We’re down to just two more games at RFK Stadium and five more in this hellish season. There are hints of fall in the air. The days are getting shorter. The milk in my fridge is nearing expiration.
Time moves on, friends. I have put last week’s game behind me, I have accepted its stupidity. I am all in on the San Jose Earthquakes and the need to wrangle three points out of them. I am all in on D.C. United not sucking.
Weirdly, we all seem to be in on the Black-and-Red not sucking, even though we all watch this team every week.
Donald Wine II
D.C. United may be starting to look forward to 2018 and counting down the days at RFK, but they have business to tend to in the Earthquakes. It's Armed Forces Night and the team goes on a three game road trip after this, so I think the team will be energized and focused on putting on a good show. I think Chris Wondolowski is the cheese in the middle of a Russell Canouse goal sandwich, and Luciano Acosta adds a third as the Black-and-Red punish San Jose 3-1.
D.C. United will be swinging hard into youth mode in their second-to-last game at RFK Stadium, so maybe the kids will be able to bring what their elders have lacked this season. Bruno Miranda will score after starting as the center forward, and Paul Arriola will as well to give United an unexpected 2-1 win over the Goonies. Wondo will score for them, because of course he will.
San Jose is garbage on the road, giving up three or more goals in six of their last seven away trips. That said, the key factor with this fragile United side is getting out in front, because they seem to curl up and die when falling behind. I feel optimistic that happens, with Luciano Acosta taking advantage of some gaps in the Quakes defense to put the Black-and-Red up inside of 20 minutes. Zoltan Stieber makes it 2-0 shortly after halftime with a curler from outside the box, and United will briefly appear to be rolling. However, their finishing woes and a goal from Wondo make this a nervy finish (or at least, as nervy as can be when you know you're not going to the playoffs). San Jose probably looks likely to grab an equalizer, but a red card ruins their plans and the Black-and-Red hang on for a 2-1 win.
The Quakes’ recent form has been very on-brand for adidas: All or Nothing. They've won or lost by three or more goals in last four road games—three Ls, plus a win over the corpse of what was once the LA Galaxy. Because past events are perfect predictors of the future, this makes me think that whoever scores first will go on in a rout. That team will be the Black-and-Red. After some chances for each side Ian Harkes hits one from distance to put the hosts ahead. Lucho Acosta puts on a show from there, assisting on second-half tallies by Zoltan Stieber and Patrick Mullins (BREAK DUCK, BREAK!) as United go on to win 3-0.
If only. Back in reality, I see Chris Wondolowski scoring a PK for his 12th of the year and 133rd of his career—tying United GOAT Jaime Moreno on the MLS all-time list. Ian Harkes does grab a goal to knot it up. Jalen Robinson gets the start and plays well, though, and the midfield continues building rapport and improving the possession game, so we don't go home too disappointed in the result. Welcome to Preseason 2018!
WHAT IF D.C. United can score first and keep a lead? WHAT IF they don’t immediately fall behind and totally crumple? WHAT IF they make good on the promising flashes they’ve shown recently? WHAT IF we don’t all go home wondering if we really are going to close out the season on a series of low notes?
I mean, it would be nice. I’m probably a damn fool for believing it’ll happen. 2-0 to the good guys, thanks to Mullins and Acosta.
What’s your prediction for tonight’s game? Share in the comments, but don’t forget to take the silly poll first (it’s very important).
Why doesn’t my two-year-old niece like the stuffed Talon I got her?
This poll is closed
Not cuddly enough
Talon is kinda scary no matter how cartoonish you make him
Barney is purple-ier and purple is better
Auntie Leanne is lame and has lame interests
She will like him eventually, but you should buy her more DCU things just in case