After playing their first two preseason games behind closed doors, the world will get its first glimpse at the 2017 version of D.C. United as the team takes on Sweden’s Jönköpings Södra IF. After this game, United will return to DC and that is traditionally when the first round of cuts to the trialists comes, so they especially will be looking to make an impression on Ben Olsen and his crew.
Key player: Ian Harkes
This is the first time anyone not named Steven Streff will be able to see Ian Harkes as a professional. The reviews have been good so far, and Harkes looks to be afforded every opportunity to grab the starting spot ahead of Marcelo Sarvas and behind Luciano Acosta. Getting to see him play with long-time professionals around him will give the rest of us the chance to see him and to hopefully see him step even closer to the starting lineup.
Expect United to field two completely different teams in each half, likely with the starters going the first 45 minutes and the trialists going the second 45. While a win is always nice, this is more about individual performances and how those individuals work with the rest of the team around them.
Location: IMG Academy Stadium (Bradenton, Florida)
Kick-off time: 4:00 PM Eastern
Available TV: None
Available streaming: It should be available on IMG TV, but this site is notoriously finicky. You do need to register for a free account to watch the game and “purchase” a ticket in order to watch.
Treat this as the gamethread for today’s game.