Inconsistency has defined D.C. United in 2016, with good results and bad results generally following one another (though there's the occasional blandly acceptable draw breaking them up). If that's true, then I have good news about tonight's game against the New England Revolution. United's last two games involved being knocked out of the Open Cup by an NASL team - that's the bad result - and a largely unremarkable 0-0 draw in Houston. If the pattern holds once again, the Black-and-Red are picking up three points.
That's not the only pattern pointing to a DC victory. United is on a five-game unbeaten run against the Revs, and that includes three straight wins on East Capitol Street. The Revolution have largely struggled to play their preferred brand of soccer against DCU, and they have lacked a viable alternative against just about everyone in MLS. On the other hand, New England has won three of their last four, and the notoriously streaky Revs might be about to catch fire as they've done so often under Jay Heaps.
D.C. United Projected 11: Ben Olsen doesn't have that many players to choose from, but the situation may actually have improved compared to last week's bare bones situation. I think we'll see Bill Hamid in goal behind a back four of Sean Franklin, Kofi Opare, Jalen Robinson (stepping in for the suspended Bobby Boswell), and Taylor Kemp. In the midfield, Jared Jeffrey and Marcelo Sarvas will pair up in the deep roles, while Nick DeLeon, Luciano Acosta, and Lamar Neagle will make up the attacking trio. The forward is a bit of a guess, but my gut tells me Alhaji Kamara gets his first start at RFK over Fabian Espindola and Alvaro Saborio.
Those two will probably get into the game as they return from injury, though, with Acosta and Kamara the most likely players to be removed. Rob Vincent seems like the most likely player to be brought on as the third sub, with one of the wide midfielders making way. The rest of the bench will be Travis Worra, Luke Mishu, Julian Buescher, and Andrea Mancini.
Referee: Marcos de Oliveira
What are you drinking?: I'm stuck at home for this one, so I'll be having Flying Dog's Dead Rise ale. It is summer in Maryland, and that means Dead Rise.
Prediction: I predicted a 2-0 win earlier this week based on some assumptions about the lineup that weren't accurate. However, the Revs have been simply unable to get anything done against United for two seasons, and I don't think Jay Heaps has figured that puzzle out. I'll stick with 2-0, with the goals coming from Kamara (that's Alhaji, not Kei) and let's go with Rob Vincent to finish the game off.
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