Categories
Blog Match Preview

Match Preview: DC United vs Colorado Rapids

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?

DC United

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.

Colorado Rapids

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.

Match Prediction

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…

My score prediction

Where to watch

Well, it’s not being broadcast on TV here in the UK, so it’ll be the standard streaming through Bet365.

Categories
Match Preview

Match Preview: DC v RBNY

It’s Rivalry Week in MLS, and our 1st game in the double gameweek is against our major rivals, New York Red Bulls. These types of games are always full of passion and us fans, we love them. It’s always the 1st one we look out for in the fixture list.

After what happened against Vancouver, we need an improvement in the finishing. Let’s hope the’ve worked on it midweek. 24 attempts with only 2 on target means that we need improvement. The rest of play was good, just the final execution.

DC United

Performances recently have been up and down, and has been frustrating to watch. Positives have been there, like Bill Hamid’s shot stopping, but then he has frustrated us by conceding that goal against Vancouver, great build play and quick passing, only for the end product to be woeful, Rooney leaving at the end of the season, for replacements to be brought in ready. It’s about to click, I can feel it, and lets hope it is tonight.

Lineup

I think Ben will go with the best lineup available, and right now, I think this is what he will go with. I’d rather have Segura than Acosta, however, when Acosta plays well, he can be unplayable and be the difference between winning and losing.

New York Red Bulls

Red Bulls are currently 1 point behind us in the standings, with a game in hand. Which makes us a must win game, also RBNY will be seeing it as that too. With only 4 wins in the last 10, their form hasn’t been spectacular either. On the road it has been 3-6-3 overall. With a full roster to choose from it appears, they’ll have a good lineup. Key player will be BWP, he is always a great forward and pops up when required. Bill Hamid will be a busy an this evening.

Match Prediction

With current form, difficult to predict how this game will end. My head says it will be a tough game, my heart says a DC win with a lot of passion from both fans and players. After speaking with Steve Birnbaum earlier in the week, the team will be prepared for a fight and will have worked hard in training. Fingers crossed we will see the hard work pay off, not only with the a victory this evening, but also this weekend too.

Where to Watch

Available on FreeSport here in the UK.

Categories
Match Preview

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.

Categories
Match Preview

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

Categories
Match Preview

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

Categories
Blog Match Preview

Match Preview: CIN v DC

Tonight see’s us take on bottom of the league FC Cincinnati. On paper, this is a game that we should be winning all day long. However, you and I know that soccer matches are not won on paper, they are won on the pitch, and despite DC United sitting in 3rd in the Eastern Conference, there has only been 1 win in the last 9 games for the Black and Red. FC Cincy on the other hand are on a 2 game winning streak, beating Houston & Chicago. Previous to that they’d only won once in the previous 14 fixtures. Have Cincy clicked? Will Olsen find the right formation and his main lineup? Let’s get into it.

DC United

DC United have a mixed bag when it comes to road games. The current record stands at 3-3-3. So it could be anything that we see tonight. Hopefully we will see the kind of performance that we had in the 2nd half against NE Revs, for the full 90 minutes tonight. Thankfully we are out of the heat wave that is in Washington right now so we can’t be blaming that this time. Acosta is still suspended this evening, and after Olsen appearing in the Cooligans x Total Soccer Show live podcast, it’s been noted that he believes the 3 back is the strongest lineup for us. What do I think the lineup will be then?

Hopefully we can keep the consistency with the 3 back lineup, especially if Olsen believes this is the strongest. I can’t imagine him changing it up, all we need to see is a bit of impetus in the way we attack. We can’t get off to a sluggish start like we have done recently. Fingers crossed we can continue where we left off in the last game.

FC Cincinnati

Struggling all season, they’ve suddenly found some form in the last 2 games, winning both, one at home and one on the road. Again on paper they look very leaky, conceding almost 2 goals a game. This could be a game where DC can score a few. In the last 2 games, 5 goals have been scored in total, but all from different players. Manneh is a threat that DC will need to deal with, and having Pines on the pitch will hopefully mean we can do. The roster of Cincy has been questioned this season, but if they continue the way they do, that won’t matter.

Nippert Stadium is the home of FC Cincinnati, a stadium that generates a huge atmosphere, it is such a shame that they aren’t allowed to stay in that ground yet NYCFC can have the Yankee Stadium. The fans will be behind the team no doubt and it’ll be interesting to see how DC deals with that.

Scoreline Prediction

As long as we continue how we left off against New England, then I can see us really taking the game to them. I could easily see us bagging a few goals. Arriola will want to show he can still do it after his Gold Cup expedition. Rooney leading the charts with 10 goals will want to add to that too. I’d love to see all the goals from open play tonight, shows we are more than just about set pieces. So my prediction is there below.

Where to watch?

Stream: Bet365

TV: FreeSports

What do you think to the preview post? Do you like it and what would you like to see change/added? Let me know in the comments or on social media.



Categories
Match Preview

Match Preview: DC v NE

It’s been a while since I’ve done a preview post. The last time was actually against New England Revolution. Here’s hoping we get a better result and performance than that game. I’m going to start this a fresh, and I hope you enjoy what I can bring into the preview. So, format is going to be this:

DC United

Opposition

Scoreline Prediction

Where to watch

Let’s start the preview.

DC United

DC United have only been beaten once in the last 6 games at home, however the record is 2-1-3. The one defeat coming against NYCFC in the US Open Cup QF. DCU’s season has come to a bit of a halt, after an early breakaway with victories against reigning MLS Cup holders Atlanta United and a big win against RSL, things were looking good, but since the injuries to FB’s and players away on international duty, the side has not been settled. Tonight could be the first game we see a post-Acosta side as he is the only player to be out of tonights game through suspension. The lineup I’ve predicted is below.

1st post Acosta lineup?

It’s looking very strong and I think this could be where we see Titi Rodriguez playing more centrally. In the two games I’ve seen him do that, he has looked very strong. His great athleticism, ability to bring the ball from deep and to go round players could be the key to unlocking defense’s.

Thankfully nothing much else to report from a DC United view, from watching some preview clips, it looks like we want to make amends for recent performances. Let’s hope we have a passionate performance tonight.

New England Revolution

New England have their new Head Coach in Bruce Arena really stamping his ethos since the last time we played this side, he had just been announced as the head guy. Their form has really come on leaps and bounds, in the last 6 games, they have a record of 4-1-2. NE Revs road record is slightly different however, 3-2-1. They are coming from back to back victories, one home win and one road victory, against Houston Dynamo and Colorado Rapids.

Their top scorer is currently Carles Gil and J Caicedo, with 4 a piece, a far cry form the 10 that Rooney has. NE Revs currently sit outside of the playoffs, but only on goal difference.

Scoreline Prediction

I’m optimistic about tonight’s game. I like what has been said before the game, and the fact that Arriola is back, Acosta is out, I feel like we will be looking to have a big victory. We need to respect what Arena has done to the Revs, making them more solid than they had been previously. Saying that, the crowd will bring them through. So, here goes, my prediction!

Where to watch?

Stream: Bet365

TV: FreeSports

What do you think to the preview post? Do you like it and what would you like to see change/added? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

Categories
Match Preview

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

Categories
Blog Match Preview

Match Preview: TFC vs DCU

Team News

Some sad news, Junior Moreno won’t be travelling with the team due to his father passing away, he has gone back to be with his family and friends. We wish him all the best and pass on our condolences.

Lineup Prediction

One change in the lineup, Durkin replacing Moreno, since I had done tonight’s lineup prediction with Niagara Reds TV, Moreno’s father has unfortunately passed away and he has gone to be with his family and friends back home.

Apart from that, I can see the rest of the lineup being the same, Olsen likes to keep it consistent unless he is forced into a change. And I like that, I like a manager who doesn’t chop and change for the sake of it, you don’t build form or chemistry when that happens.

Key Stats

Toronto are on poor form at the moment, losing 4 of the last 6 games. They started off decent, and we know that they are a team with good players like Pozuelo, Altidore and Michael Bradley. We are currently on a back to back victory run and only 2 defeats in the last 6 games. Head to Head wise, DC takes it with 14 wins to 10 and 6 ties. And when DC are on the road in Toronto, we take that too with 8 wins to 6 and 2 ties. We’ve not won in the last 2 visits though, last year was an amazing 4-4 tie and the year before that was a 2-0 loss. DC will look to set that straight.

At BMO Field so far this season, there has been an average of 2.29 goals per game, so there will be goals and I’m looking forward to that. I’ll need them to keep me awake later. Another key stat for me is that Toronto have conceded double the amount of goals that we have, but only scored 6 more. This leads me nicely onto my score prediction.

I think we will take this, we are on good form, we’ve scored this amount on a couple of occasions and the Toronto defence is very leaky. We’ll have pace up top which will hopefully stretch the defence nicely and open up space for the LuchoRoo partnership to get firing.

Where to watch

Well, firstly, watch the preview show on Niagara Reds TV below, but for the live game, in the UK it will be broadcast on FreeSports TV. If you have FreeView or Sky, it is on there, if you don’t, you can use the Premier Player, which is £9.99 per month for all 3 channels they do.

Match Preview with Tim of Niagara Reds TV