MLS IS BACK! And it is ready for the 25th season. I cannot wait for the game to begin. I feel we’ve had a great off-season with some of the signings we have made. Julian Gressel, Yamil Asad, Edison Flores and Bill Hamid. Each an important deal. It hasn’t been without issues though, we’ve obviously lost Wayne Rooney and Lucho Acosta, but we’ve also lost Paul Arriola to injury for the season and Donovan Pines has had an injury during Preseason. We’ve had a fairly ok preseason if you were to look at the results, 3W-2L-1T, but generally, they’re for fitness more than anything.
Will this be 10th season lucky for Ben Olsen? He enters his 10th season as DC United head coach, and apart from a US Open Cup, he hasn’t had much to shout about. In the UK, Ben would more than likely have seen the exit, only a handful of managers last this long nowadays, and that could be seen as incredible patience by the Front Office. I know Steve Gibson of Middlesbrough is like that and normally patience is rewarded. Sometimes not this patient but patient nonetheless.
Onto the game, what can we expect from both sides this weekend?
I’m expecting new signings of Gressel and Flores to be starting in the lineup with Asad being on the bench. I think we might also see some of the homegrown talents in the 18. Fisher is back fit and he will be like a new signing after missing all of 2019. I think we will have a strong 11 out this weekend. Formation wise I think we will look at a 4-2-3-1 formation, the way we played in 2018/19. Ben doesn’t shy away from sticking with his tried and true methods unless he has no other choice.
They are now without Tim Howard who has retired, they have a single DP, Younes Namli, and he only arrived during the offseason. They do have some good experience up top with Kei Kamara. He is a player who should be watched carefully, but also Shinyashiki who was Rookie of the Year 2019.
Finishing 9th in the Western Conference, the season could’ve been much worse as they did have a strong back end, winning 5 out of the last 8 games they had. 2020 is a new year though, and they have a new coach who is in his 1st full season with the club. All to play for this year.
Tough to say, 1st game of the season and it will be all up in the air. This preseason for pretty much all teams hasn’t been your traditional style of preseason. I’ve learnt what a scrimmage is (less than a friendly), and the games have all been pretty much behind closed doors. DC United more so as only one game was streamed, so trying to work out how we played has been very difficult. But saying that, there is a score prediction, which I announced on the most recent episode of the podcast. That score predictions is…
Where to watch
Well, it’s not being broadcast on TV here in the UK, so it’ll be the standard streaming through Bet365.