Last place DC United (3-20-6, 15 points) will make the journey from the nation’s capital to BMO Field in Toronto, Canada, for their match against Toronto FC (4-15-11, 23 points) on Saturday, September 28. DC United will have one of the best opportunities to get a good result in this final stretch of matches, but will DC United rest their normal starters in preparation for Tuesday’s US Open Cup Final, or go for the three points to build confidence?
DC United and Toronto FC sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference in MLS with both experiencing a season they would like to forget. Both teams will feel like this is their opportunity to add a rare win to their resume. I would look for these two defenses to leak goals in this matchup. DC United has conceded 48 goals this season, while Toronto has conceded 44. Neither team has scored many goals this season either, but I have a feeling that it might change tonight when they meet. In the previous two meetings of these clubs this season, Toronto won the first matchup 2-1, and in the latest meeting, the two teams split the points in a 1-1 draw.
In order to win this match, DC will have to mark Canadian Jonathan Osorio closely throughout the match. Osorio has scored 5 of Toronto’s 25 goals this season and has created 50 chances. Bobby Convey has also created 72 chances for Toronto this season. DC United must win the midfield battle if they want to get three points out of this match. DC midfielder Perry Kitchen should be able to control this match if he gets the start. He will have to shield his backline as well as start the attack, and if he does, DC United will reap the benefits.
DC United will most likely put out a mix of their best XI with some of the squad players against Toronto. DC United will have their eye on three points in their upcoming match against Toronto FC, but a lot of their focus will be on the more important upcoming US Open Cup Final against Real Salt Lake. So we will probably see Dwayne De Rosario, Luis Silva, Chris Pontius, and a few others not included in the lineup. I look for Conor Doyle to get the start in this match with Silva getting a rest. If Doyle gets the nod, he will be expecting himself on the score sheet and adding to the two goals he has scored in his nine appearances this season.
The matchup between the two worst teams in MLS this season could prove to be an exciting game. Expect a frantic start in this one as soon as the ball starts rolling with both teams trying to get an early foothold in the match. DC United will hope to build some confidence in this match to take with them going into the most important match of their season with a chance to win some silverware.
Projected XI vs. Toronto FC:
Porter, Kitchen, Neal, DeLeon
Riley, Woolard, White, Kemp