D.C. United is feeling rather optimistic going into tonight’s match against Queretaro, they’ve had some time to rest and train heading into the second leg. Last week in Mexico, the Black-and-Red fell behind by two goals. In order to advance to the next round in the CONCACAF Champions League, they have to win by three goals tonight without surrendering a score. A 2-0 score at the end of regulation would force it to go into extra time and penalty kicks. Say the home team wins by the score of 3-1, then Queretaro will still advance by having scored an away goal as that is the first tie breaker.
The visitors will certainly be looking for an early goal as that away tally would put things in their favor and put an insane amount of pressure on D.C. United. In the first leg, Queretaro had a few chances in the first 70 minutes, but didn’t capitalize until the last 20 minutes of regulation. That’s one of the reasons for D.C. United’s optimism, both goals were preventable as they played solid defense last week. After a week off and more training, the MLS team should be in a better place both physically and mentally. It’s still preseason here, while Queretaro played it’s eighth league game on Saturday. The Black-and-Red’s season opener isn’t until this coming Sunday.
Tonight’s match will be the first time that D.C. United’s playing in front of their home crowd, they are looking forward to it after having played as the visitors in the first leg. You can expect things to open up a bit more by the home side as well, midfielder Nick DeLeon stated they won’t “sit as much” playing at home. The new formation last week certainly had it’s moments, but they have to possess the ball better. Midfield is an area that will be pivotal this season for the Black-and-Red, those connections and relationships between the four on the field at any time hold a ton of importance.
It’s going to be a tall task, but it may be doable. There were several scoring opportunities in the first leg for D.C. United, they just couldn’t capitalize. With the new formation and the new additions, there were several instances where players would simply miscommunicate. The ball would be placed to a spot, but the on running player wouldn’t expect it or be moving to another spot. It happened several times up top with Lucianao Acosta and Fabian Espindola, as they spend more time together that will surely improve.
As those relationships improve across the board, D.C. United should start creating and finishing more of their scoring chances. They certainly hope that’s the case tonight against Queretaro.