D.C. United have had a full seven days to both recover from last Saturday's absolutely bonkers 3-3 home draw against Toronto FC and reflect on the fact that they haven't won a home match since May 4, when they defeated the Seattle Sounders 2-1. If you need a further frame of reference, that was the same day the Washington Capitals were swept out of the Stanley Cup playoffs by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Luckily, the Black-and-Red get another chance at correcting that unfortunate track record tonight, as the expansion Vancouver Whitecaps roll up to RFK and bring their 0-8-4 road record with them.
D.C. United (6-6-9) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (3-11-9)
When: 7:30 p.m., Saturday, August 13.
Where: RFK Stadium, Washington, D.C.
TV: Comcast SportsNet (yes, live this time)
Team News And Tactics
D.C. United: Bill Hamid will miss this game after picking up a red card against Toronto (as will Ben Olsen, who will watch the match from the owner's box after this bit of unpleasantness). The betting here is that Steve Cronin will get the start despite his disappointing stand-in performance. Andy Najar returns from his red-card mandated suspension tonight, which will likely push Santino Quaranta to the bench. Stephen King will likely get a second straight start in central midfield, with Dwayne De Rosario playing more of an attacking midfield role alongside Chris Pontius and Josh Wolff. My guess is that Charlie Davies will start this match on the bench as he continues to work his way back from a knee injury.
Vancouver Whitecaps: The first name on the teamsheet for former D.C. United coach Tom Soehn is French striker Eric Hassli, who scored twice in Vancouver's 4-2 home win over Chicago last Sunday. After that, however, things get a bit more complicated. U.S. international Jay DeMerit is reportedly fit to play and is set to replace Alain Rochat in defense. Camilo Sanvezzo will either play as a second striker alongside Hassli or in an attacking midfield role just behind the Frenchman. Right midfield is see one spot filled by either John Thorrington or Davide Chiumiento, while Shea Salinas, Peter Vagenas, and Gershon Koffie are likely to fill out the rest of the Whitecaps midfield.
Key to the Game
Attack And Don't Stop: Vancouver has the worst goal difference (-11) in the Western Conference for a good reason. DeMerit or no DeMerit, this is a bad defensive team. Whether Charlie Davies starts or not, D.C. United should be able to put a couple of goals past the Whitecaps and get off the winless home streak.