) running in space at Bobby Boswell or Steve Birnbaum, it'll mean trouble. Luckily, I think Ben Olsen will have his team ready and up-to-speed on their rotations and responsibilities when the ball turns over. Look for Chris Rolfe and Nick DeLeon to play a bit more conservatively this week but to keep popping up all over the attacking half of the field. Each of them gets a goal, with assists from Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio. Unfortunately, I think Dilly Duka will strike for the hosts, but the Black-and-Red hang on for the road win, 2-1.
With Laurent Ciman suspended, United really should take advantage of a Montreal side on short rest. However, the Impact have to be respected at home, where they're as strong as anyone in MLS. I expect that United is done with their unfocused starts and that we're in for a less dramatic game this time around. Espindola and Saborio link up for a goal before halftime, only for Oduro to win a penalty (converted by Nacho Piatti) early in the second half. The game hangs in the balance for a bit, with both teams creating good looks on set pieces, before Espindola notches the game-winner late on. 2-1 DCU.
DCU have been a little ridiculous offensively lately, but it's hard for me to believe that'll continue to be the norm, especially on the road. I think we see the team get back to slightly more conservative ways up in Montreal--which means not another "oops we've already conceded twice" debacle. I'll say there's some goal-trading in this one, and it ends 2-2 with goals from Saborio and DeLeon for the good guys.
Can United concede another goal in the first 3 minutes of the game? Yes, we can! Will the stadium in Montreal experience a sense of dread when this happens, realizing immediately that there is a pattern afoot? Oui! Can United battle back to a 1-2 victory over the fleur-de-lis? You betcha! Goals by Saborio and Arrieta.
D.C. United hasn't been great on the road, and the Montreal Impact have bounced back after playing no games and being awful in the ones they did play at the beginning of the season. 1-1 draw, with Alvaro Saborio getting his second goal for United.