If you’re D.C. United you miss your playmaker in Luciano Acosta, you come off a disappointing loss on Independence Day last week with FC Dallas and then what happens? You give up two goals to the New England Revolution in the game’s first half hour and half to chase things afterwards. You get sort of there with a 2-2 draw which keeps you (as of this writing) in second in the Eastern Conference, however if results break just the right way, could find you as far down as fifth by Monday morning. What to takeaway from such a result?
This doesn’t really change anything.
D.C. has won once in their last 9(!) games now, while the Revs go to unbeaten in their last 8, including two games with United. They will go on to play 3 road games in 9 days, starting Thursday with league-worst defense FC Cincinnati, and (we presume) will be missing Acosta for that one. Better to get the 3 points next week, then to figure out what you’re going to do the following Sunday at Atlanta United (who have lost 4 games since late April, 13 games ago) or the Chicago Fire (while 1-4-3 in their last 8, have not lost to D.C. since 2015, since the Conor Doylazo) in the game after that.
Do moves start this week?
At the risk of scrapping everything from Friday, Zoltan Stieber was left out of the 18 for the second straight week, following a bland 66 minutes against Toronto FC two weeks ago. Following a week where he was training (and instagramming it to boot), he’s either advertising himself to teams abroad, or being very passive aggressive about things if he’s really going to stay the rest of the year. D.C. does have the space from a roster spot perspective to make moves, though some ancillary things (moves for cash, possibly an international roster spot, maybe a mutual termination of contract) are probably going to need to happen for guys like Yamil Asad to come aboard.
Maybe Lucas Rodriguez CAN become the next Lucho?
For all the talk about Lucho leaving, staying or what have you, there was certainly the look last week that Titi didn't want to be in that CAM spot.
This week, a little more comfortable?
Titi Rodriguez looked a lot better this week (38/43, 14/17 attacking third) but essentially fed Paul Arriola when possible. If he's playing CAM he's gotta get more chance creation. pic.twitter.com/tmi1T8nrcR— Ryan Keefer (@reefa_k) July 13, 2019
He’s not turning the ball over, sure, but if if he’s going to be in the middle of the park or is even considered for it long-term, he needs to get a bit of swagger.
So now D.C. moves on to Cincinnati, where the last time they gave up fewer than 2 goals to an MLS opponent was more than two months ago. For a D.C. side starving to find offense (they have scored two or more goals once since May 29), they’re going to need to find it, and soon.