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Match Report: DCU 1-2 Colorado Rapids

The start of the 25th season of MLS came and went, DC seemingly had a good offseason off the pitch as the Front Office listened to the fans and installed safe seating, the social media content was getting better and there were good vibes everywhere. It looked like we could get off to a great start. I was full of hope and optimism, seeing the likes of Flores and Gressel in the 11 and then with Asad & Sorga on the bench, I felt good.

Just under 17,000 (16,932 to be exact) were in attendance for the defeat by Colorado Rapids. From what I had seen and been told, it was freezing temperatures. The 1st half had lots of energy but a lot of scrappy play, which to be fair, for a first game of the season, that is to be expected. Nothing hugely clear cut from either side however, we did have a goal chalked off for offside. Flores moving just a little too early, but with a great header just inside the far post. And then moments later, Felipe had an effort fantastically saved by the Colorado keeper Clint Irwin. With neither side finding the back of the net, it finished 0-0 in the first half.

2nd half kicks off, and Colorado were looking the more energetic, keeping the ball, having some fluid attacking moves down the wings, really opening up the play. Kei Kamara doing what he does best and being a pain in the neck for the CB’s. Sam Nicholson looked good down the Rapids right hand side. But it was DCU who broke the deadlock. A cracking corner from Gressel, who had been lethal from the set piece all game, whips it in towards the far post, Canouse peels away from his marker and is left alone to nod in the 1st goal of the season. Then 7 minutes later, it was 1-1. A ball came in from the right and Kei Kamara moved in to also head home. No-one picked him up, it seemed that Brillant should have been the one and he didn’t get in front of him.

Yamil Asad came on for Flores which appeared to change how we played, and it was great to see him back. Asad has a more direct running approach compared to Flores. However we looked very leggy, tiredness seemed to dictate how we played after he came on. We fell into a more defensive shape and it felt like DCU of the back half of 2019. Ben not using his subs as they were not tall enough was not a good reason to not use them.

And the tiredness kicked in when in added time we conceded the winner, in the 92nd minute Canouse’s clearance didn’t really make it out of the box, and up steps Jonathan Lewis to slot it home to take the kick out of DC United’s home opener.

Match Facts

  • Russell Canouse scored his first goal of 2020; his second career goal. 
  • Julian Gressel recorded his first career assist for the Black-and-Red; his 36th career MLS assist.
  • Edison Flores made his D.C. United and MLS debut as a starter.
  • Julian Gressel made his D.C. United debut as a starter.
  • D.C. United are 21-14-10 against Colorado all-time. 
  • The Black-and-Red started their second full-season at Audi Field since opening in July 2018.
  • D.C. United are 19-7-7 at Audi Field all-time. 

Lineups

D.C. United lineup: Bill Hamid; Joseph Mora, Steven Birnbaum, Frédéric Brillant, Russel Canouse; Felipe, Júnior Moreno; Ulises Segura, Julian Gressel, Edison Flores (Yamil Asad 71′); Ola Kamara 
Unused Substitutes: Chris Seitz, Oniel Fisher, Kevin Paredes, Emmanuel Boateng, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Erik Sorga

Colorado Rapids Lineup: Clint Irwin, Keegan Rosenberry, Drew Moor, Lalas Abubakar, Sam Vines, Kellyn Acosta, Jack Price, Younes Namil (Nicolás Mezquida 64′), Sam Nicholson (Jonathan Lewis 85′), Andre Shinyashiki (Diego Rubio 80′), Kei Kamara 
Unused Substitutes: Danny Wilson, Deklan Wynne, Cole Bassett, Andre Rawls

Man of the Match

Post match press conference

Up next

We have expansion side Inter Miami at Audi Field on March 7th. Kick off is 8:30pm(ish) and is being shown on Freesports here in the UK.

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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.

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Blog News

DC United to play Colorado Rapids in home opener

Announcement of all the 25th MLS season has been made, and all the clubs will be playing on ther opening weekend. We will be up against Colorado Rapids at Audi Field on February 29th. Kick off will be at 1pm ET/6pm GMT. Full fixture list below.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

1 PM D.C. United vs. Colorado Rapids (Audi Field)

3 PM Montreal Impact vs. New England Revolution (Olympic Stadiu)

3:30 PM Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy (BBVA Stadium)

5:30 PM San Jose Earthquakes vs. Toronto FC (Avaya Stadium)

6 PM FC Dallas vs. Philadelphia Union (Toyota Stadium)6 PM Orlando City SC vs. Real Salt Lake (Exploria Stadium)

8 PM Nashville SC vs. Atlanta United (Nissan Stadium)

10:30 PM Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Sporting Kansas City (BC Place)

Sunday, March 1, 20201

2:30 PM Columbus Crew SC vs. New York City Football Club (MAPFRE Stadium)

1 PM New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati (Red Bull Arena)

3 PM Seattle Sounders FC vs. Chicago Fire FC (CenturyLink Field)

5:30 PM Los Angeles Football Club vs. Inter Miami CF (Banc of California Stadium)

7:30 PM Portland Timbers vs. Minnesota United