Ten days after having their five-game unbeaten streak snapped in a 1-0 loss to New England and seven days after taking heavy criticism from head coach Ben Olsen following a 3-1 friendly defeat to Everton, D.C. United strike out for the West Coast to face the struggling San Jose Earthquakes, who haven't won since defeating United 4-2 at RFK on June 11 with the help of a Steven Lenhart hat trick.
D.C. United (5-6-8) at San Jose Earthquakes (5-7-9)
When: 10:30 p.m., Saturday July 30
Where: Buck Shaw Stadium, Santa Clara, California
TV: Comcast SportsNet
Team News and Tactics
D.C. United: Brandon McDonald is likely to start at center-back as he faces his former club for the first time since the trade that brought him to D.C. on June 27. Charlie Davies (left knee inflammation) and Josh Wolff (left hamstring strain) are questionable, though both did travel with the team. Blake Brettschneider and Brandon Barklage should both make the bench after recovering from concussions suffered earlier this month. If one of Wolff or Davies can't go, Joseph Ngwenya should get the start up front. If both can't go, it would not be surprising if Olsen brings on an extra midfielder (probably Stephen King) and has Dwayne De Rosario push up behind Ngwenya as an attacking midfielder.
San Jose Earthquakes: Two enforced changes for Frank Yallop, as Bobby Burling (red card against Real Salt Lake last week) and Brad Ring (yellow card accumulation) will miss out tonight. The thinking here is that Chris Leitch and Ramiro Corrales will be brought in to shore up the defense, while Bobby Convey is moved from left-back to left midfield and Rafael Baca drops to the bench. Lenhart, the hat-trick hero of the last meeting between these two, might miss tonight's match due to personal issues. If he does, look for Scott Sealy to take his place alongside Chris Wondolowski.