It's almost the night we've all been waiting for, folks: Star Wars Night. Oh, also, D.C. United's biggest rivals are coming. But Star Wars!
It seems we can't all agree on an outcome for this game.
DCU looked bad on Sunday against NYC. Red Bull has started to click lately and have been on a tear. So that means we're gonna win right? RIGHT?
...nah I think it means a draw. A BWP goal and a Birdbomb goal means we end it 1-1.
Rivalry games are unpredictable. Throw all the matchup stats and overall playing trends for each team out the window. Somehow, upsets tend to happen in MLS rivalry games. This is a gut-driven fact, true because I think it is, not based on any research other than my own sense of the past. And, if DCU beats NYRB, that would be an upset. We are struggling to get our act together, to avoid give-aways in midfield and to shoot on target when the opportunity presents itself. NYRB, after a slow start, is about three weeks ahead of us in that process. If the magic dust of rivalry was not involved, we lose, 2-0. But the Atlantic Cup will sprinkle its powder on that field, and DC wins, 3-2. Crazy, I know.
Strikers missing chances and centerbacks looking incapable. That was the New York Red Bulls of April, and it's now D.C. United in May. I said on Filibuster this week that this game is coming at the worst time for United, and I think we'll unfortunately see a home loss to a team from the New York Metro Area for the second time in a week. 2-1 Metros, goals from BWP, Lloyd Sam and Marcelo Sarvas, and I'm going to go take a shower now.
MLS is a strange beast. The Red Bulls are moving towards being good again, but their back four still consists of an experiment, a player in poor form, and two center backs that both want to do the same thing. United, meanwhile, has lurched from good to bad to adequate to bad over their last 4 games. At home, with what I assume will be a healthy again Patrick Nyarko, I feel strangely OK about their prospects. Sarvas plays like a man possessed, other players realize that Luciano Acosta can in fact feed them a killer pass, and United wins 3-2 on goals from Fabian Espindola, Lamar Neagle, and Steve Birnbaum. Please note this prediction was made at 2:49 a.m. following some rocking out and a long drive in a downpour.
After the embarrassing loss to New York City FC, the prospects against the other team from the New York look bleak. But hopefully everyone who played badly last week can't all do it again two weeks in a row. Am I too much of an optimist if I saw a 1-1 draw? Probably, but I will anyways.
Look, I know this is a different New York (er, Jersey?) team, but I'm still feeling very "ugh, not you guys again" about this game. Although, to be fair, that's pretty much how I always feel about the NYRB. I thought that DCU would prevail against NYCFC and that's decidedly not what happened, but this time...this time we have to win, then, right? MLS is ridiculous and rivalry games are even more so, and I just can't bring myself to call this one as a loss for the home side. I'll say 2-1 in a highly stressful, close game, with the good guys coming out the winners thanks to Luciano Acosta and part-time striker Bobby Boswell.
Are you all more or less divided than us? Hit the comments with your predictions and best Star Wars-DCU jokes.