After a disappointing home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes, D.C. United head west once again this weekend to take on Real Salt Lake. RSL once appeared destined for the top of the Western Conference, but has only won one match in the six they've played since May 14.
D.C. United (4-5-4) at Real Salt Lake (6-3-3)
When: 9:00 p.m., Saturday, June 18.
Where: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah.
TV: Comcast SportsNet.
Team News and Tactics
D.C. United: Joseph Ngwenya will not be available in any capacity for tonight's match, as he suffered a sprained MCL in training late this week. Dejan Jakovic and Marc Burch are absent with hamstring injuries, while Devon McTavish and Santino Quaranta did not travel with the team this week thanks to their various concussions. Once again, it is unclear whether Dax McCarty will be sufficiently recovered to start in central midfield tonight. If not, Ben Olsen will hand another start to the departing Fred. Similarly, it is unclear if Charlie Davies will be healthy enough to start up front alongside Josh Wolff or if Blake Brettschneider will lead the line again.
Real Salt Lake: Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica) and Arturo Alvarez (El Salvador) still have Gold Cup commitments to see out. Canadian Will Johnson will be eligible to play in his first game back from Gold Cup duty, but expect Luis Gil to get a second straight start in the role of left-side midfielder. Also, look for Fabian Espindola and Jean Alexandre to get the start up front.
Key to the Game
Don't Fall Asleep: Real Salt Lake's trademark is their possession-oriented game, which requires lots of quick, simple passes, and good movement off the ball. It will be essential that United's defenders account for every RSL player when the home side is on the attack. Otherwise, a repeat of last week's shoddy performance against San Jose is very much on the cards.