Back at home today and on national TV, D.C. United are taking on another hot team right now: Los Angeles FC.
LAFC have four wins from five games so far this season and have had little trouble scoring goals, but we know that DCU haven’t been so bad themselves. This match-up has the potential to be quite a show, and that’s exactly what we’re predicting.
Plus, we’re in for a beautiful spring afternoon here in the District. What could go wrong?
Donald Wine II
D.C. United’s match against LAFC is on Big Fox. That’s a Big Deal. And I think that it means that the Black-and-Red will put on a show. Carlos Vela will get one, but Wayne Rooney gets 2 and adds assists to Paul Arriola and Titi Rodriguez as they complete a 4-1 victory.
Donald is right: Back home, with a full house and against the strongest opponent to date, D.C. United will be locked in on Saturday. I think they come out of the gate screaming, Titi Rodriguez stepping up in the press to put SoCal native Paul Arriola in on goal for the opener. After that, LAFC controls possession and generates a few chances, all of them stopped by the D and Bill Hamid (Bill Bill Hamid!). Just before halftime, Russell Canouse and Junior Moreno combine to force a turnover in the center circle, setting up Lucho Acosta and Wayne Rooney to combine for what would be a highlight-reel goal but for the efforts of LAFC ‘keeper Tyler Miller. Fear not, though—Rodriguez will be there to put in the rebound and give the Black-and-Red a two-goal lead at the break. Carlos Vela does Carlos Vela things in the second half and gets one in, but Lucho ices the game sometime after the 80th minute, Rooney with the dime. 3-1 los Capitalinos.
Two of the best teams in the league right now, and two of only five that are currently undefeated. Carlos Vela scares the beans out of me, but D.C. United have proven so far this year that they are solid defensively (though how they manage without Joseph Mora is an open question). I think their currently play plus the advantage of playing at Audi Field leads to a 2-1 victory for United.
This may be D.C.’s most important game in quite some time. You don’t get to be the twin bill of an OTA national broadcast too often (Bayern and Dortmund being the first half of Big Fox’s TV plans), Lucho is rumored to have European scouts on hand so naturally he’ll want to impress, the top 2 scorers in the Lig (Vela, Rooney) for arguably the top 2 teams right now square off, and I...have nothing. If nothing else I have to lean on anecdotal past football precedence here. Sure, LA throttled the Quakes last week, but three weeks ago, they had to travel to the East Coast, play an early start, and the result (a 2-2 draw with New York City FC) is what I’m leaning on for inspiration. When they play on the road against the East they’ve been a mortal 2-3-1, with wins against last year’s Montreal and Toronto FC, the latter in early September. So I’ll probably overemphasize this when I say D.C. wins 3-2, with Lucho getting a brace and Wazza getting the other, offsetting a brace from Vela.
Just one of LA’s two road matches this season came against better than bad opposition (sorry, San Jose.) In their match at NYC, a second half Carlos Vela penalty was what earned LA a point in a 2-2 draw. LA hasn’t scored fewer than two goals in any game in this young season, and that’s a trend I see continuing. It’s another road draw against good opposition, with a Vela goal initially being answered by Paul Arriola, and a second half Diego Rossi goal being answered by Wayne Rooney. 2-2, and the teams split the points.
This should live up to the hype...unless Ben Olsen decides to rotate for this one ahead of Tuesday’s Eastern Conference clash against Montreal. I doubt that’ll be the case, though, so expect some fireworks. I feel like Black Thunder will take the lead through Carlos Vela early, but United will then put them under immense pressure. After spurning 2-3 real chances, the Black-and-Red get back level on a Paul Arriola goal around the 40th minute. The second half will carry on with both teams showing their best stuff, with United having trouble applying the finish while Bill Hamid and some timely defending stymie LAFC. Audi Field gets louder as the game goes on, and the fans get what they wanted as Wayne Rooney slides onto a Leonardo Jara cross to prod an 80th minute winner past Tyler Miller. 2-1 DCU.
I agree with everyone that we’re bound to get goals in this one, but I’m hesitant to get too crazy here. I think the Black-and-Red open the scoring in the first half through none other than Wayne Rooney, but after that we get a dip in the action for a while. Then, midway through the second half, the game explodes. LAFC will equalize before DCU bring things home with goals from Arriola and Lucho. 3-1 to the good guys.
What are you predicting for today’s game? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to take the silly poll as well.
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