DC United welcomes the New England Revolution to RFK Stadium Saturday night in their first matchup of the season. DC United (0-2-1) is not off to the start they had hoped for, but New England has not looked as sharp as they did last season either, starting the season with a 1-2-1 record. New England grabbed their first win after Lee Nguyen scored a late winner to down the San Jose Earthquakes. Both teams will go into this match believing they will have three points at the end of 90 minutes.
DC United comes off a match where they lead 2-1 late against Chicago, but conceded a late goal to make the match 2-2. DC United finally scored their first goals of the season and secured their first point, which is a huge weight off their backs. However, they must start putting together full performances soon and begin to pick up wins. This match provides that opportunity with two teams who have performed below expectations.
Two important playmakers will be sitting out this match with injuries. New England’s Kelyn Rowe is out with hamstring injury, and DC United’s Luis Silva is out with an ankle issue. DC United’s midweek acquisition of Chris Rolfe from Chicago may help to fill this gap, and in long term the gap left by the injured Chris Pontius. Having another proven, versatile player in the squad will boost DC United morale and they will be looking for Rolfe to help right away. Davy Arnaud and Jared Jeffrey could help fill Luis Silva’s place in tonight’s matchup as well. Arnaud took Silva’s place in the last match after his injury and looked good in the role. If Olsen decides to place Arnaud there once again, Lewis Neal would be likely to replace Arnaud’s usual role on the left side of the midfield.
Defensive problems are still an issue for DC United. They have given up six goals in their three games so far. Tonight’s matchup should provide an opportunity for DC to build some confidence. New England mirrors DC in goal scoring stats. The Revs have only scored two goals this season and have conceded six. Eddie Johnson will still be looking to get his first goal for DC United. Friday night, he scored the go-ahead goal for the United States vs. Mexico, but was unjustly flagged offside.
(image courtesy of Chris Young)