DC United hasn’t lost in almost a month and playing at home looking to protect their rightful place in the universe at the top of the Eastern Conference, you’d think it was a stone cold lock the Black and Red bag all the points. However Toronto has their three game unbeaten streak going putting them in second place in the East, and has looked pretty decent on the road so far this year.
Toronto has gotten results in KC, Crew Stadium, and only lost in Dallas due to a ridiculous PK called in the 90th minute. They are also the only team to have beaten Western Conference leaders Chivas among other good results so far this season. So, by no stretch of the imagination will this be as easy as the 4-1 thumping DC hung on them here last year.
DC United, on the other hand might just have a secret weapon for this delightful early season clash; their actual starting lineup.
DC has developed a lovely don’t lose mindset this season mostly due to remarkable contributions from their rookies, but with a completely healthy roster including babies born or recovering nicely, the RFK faithful just might get a glimpse of the true DC United starting lineup for the first time this year.
With Santino and Fred available and Jaime and Gomez rounding into form, the only glitch might be a balky hamstring of all things for Ben Olsen that might throw a wrench in the works. Still, it would be something to see if United’s best XI take the field all at once at some point this match, even if that means sacrificing the remarkable rookies for the first time this season.
Imagine Emilio and Moreno against Velez and Serioux, Gomez, Olsen and Simms against Guevara and Robinson, Fred and Namoff against Cronin and Wynne, Quaranta and Jakovic against Vitti and Brennan, even Barrett and the Beast Dichio against Janicki isn’t all that bad as Barrett has notched his goal for the month already last match.
Now that is a winning set of circumstances if I ever saw one. However, even if Wallace and Pontius, and maybe Barklage, play instead that’s still a pretty lovely lineup surely able to preserve United’s undefeated streak at RFK at the very least. DC is 3-0 outscoring TFC 11 to 4 in RFK as well as 5-1 overall against them. I just can’t imagine this is the week that all comes crashing down.
So, as much as it pains Webb to read, I’m going out on a limb and cautiously saying DC United should pull out the full three points.
And I could use the help as my predictions lately have been a bit painful to follow up on. Of course RSL pulled off the tie and I would have called it exactly if I hadn’t changed my mind after the Morales suspension. Typical. Still, I called the DC tie and NY’s dismantling of SJ, so overall it wasn’t too bad. Which makes me 27-29 overall and creeping back to respectability.
As for the rest of the matches:
KC drops a 2-0 decision in Columbus as the Warzycha buzzards are held at bay for a week and the Crew get their first win since the MLS Cup. Schelotto and Marshall remind the home fans of old times.
The Fire hammer NE into submission 3-1 as Nicol fumes and Feldman weeps. McBride (2) and Nyarko over Ralston’s PK.
Houston roll over FCD in the battle for Texas and it’s not even close although it ends up 1-0 Davis with the freekick goal.
Chivas keeps it rolling along 2-1 over RSL who still hasn’t shown they know how to play on the road. Lillingston and Braun over Findley’s breakaway.
And LA finally loses on the road as Donovan scores, but so do Montero and Ljungberg for Seattle.
Oh, and fingers crossed DC over TFC 3-1. Emilio, Gomez, and Fred over Guevara soccer gods willing.