The Black-and-Red currently sit comfortably in first place in the East, leading the New England Revolution by seven points. Tonight they’ll be hosting Toronto FC, the fourth place team in the conference.
Toronto comes into this game without two of his better players as Jozy Altidore has a hamstring injury and Michael Bradley is fulfilling his national team duties. The Reds come into D.C. as the last team United will have played in the past 15 days, their fifth match in that time frame.
Sebastian Giovinco (five goals, six assists) has been in top form as of late, taking advantage of the absence of Altidore, Jay Chapman will most likely get the start in Bradley’s absence. Both players have large shoes to fill, especially if they wish to leave RFK with a result.
The home side had a fantastic second half earlier this week in a come from behind victory over the Chicago Fire, Fabian Espindola returned and so did DC’s attack. The issue last week was prior to Fabi coming into the game, the attack was virtually nonexistent. It was truly a tale of two halves as has been the case far too often this season for the Black-and-Red, while they’ve gotten the result more than not, it’s a fine line to walk. Prompting Coach Ben Olsen to say as much after Wednesday’s victory, “We gotta sort it out where we’re playing 90 minutes like we did the second half.”
What D.C. must do to get the result
- Win the battle in midfield. Perry Kitchen and company must dictate the tempo and own the game
- Sustain possession
- Switch the field as much as possible, DC’s most dangerous when the ball isn’t sticking
- Make runs in the attacking third, something that started again last week with Fabi’s return
- Eliminate the sloppy passes and give aways
- Fabi. Nothing more to say
- The return of Chris Rolfe should bolster their attack even more