This story almost got deleted, as there were a couple hours today where it was entirely unclear whether D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City were actually going to play or not. United was due in KC last night, but some severe weather caused their flight to land in Chicago, and then their connecting flight was cancelled. Meanwhile, more storms are projected to hit eastern Kansas tonight, prompting fears that the game itself would be unplayable even if the Black-and-Red did get to their destination.
In the end, though, United grabbed a charter flight from Chicago around noon, and the game - albeit with a later start time than originally planned - will take place. That means United will have to quickly shift gears from coping with a travel ordeal to fighting a similarly struggling KC side for three valuable points.
D.C. United Projected 11: Now that we know there will be a game, we can move on to United's lineup. The word is out that Bill Hamid will start his first game of the season in goal. Ahead of him, the back four will almost certainly see normal starters Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, and Taylor Kemp joined by Kofi Opare, who will step in for Steve Birnbaum due to the latter's USMNT duty. In the midfield, there's a major question due to Patrick Nyarko missing out thanks to a concussion. We know Marcelo Sarvas, Nick DeLeon, and Lamar Neagle are going to start, but will the fourth man in be a direct replacement for Nyarko? If so, look for Miguel Aguilar or Rob Vincent to play opposite Neagle. However, of late Ben Olsen has given Jared Jeffrey some minutes, and that would mean DeLeon sliding out to the wing as a result.
Up front, Fabian Espindola will replace Alvaro Saborio (who is away with Costa Rica's national team) in partnering Luciano Acosta. United most likely needs this pairing to show real signs of progress, as they are the club's two best options up front.
Off the bench, it seems pretty likely that Vincent/Aguilar will get in, and Julian Buescher has been pushing for more time recently as well. Olsen has also said that he'd like to give new signing Alhaji Kamara a look up front, and it seems safe to expect him to come on for Acosta. Travis Worra, Jalen Robinson, and Luke Mishu will make up the rest of the gameday 18.
Match previews: Yesterday we looked at what KC's lineup will look like while also taking a stab at predicting the game's outcome. Today, we looked into what United has to do to get a win, and our general preview has TV listings.
Referee: Alan Kelly
What are you drinking?: Yesterday I picked up a few things for the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. The star of the show is probably Tecnico Reposado tequila, which came in this bottle. I'll probably mix up a margarita with it, but if I get lazy there's always beer (I have Victory's Golden Monkey, Guinness, and Monocacy Brewing's Riot Rye pale ale).
Prediction: I predicted a 1-1 draw earlier this week, and I'm sticking with it. However, with the weather forecast, I think we'll see pretty much a duplicate of the draw against the Chicago Fire. The conditions will prevent much actual soccer from happening, and both teams will notch set piece goals. I'll go with Boswell scoring for United, and Ike Opara for KC.
This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion.