Matchday: DC v LA Galaxy

Tonight’s match could well be an epic, firstly it’s a sell-out, secondly it’s being billed as the Wazza vs Zlatan contest. As we know, this is Wayne’s last season in MLS, and every game we should be, as fans, be getting behind the whole team for one last big push to get into the playoffs. Anything less is a failure, winning the Cup is the goal. We’ve not had the best of form to say the least, we’ve had the transfers come in, Kamara not available due to Visa delays, but we’ve got Felipe Martins and Ema Boateng at the ready. Let’s break it down for tonight!

DC United

That game against Philly, seems such a long time ago. It’s amazing what happens in the space of a week. We’ve had the announcement of the Rooney transfer, we’ve had transfer deadline day happen, and all the announcements. What’s going to happen then? Well, for me that is one difficult question now. Team news is that Canouse, Moreno and Durkin are all out. Canouse and Durkin are injured and Moreno is out through suspension. Felipe Martins and Ema Boateng are available after joining the club earlier this week, however Kamara is not.

Normally I’d go into a predicted lineup, but for this week I’m not going to, mainly because I have no idea how this is going to go down, but news is that something major is going to happen according to Pablo Maurer. Nothing more than that however. I do think it’ll be Lucho Acosta sitting out of this one, and I’d imagine Pines will be rested, he hasn’t had his best form the last few games. If Twitter is to be believed, it looks like O’Niel Fisher is back as he tweeted out a few images of him back in the Black & Red jersey. It could be a very interesting lineup.

LA Galaxy

The Galaxy will be facing their 3rd road trip today against us, and so far they’ve not faired well, they are currently on 2 defeats and aggregated 7-0. We all know that means nothing in MLS though as these things can change so quickly. Zlatan returns from suspension for this game and they are without one player, 17 year old Efrain Alvarez. Galaxy have a 9-9-5 record away to DC, so it’s incredibly even between the two sides. This will be their 1st visit to Audi Field. Galaxy currently sit 5th in the Western Conference, and on the road overall they currently have a 4-6-1 record.

Match Prediction

I truly don’t know (like I ever know) how this is going to go down. We’ve come off the back of a hammering, where the dressing room would have been hurt to the max. We have new signings coming into the mix and players out through injury and suspension. We’ve been playing a 3-4-2-1 formation too recently, but I can’t see that continuing. Your guess is as good as mine. Like the lineup prediction, I’m leaving this one out. Probably for the best.

Where to watch

In the USA, it’s on FS1, for us in the UK it’s being broadcast on Sky Sports Football & Main Event.

Match Preview: CHI v DC

This game see’s us head over to the windy city of Chicago, Illinois. To a side who are currently sat 3rd bottom in the Eastern Conference, who have just won once in the last 6 ties, and just 5 times overall all season. Chicago have issues on and off the field, and DCU have a job to do. We have been on the road for the 3rd game in the row, and the Fire will want to burn bright once again. Can we rain on their parade? I’ll stop with these puns and look at what could happen.

DC United

DC United come off the back of the late defeat in Atlanta. A tie in which it took all the effort to keep them out for 89 minutes, to fall at the final hurdle. I hope the team are hurt from that and come out this weekend looking to score a couple of goals to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Rooney has been back in the UK the last week as he had picked up a minor knock in the game against Cincy, and should be back for this game. Ben Olsen has been consistent in the formation recently and will have a huge decision to make as Acosta has returned too. Will he go back to the 4-2-3-1 or will he continue 3-4-2-1 and drop a key attacker? If I was a betting man, I’d see Ben going back to the 4-2-3-1.

Could we see the strongest lineup out today? From what I’ve seen, we should be able to. I’d love to see Pines play but that would been dropping Acosta up top. And I’m not so sure that would happen.

Chicago Fire

Chicago have struggled all season. Recording just 5 wins all season, and none on the road. They’ve conceded 14 goals at home and scored 26 in 12 matches. Coming off the Leagues Cup (Pointless trophy) defeat in midweek, and just 1 win in the last 6 at home, they’ll be looking to add to that W column. When looking at the times they score goals, Chicago are very strong at the end of the game, somehow they manage to get something out of the tank when teams tend to wind down. They’ve also never failed to score at home in MLS this season. Their most recent win came against MLS Cup champions, Atlanta United, in which will be seen as one of the big shocks of the season, the result being 5-1.

Match Prediction

My prediction is that there will be goals. DC have scored 6 goals in the last 6 away ties, 4 coming against Cincy, and with Chicago being in a similar position right now, they’ll be looking to have a good win. DC last won in Chicago in 2015, so it isn’t the best stadium for us, however, if we can get the best side out, which is highly likely, I can see us turning the Fire over. My score prediction is…

Where to watch

In the USA, it’s being broadcast on FloFC.

Streaming: Bet365

TV: Sky Sports Football

Match Preview: ATL v DC

Today’s game is at the spectacular Mercedes-Benz Stadium. And what’s better, it’s during normal hours for us in the UK! Kicking off at an advertised 9pm, but will be 9:08pm. No late night for this one. DC are fresh off a convincing win in Cincinnati and Atlanta from a win against Houston Dynamo. What can we expect from this evenings game?

DC United

Will we return with Acosta to the lineup? I would think Ben Olsen will, but I would love for us to keep with the same lineup as the game against Cincy, for two reasons. 1st being that we won, and why would you change a winning lineup? 2nd being that if you keep chopping and changing the lineup, consistency breaks.

After the win in mid-week, DC will be on a high, 4 great goals, all from open play too. Titi Rodriguez is on good form right now, Arriola scoring again, things are looking good, however, they do need to be wary of being over-confident. Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an arena that can be very intimidating. But we have won there and hopefully we can replicate how well we did on that rain soaked night at the beginning of the season.

Atlanta United

The reigning champions, the team with Josef Martinez, they need to be watched, but with the likes of Bill Hamid (hopefully), Birnbaum & Brilliant should be able to sound him out. They are without Brek Shea who injured his ACL. We also have to be wary of Barco, the other Martinez, Pity, Gressel and Nagbe. Plenty for Olsen to think about and Moreno/Canouse will have their work cut out.

Their form has been very indifferent, not putting any back to back wins in the last 6 ties. It’s very similar to ours. Their home form has been very good though, not getting beat in the last 6. This will be a very tough game for us.

Score Prediction

I’m going for a repeat of earlier in the season. I think we will have a bit of confidence about us. I’m hoping we will keep the same lineup, with the addition of Hamid in goal, but in the event that Olsen does an Olsen, Acosta usually plays his best against this lot. So hopefully, either way, we will get a good game to watch later.

Where to watch

Streaming: Bet365

TV: Sky Sports Football

Match Preview: NE v DCU

Predicted Lineup

As you can see from this, I think McCann will start instead of Moreno, not sure it will be too soon for him to start after he has been out of action for a bit, granted he did play in the friendly. Also, Arriola is currently suspended so I reckon Segura will be starting. Olsen seems to trust him more than Stieber.

Key Stats

Not a stat, but key nonetheless, Bruce Arena is now in charge of New England Revolution. And as stated in my guest appearance on DCU_Soccer podcast, it’s like having a new car smell when having a new head coach. The players will want to impress, but DC need to be on them.

If we look at this season, the Revs are not having a great season at all, incredibly leaky in defence, and not doing a lot going forward, this could be a high scoring game for DC, as long as they can cure their going forward problems. With Arriola out this may be more difficult, but this is a prime match to get the confidence back and flowing. This game usually has 3 goals or more at the Gillette Stadium, however New England are usually on top. Overall though DC are better in this fixture. In the same fixture last season, it finished 3-2 to the Revs, and the last time DC beat New England at their ground was April 14th 2012.

Match Prediction

I think we can win this 2-0. Hopefully all those travelling can come back happy. I don’t think we will have much of a problem getting a shut out, Hamid has been incredible this season, it’s just us going forward. I hope we can attack with pace, and that Griffin Yow get’s some game time if we need it. I think he can be the game changer.

What do you think? Let me know on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. You can watch this game in the UK on FreeSports from 12:35am


Roundup of this week’s previews & news

DC United to host Real Betis in May –

Chris Durkin called up to USMNT U20’s –

Match Preview –

Match Preview: DCU vs RSL

Team News

For the 3rd game running, no new team news for DCU. This is great as it means Ben Olsen can put out a consistent lineup. From a backline point of view, this is awesome as so far there has not been a goal conceded in 180 minutes, and with a MOTM performance last week, Hamid will be pleased to see this. Up top is where, if anything, would change. Arriola has been consistent in his direct running and picking out key passes, I just worry for Rodriguez as he hasn’t had an impact as much, but game time will give him that. I think the lineup will stay the same as the previous two games however.

Key Stats

Both sides unbeaten in their 1st 2 games of the season, with RSL tieing with Houston Dynamo in the first match away and beating Vancouver Whitecaps last week.

In this exact fixture, there have been 10 games. DC winning 6, RSL once and 3 ties. Overall scoreline has been DCU 23-10 RSL. The biggest scoreline being back in 2015 when it was DC 6-4 RSL. RSL taking a 2 goal lead only for it to go to 4-2, then bringing it back to 4-4 and then conceding another 2. Hopefully it will be as good as that, but not maybe for the nerves.

Key Players

Well, since it’s hopefully going to be a consistent lineup, let’s look at RSL. It’s a farewell for former DCU keeper Nick Rimando as he is in his last season before retiring, so hopefully the DCU fans will give him a warm send off, just hope the players don’t do the same.

Baird will be looking to add to his assist that he got in the 1st game. And Rusnak will be looking to make it 3 games and 3 goals. Hopefully DCU will be able to mark them out of the game and nullify any potential goal scoring threats.

Lineup Prediction

Need I say any more

Consistency is key

Scoreline Prediction

I think as long as DCU can keep the RSL attack out, I feel there will be a few goals in this tie. Hopefully Rooney can get his season underway and I feel Arriola & Acosta can get themselves a goal each too. I’m going for 3-0 for this.

Where to watch

This match is available through FreeSports this week. But as I can’t get that, I’ll be streaming through my Bet365 account as they show all the MLS matches, just without commentary or good high quality.


Match Preview: DCU vs ATL

Welcome to the opener for DC United’s 2019 season. Here we look ahead to Sunday’s fixture and some key facts & figures between these two sides previously. But 1st, here is Ben Olsen speaking to the press before the match.

He talks about how the club is further ahead than this time last season as we have a “nucleus” of players. But he is also wary of how adding a couple of players can disturb that. He does point out the key partnerships all over the pitch, from the LuchoRoo pairing, to Canouse & Moreno, to Steve & Fred. What this shows is that DC are set for a great team chemistry, this is the backbone of the team. If DC are to be successful, we need to be free of injuries, but if/when there are, we need the likes of Durkin, Ward, Amarikwa and everyone else to be able to foster the partnerships required on the pitch.

Head to Head
  • Played 6 matches
  • DC United won 4 to Atlanta’s 2 victories with 0 draws
  • Average of 3.33 goals a game
  • DC have scored 11 goals to Atlanta’s 9
  • Most recent victory to DC was September 2nd 2018 (3-1)
  • Michael Parkhurst has scored two own goals in this fixture

Key Players

For DC United, this is a big season for both Luciano Acosta and Wayne Rooney. For this side to be successful these guys need to remain fit and be consistent. Rooney leads from the front, and since his introduction to MLS, he has brought the team on leaps and bounds. It’s not just his play that has turned the team around, but his confidence, belief and knowledge that he has been able to pass on to his teammates that has brought everyone to the next level. The partnership that instantly formed with Acosta was better than anyone could have ever expected. The man between the sticks is going to be someone who will be key in this fixture. Bill Hamid who will be looking to perform as well as he can to try and earn himself a deserved call up to the USMNT. He’ll be looking to keeping anything from Martinez out of the net and commanding that back four to keep the ATL attack at bay.

For Atlanta, they’ll once again be looking to Josef Martinez. The gum-shield wearing forward will no doubt be trying to replicate his record-breaking season again. He has scored against DC before and it’ll be up to Birnbaum & Brillant to keep him in their back pockets. Gressel will no doubt be looking to influence the match from the midfield, but will the loss of Almiron to EPL side Newcastle Utd be hard felt? They’ll also be looking to Brad Guzan in goal for shut-outs throughout the season, but against the LuchoRoo, he didn’t have a good time when he was last at Audi Field.

My lineup prediction

The lineup speaks for itself really, Jara coming in at right back and Rodriguez replacing Asad who has gone back to Velez. Everyone else, the core “nucleus” of the side is still intact. That scare from Acosta possibly going to PSG didn’t materialise so we still have him sitting in behind Rooney being that playmaker. I expect Mora to continue working hard down the left side of the pitch. And Rooney spearheading that attack up top.

My score prediction – DC United 3-1 Atlanta United

I think Rooney will be heavily involved, but I also think Martinez is too good to keep quiet for a full 90 minutes. I do hope I’m proved wrong in that fact though.

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