Match #: 11.11
Opponent: New England Revolution
DC United, 6-1-3, 21 pts, 1st in East Conference , 2nd in MLS
New England Revolution, 3-3-2, 11 pts, 3rd in East Conference (tie-CLB), 6th (tie-CLB) in MLS
TV: CSN / MLSLive.TV - 7:30PM
Previous Meeting: Columbus Crew 1 : 1 DC United, August 27, 2005 (DCenters remembers...)
Suggested Pregame Music: Revolution - The Beatles
The Stakes: Can DC, playing their third game in eight days, maintain the newly created distance in the East? Can they continue to pressure FC Dallas to maintain top of the table status in MLS? Will there be an emotional letdown after Jamie Moreno's 100 goal celebration? The answers, as I see them, are "Yes, Probably, and Doubtful." If Jamie is motivated by stats and such, and I doubt he is, he still has to catch a certain RSL Midfielder/Forward for the all-time scoring record. United still has things that I imagine coach Piotr Nowak will want to fine-tune.
For the Revs, the season is looking mediocre in the wake of injuries and the departure of Clint Dempsey. Yet they still have Taylor Twellman who we know can score at RFK. Noonan and Ralston are far from ineffective and are now uninjured. Their defensive midfield is still a bit battered, but Steve Nicol will find effective tactics against DC United. Count on it.
Personally, I think we need to consider throwing the game off a bit. Given Nowak's experimentation with the 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 earlier this season, it might be time to go to the hybrid 4-4-2/3-5-2 that had been on display earlier. The Revs are definitely going to play forward at times, and it would be wise for DC to have a little more in the back to counter such things. Prideaux may be healthy, and John Wilson behind Josh Gros might not even be a bad idea with Freddy on the right. Of course, that's what I think, but I can imagine Piotr going with the 3-5-2 that's working for him so far.
The Revolution are one of those teams that get up for DC United games, and past scorelines have ranged all over the map from DC's 4-3 loss to a 2-0 win. This ain't an easy game.
Previews from the DCUniverse: DC SunDevil, Quarter Volley, SE Podcast, Poplar Point Perspective, A Little More Action (I'll add more when and if I see them, so check back)
Expected Yield: 1.5 points. I expect the Revs to come out, weather 15 minutes of strong DC play, and for the game to then get very interesting. The possibility of them stealing 3 points, and dealing DC its first home defeat, exists this year. It's a gut feeling, and I know the Revs look like a pale imitation of the 2005 team, but I expect them to be playing out of their minds in this one.
D's Location: Not sure yet.
Last Words: Deuce (see! He is in Europe!)
(Note: Originally posted 10:14 June 2, 2006 --- Date changed to reflect more preview links added, and to correct the spelling of at least one word that bedevils me.)