After a run of hosting three MLS matches and one friendly at RFK Stadium, D.C. United return to the road this Memorial Day weekend as they make their first league visit to the fortress that is Jeld-Wen Field to take on the expansion Portland Timbers.
D.C. United (3-4-3) at Portland Timbers (5-3-2)
Time: 5:00 p.m., Sunday, May 29.
Place: Jeld-Wen Field, Portland, Oregon.
Team News and Tactics
D.C. United: Ben Olsen will have slightly fewer options to choose from as he selects his first XI for this one. Santino Quaranta (concussion) and Marc Burch (hamstring) did not travel with the team to the Northwest, making starts for Andy Najar and Daniel Woolard an apparent certainty. Look for Dejan Jakovic to get the start at center-back in his final game before joining his Canadian national teammates in preparation for the Gold Cup. Charlie Davies will likely miss this match, thanks to the strained hamstring suffered against Colorado May 14. Josh Wolff (groin) was upgraded to probable earlier this week, and seems likely to start alongside, in all probability, Joseph Ngwenya.
Portland: United old boys Troy Perkins and Rodney Wallace will be in the starting XI against their former club Sunday, which might add a certain extra zest to the proceedings. Having said that, don't look for too many surprises from John Spencer, who seems likely to stick with the 4-1-3-2 that brought Portland a 1-0 win over Columbus last weekend, with Kenny Cooper and Jorge Perlaza leading the line and the midfield trio of Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe, and Kalif Alhassan aiming to wreak havoc in United's back line.
Key to the Game
Don't Be Intimidated: D.C. United's players will have likely heard all about the rowdy and raucous group known as the Timbers Army. They may or may not know that Jeld-Wen Field has one of the smallest fields in MLS (110 x 70 yards, to be exact). But United shouldn't let either of those realities deter them from changing their overall approach to this match. Their best chance of success, especially with Davies missing and Wolff not at 100%, will come via the flank attacks of Najar and Chris Pontius.
Bonus Miscellaneous Fact
Portland is the only team in MLS to have won all their home games.