After a week off, DC United will travel to Toronto in a matchup of two of the most revamped teams in MLS. The difference between them is the result of their first week matchup. DC United were ran off the pitch by the Columbus Crew while being held scoreless in their 3-0 defeat. Meanwhile, Toronto grabbed a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders in their first match. DC’s last regular season meeting did not end well with Toronto smashing DC 4-1 in September. DC will look to prove that their last match is not what to expect from them this season.
DC United’s midfield was mulled over by the Crew’s in their last match and they will be facing another strong set of midfielder this week. Perhaps the best midfielder in MLS, Michael Bradley will lead Toronto into this one. Michael Bradley was all over the pitch, working hard to help his team to victory in the win against Seattle. Do not look past the rest of Toronto’s midfield though; Jonathan Osorio was solid in the matchup, as well as wingers Alvaro Rey and Jackson. DC’s midfield must step up if they do not want a repeat thrashing. DC United will continue playing without Chris Pontius who is still recovering from a hamstring injury.
The black and red defense will also be up for a battle with Jermain Defoe now in MLS. The former Spurs forward’s speed could potentially cause problems for the aging Jeff Parke and Bobby Boswell. They must collectively play to the top of their ability and stay mentally focused for the entire 90 minutes. One small slip will allow Toronto, who looked impressive on the counter attack, the opportunity to steal one. DC may also have to deal with one of Toronto’s new designated players, Gilberto. After setting out Toronto’s first matchup, Gilberto will be available for selection tonight.
Eddie Johnson will be eager to opening his account for DC United. After being fed scraps in the first match, EJ will be looking for better service from the midfield in this one. DC is full of players who are strong going forward and should not be held scoreless often this season. After playing long ball after long ball in their first match, DC must have better build up play if they want to score some goals and stay in this game.
Toronto FC Predicted Lineup:
Julio Cesar, Bloom, Caldwell, Henry, Morrow; Rey, Osorio, Bradley, Jackson; Defoe, Gilberto
DC United Predicted Lineup
Hamid; Franklin, Boswell, Parke, Christian; Arnaud, Kitchen, Silva, DeLeon; Johnson, Espíndola
(image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)