MLS Preview and Prediction: Atlanta United vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Atlanta United vs. DC United
Venue: Bobby Dodd Stadium – Sunday, April 30 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)
Match Odds: Atlanta 8/13 – 14/5 – DC United 4/1

Match Preview

Atlanta United take on DC United on Sunday, with the hosts returning to Bobby Dodd Stadium after four-straight road games in MLS against a DC side that has yet to win away this term.

Atlanta have taken many by surprise by just how well they’ve taken to Major League Soccer in their inaugural season. They picked up three important points at RSL last weekend and will be pleased with their return of five points from their four consecutive road games over the past month or so.

Tata Martino knows his side need to make Bobby Dodd Stadium as much of a fortress as possible before the move to Mercedes-Benz Stadium later this year and will fully expect his side to get past DC on Sunday afternoon.

The Black-and-Red have only picked up eight points through their opening seven games this season, picking up their first road point of the year in last week’s 2-2 draw at New England.

Sunday’s game will be the third-straight away game for Ben Olsen’s men. They will be looking to leave Atlanta with at least a point before returning home for three consecutive home games, all against Eastern rivals.

Embed from Getty Images

The major worry for DC this weekend is that defensively, they’ve been poor away from home, conceding eight goals in three trips so far. Atlanta put four past Chicago in their last home game and will be looking to continue their strong goalscoring form here.

Team News

Atlanta United remain without Josef Martinez but the striker isn’t expected to be out of action for too much longer. Zach Loyd and Jacob Peterson are also ruled out of Sunday’s game with groin and calf injuries, respectively.

DC United are expected to welcome back Patrick Mullins on Sunday night but will be without Steve Birnbaum (concussion), Patrick Nyarko (hamstring), Nick DeLeon (groin) and Rob Vincent (knee), while Sebastien Le Toux (elbow) is a doubt.

Key Points

Atlanta United’s form: W/D/D/L/W

DC United’s form: L/W/W/L/D

Key Stat: DC United have conceded two or more goals in seven of their last eight away games in MLS and have shipped eight in three so far this season.

Key Player: Miguel Almiron – The Atlanta playmaker has proven to be one of the league’s best playmakers during his start to life in MLS. He has picked up four assists and added two goals in his first seven games this season and will look to cause the DC defence all kinds of problems here.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Atlanta United 3-0 DC United – Atlanta will be relishing the chance to play in front of their own fans once again and should prove way too strong for a DC side that has yet to really get going. Injuries aren’t helping Ben Olsen as he tries to climb the East but with Atlanta’s attack looking impossible to contain, Sunday’s game only looks like going one way.

Advertisements

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. DC United
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, April 15 – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT) 
Match Odds: New York 8/15 – Draw 3/1 – DC United 9/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls play host to DC United at Red Bull Arena this weekend in an all Eastern Conference clash.

Red Bulls have had an inconsistent start to the 2017 season. They’ve won just twice and come into this one having lost two on the bounce.

Jesse Marsch’s side need to pick up three points here to push themselves back up the Eastern Conference. They’re only three points off top spot but will want to keep pace with the rest of the pack in a fiercely competitive start to the season.

Embed from Getty Images

DC United are level on points with New York Red Bulls but have played one game less. There are just three points separating 1st and 9th place.

Ben Olsen needs to get his side on a better run of form away from home. They have won just once in 12 games on the road but scoring has been a bit of a problem for them the season, as they have only found the net four times in five games.

DC have won their last two on the bounce. They come into this game having won against Red Bulls’ city rivals and will be hoping to make it back-to-back victories against the New York sides.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Gideon Baah and Gonzalo Veron are both doubtful for the New York Red Bulls.

DC United have a few injury concerns as Luciano Acosta is out, while Rob Vincent and Patrick Mullins is a doubt.

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/L/D/L/L

DC United’s last five: D/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have an been in strong form at Red Bull Arena, losing just once in 17 games.

Key Player: Sacha Kljestan – The Red Bulls midfielder is a consistent performer. He is yet to find the back of the net this season but has already picked up two assists.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 DC United – New York to bounce back bring DC United’s winning run to an end.

MLS UK TV Schedule: April 2017 – 14 games to be shown live over next 5 weeks

The 2017 MLS season has got off to a flyer, with 99 goals scored in the first 35 games of the new season – an average of 2.83 per game. Atlanta United have taken to the league without any real struggle, while fellow expansion side Minnesota United have been conceding goals for fun. They have shipped 18 in just four matches, accounting for 18% of the league’s goals in March.

April is now upon us and with some form now in the books, plenty of teams will be heading into the first full month of the season with varying degrees of optimism. There are 55 MLS games to enjoy over the next five weeks and UK viewers will be able to enjoy 14 of them live on Sky Sports. More games could be added to the TV listings as the month goes on and they will be added to the list below when confirmed.

 

17 of the league’s 22 sides will play at least once on UK television in April, with Orlando City fans set to see their team play all five of their fixtures on Sky Sports over the next month.

Saturday, April 1st

New York City FC vs San Jose Earthquakes – 19:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Columbus Crew SC vs Orlando City – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Saturday, April 8th

Toronto FC vs Atlanta United – *00:30 BST – Sky Sports 3

*This game is officially listed as Sunday, April 9th but will take place late on the Saturday evening.

Sunday, April 9th

Orlando City vs New York Red Bulls – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Saturday, April 15th

Orlando City vs LA Galaxy – 20:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Chicago Fire vs New England Revolution – 22:00 BST – Sky Sports 5

Saturday, April 22nd

Philadelphia Union vs Montreal Impact – 18:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Portland Timbers vs Vancouver Whitecaps – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Sunday, April 23rd

New York City FC vs Orlando City – 18:30 BST – Sky Sports 3

LA Galaxy vs Seattle Sounders – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports 3

Saturday, April 29th

Orlando City vs Colorado Rapids – 21:00 BST – Sky Sports Mix

New York Red Bulls vs Chicago Fire – *00:30 BST – Sky Sports 2

*This game officially takes place on Sunday, April 30th but will be played late on the Saturday evening.

Sunday, April 30th

Atlanta United vs DC United – 20:00 BST – Sky Sports 2

Gallery: Exclusive images from New York City’s 4-0 demolition of DC United on Sunday

New York City put in a dominant display to beat DC United 4-0 in their home opener on Sunday night, with DC left searching for their first goal of the new season after firing another blank.

NYCFC were ruthlessly efficient in and around the DC penalty area, scoring from four of their five shots on target to move up to fourth in the Eastern Conference at this early stage of the season.

David Villa was instrumental in the victory, scoring twice as well as grabbing an assist for Maxi Moralez’s first MLS goal. That all came after Rodney Wallace scored the opening goal just eight minutes in, after Jack Harrison had curled an effort off the crossbar.

DC rallied in the second-half to get back into the game, firing in eight shots at Sean Johnson’s goal, but were unable to get on the board and are left waiting for their first goal of 2017. They will hope to find it when they host Columbus Crew next Saturday.

You can see exclusive images from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Ashley Marshall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MLS UK TV Schedule: March 2017 – 12 games in 5 weeks as season begins

The 2017 MLS season is here at last. A record-high 22 teams will be competing for glory in the league’s 22nd year. There are 374 games between now and the end of the regular season, at which point 12 teams will once again go through the drama of the MLS Cup Playoffs until the 2017 MLS Cup Champions is announced in December.

The first month of MLS action will showcase the two new expansion franchises, Atlanta United and Minnesota United – who face each other in Minnesota on the second weekend of the new season. We’ll also see Orlando City’s brand new soccer-specific stadium in action from the opening weekend when the Lions host New York City FC on Sunday, March 5th at 10pm GMT (5pm ET).

Embed from Getty Images

That game is live on Sky Sports 2 for UK fans and is one of 12 fixtures currently scheduled to be broadcast live over the first five weeks of the new season. 15 of the 22 clubs will be in action live in the UK over the course of the opening month, with NYCFC fans lucky enough to see their team play three weeks in a row:

Saturday, March 4th

LA Galaxy vs FC Dallas – 21:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Sunday, March 5th

Orlando City vs New York City FC – 22:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Saturday, March 11th

Montreal Impact vs Seattle Sounders – *00:00 GMT – Sky Sports 4

*This game is officially Sunday March 12th, but takes place at midnight on the Saturday evening.

Sunday, March 12th

New York City FC vs DC United – 18:00 GMT – Sky Sports Mix

Minnesota United vs Atlanta United – 21:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Saturday, March 18th

New York City FC vs Montreal Impact – 18:00 GMT – Sky Sports Mix

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Toronto FC – 20:00 GMT – Sky Sports Mix

Sunday, March 19th

Seattle Sounders vs New York Red Bulls – 23:00 GMT – Sky Sports 2

Saturday March 25th

New England Revolution vs Minnesota United – 18:00 GMT – Sky Sports 5

New York Red Bulls vs Real Salt Lake – 20:00 GMT – Sky Sports 5

Friday, March 31st

Toronto FC vs Sporting Kansas City – *00:30 GMT – Sky Sports 2

This game is officially listed at Saturday, April 1 but will take place after midnight on the Friday evening.

Getting Stuck In: Youth is being served

By David Lewis

The season is about to kickoff. Fresh signings. Fresh kits. Fresh expectations. For many clubs it’s time to roll out their newest, shiny (or rusty) DP that has more wear and tear on its tires than a “68 VW Beetle (See last year’s Drogba model.) But wait, something strange is going on. Front office execs are finally seeing the light. They no longer hang their hats on mid-thirty Europeans like Pirlo (he’s been ok with NYCFC) and Lampard (more Fat Frank than Super Frank). MLS is finally shedding their “retirement league” stigma and going for the twenty-something DP – and in many cases early 20’s. Ok, the league may still revert to their old ways and make a big splash from time to time to up the league’s profile and kit sales (Ibra and Rooney next maybe?), but that’s the exception, we hope.

Embed from Getty Images

Side note: I expect LAFC to make some big over-the-hill signings next year when they join the league, but that’s because it’s Hollywood. It’s a star-driven city, whereas a place like Kansas City doesn’t have the pressure from their fan base to make the big European signing.

So why the seismic shift? Well, the bottom line is that clubs aren’t getting their money’s worth for these aging Euro stars. Gerrard and Lampard played parts of two season each in MLS. Both struggled with injuries which isn’t too shocking since they are geriatric in terms of soccer age. Gerrard played 34 games and Lampard limped around for 29. Considering there are 34 regular season games each year, well, let’s just say they spent more time with the physio than with their teammates. And when it comes to production, the two England internationals managed a combined 20 goals and 18 assists, which is about the same as an average season for Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco.

Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, MLS: NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy

Yes, I was excited to see my hero Stevie G play in MLS. I even contemplated the sacrilegious move of a getting an LA Galaxy jersey (never did). But I wound up feeling sad that this once great man mailed it in and saw his 18-month stay in the states as a holiday. I will always remember Istanbul Stevie and will try to forget about the LA version.

I may be biased, but I feel (my) Columbus Crew started the trend: Get players in their prime, youngish, who want to play in MLS. Federico Higuain, the brother of Napoli star Gonzalo, has been one of the best midfielders in the league since he arrived at the soccer-prime age of 27. He played in Europe and South America and is the heart and soul of the Crew midfield, spraying passes all over the field with aplomb. His 39 goals and 35 assists over 123 games doesn’t tell the entire story. He’s dedicated to the league, has a great attitude, makes a sixth of what Gerrard made, and is the blueprint for what an MLS DP should be. And most importantly, he doesn’t need a cane to get around the field. (Other recent similar successes include: Giovani Dos Santos, Ignacio Piatti, Diego Valeri and Nicolás Lodeiro).

Embed from Getty Images

2017 expansion side Atlanta United have taken it to a new level with their youth movement. Let’s call this MLS 3.0.

Instead of taking established players in their mid-to-late-twenties as their DPs, as has been the trend the last few years, they are blending in signing players with raw potential from Central and South America who are closer to teen age. That means some hefty transfer fees (by MLS standards) so they can beat out European clubs for player signatures. This has never happened before in MLS. Ever.

Here are some of the young blood DPs on MLS rosters right now, ahead of the opening weekend of the new season, some of whom are the envy of the soccer world:

  • Atlanta United have signed three South American DPs. Josef Martinez (23) from Venezuela is on loan from Serie A side Tornio with an option to buy at the end of the season. Hector Villalba (22) is from Argentina and Miguel Almiron (22) from Paraguay.
  • Houston Dynamo have Mauro Manotas (21), a Columbian Under-21 international and Alberth Elis (21) from Honduras, who is currently the youngest DP in MLS.
  • DC United have Luciano Acosta (22) from Argentina, looking primed for a fine second season in the league.
  • FC Dallas have Carlos Gruezo from Ecuador (21) and have added Christian Colman (22) from Paraguay this offseason, a man expected to fire in plenty of goals this year.
  • Vancouver Whitecaps have brought in Yordy Reyna (23) from Peru; not a DP but TAM was used to buy his contract down.

So yes, the Wayne Rooney’s of the world will probably make the trip stateside sooner rather than later. And hopefully Wayne will be more Robbie Keane and David Villa and less Lampard and Gerrard. But MLS 3.0 is the new trend. Hopefully these raw young talents will help MLS become a legitimate league that can grow a player’s career.

Youth might be wasted on the young. MLS can’t afford to do that in 2017.

MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Montreal Impact

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Knockout Round) – DC United vs Montreal Impact

Venue: RFK Stadium – Thursday, October 27th – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Match Odds: DC United 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Montreal Impact 12/5

Match Preview

DC United welcome Montreal Impact to RFK Stadium on Thursday evening in the first round of the playoffs with a place in the semifinal looming.

DC come into the tie on an incredible run of home form. They haven’t lost in nine at RFK and have won their last four on the bounce there.

However, Ben Olsen will have his side fully aware that form isn’t everything heading into this game and will be the first to remind his players they conceded four times in their last game of the regular season.

DC haven’t beaten Montreal in their last three attempts in all competitions, so there is work to be done for them to overturn that run of form.

Embed from Getty Images

Montreal Impact have won just two of their last eight games ahead of this knockout round. There have been problems ongoing off the field with Didier Drogba, so a win in this one would bring a huge amount of pleasure to Mauro Biello.

Impact finished the regular season in 5th place, but they suffered a heavy 3-0 final day defeat to New England.

Biello rested a couple of key faces in that tie, most notably Ignacio Piatti, who has been their standout player this season. A lot rides on the Argentine’s shoulders but he is a man who has oozed confidence for the whole of the 2016 campaign.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

DC United have six injury concerns heading into the playoffs as Chris Korb, Chris Rolfe and Charlie Horton are all expected to be out, while there are still questions over the inclusion of Kofi Opare, Sean Franklin and Marcelo Sarvas.

Andres Romero remains Montreal Impact’s only injury concern. It remains to be seen whether Didier Drogba will return to the side following his soap opera saga in the last few weeks.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s form: L/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: DC United are unbeaten in their last nine home games and have won their last four on the bounce at RFK Stadium.

Key Player: Bill Hamid – The DC ‘keeper will need to be at his best to shut out a Montreal side with plenty of attacking threat.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

DC United 2-1 Montreal Impact – DC United to make the most of their incredible home form and progress to the semifinals. Montreal Impact have won just two of their last 13 away games and this one looks like it will a step too far for them.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. DC United

Venue: Toyota Park – Friday, September 16 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Chicago 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – DC United 13/5

Match Preview

Chicago Fire welcome DC United to Toyota Park for a key Eastern Conference battle on Friday night, with the two sides still trying to make a late playoff surge with just a few weeks of the regular season left to play.

Chicago know they need to win this game if they are to have any chance of making the top six. They sit bottom of the East on 26 points, seven behind DC in seventh, but they do have a game in hand over Friday’s visitors.

Embed from Getty Images

The Fire have not been able to build any sort of form at all this season. They come into Friday’s game off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Toronto last time out and have now only won one of their last five home clashes.

However, DC’s away form doesn’t inspire much confidence for United supporters so this is set to be a cagey affair. Ben Olsen’s men have only won once away from home this season and that came back in May.

The Black-and-Red’s 2-2 draw at the Red Bulls last week should leave them in high spirits, with two goals in the final five minutes rescuing a point that looked well out of reach.

Embed from Getty Images

They now need to start winning more regularly to seal a playoff berth. They will only have five games to play following the game in Chicago, all of which come against Eastern opponents.

This will the 55th meeting between Chicago and DC. They played out a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park back in April this season, before DC thumped the Fire 6-2 at RFK Stadium a few weeks ago.

Team News

Chicago Fire are the only MLS club without any injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s game – a remarkable position to be in at this stage of the season. Veljko Paunovic has a full squad to choose from as he tries to give his side some late-season playoff hopes.

DC United will be without Chris Korb, Collin Martin, Chris Rolfe, Alhaji Kamara, Charlie Horton, Jared Jeffrey, Sean Franklin and Kofi Opare, so Ben Olsen really has his options stretched ahead of the trip to the Windy City.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s last five: W/D/L/W/L

DC United’s last five: D/D/W/L/D

Key Stat: Road struggles – DC United have only won one of their last 19 away games in MLS (D9 L9).

Key Player: David Accam – The Fire attacker is their most threatening player in the final third and can so often change a game in a flash. Chicago may need him to come up with some magic on Friday if they are to come away with three points.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-1 DC United – There is so little to choose between these two sides that a draw looks inevitable on Friday night. It’s a result that will do little to help either side, but DC’s away form is a concern for them, while the Fire lack a cutting edge required to win important games such as this one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. DC United

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, September 11 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/7 – Draw 14/5 – DC United 9/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host DC United on Sunday afternoon in a huge Eastern Conference battle between these Atlantic Cup rivals, with both sides desperate for three points.

The Red Bulls are just a point behind NYCFC in the race for the Eastern title and will be confident of a strong end to the season given the fact they are unbeaten in ten games.

Their current streak is the best in franchise history, while they will be looking to keep a third-straight clean sheet here against their long-standing enemies.

Embed from Getty Images

New York have won their last four at home and are looking like a real force. Jesse Marsch has a confident and motivated side at his disposal, who look set for a really strong playoff run.

DC United are still trying to secure a playoff spot before they can worry about their form. Ben Olsen’s men are two points behind Orlando City in the East going into the weekend and need to stay on their tails if they are to make the top six.

Their six-game unbeaten run came to an end at NYCFC last time out, losing 3-2 last weekend and that late Lampard goal might have taken the wind out of their sails.

Embed from Getty Images

However, they will be pumped up for a derby clash with the Red Bulls this weekend and need to go into the game looking to take the game to their rivals if they are to take anything from it.

The two previous meetings this season have both taken place in DC, with the side’s drawing 2-2 before DC won 2-0 in the most recent clash. However, the Black and Red haven’t won at Red Bull Arena since 2012 and are up against it.

New York's Mike Gella jumps with Perry Kitchen during the MLS Eastern Conference Semifinal Second Leg: New York Red Bulls vs. DC United at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey, USA, on Nov. 8, 2015. Photo: Ashley Marshall/MLSGB.com

Team News

New York Red Bulls are without Connor Lade and Gideon Baah, who remain sidelined through injury. On top of that, Mike Grella and Alex Muyl are both suspended and will miss out.

DC United are without Luciano Acosta, who is suspended, and that will be a real blow to their chances. On top of that, Chris Korb, Collin Martin, Chris Rolfe, Alhaji Kamara and Charlie Horton are all out, with Jared Jeffrey, Taylor Kemp and Kofi Opare all doubts, so DC are really stretched here.

Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ last five: D/W/D/W/W

DC United’s last five: W/D/D/W/L

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in seven home games against DC, winning the last six on the bounce against their rivals. DC United haven’t scored a goal at Red Bull Arena in three years.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls striker has really found his form in recent weeks, scoring eight in his last seven. He is tied for the Golden Boot with David Villa and loves scoring against DC United, so expect him to be a real threat on Sunday night.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-0 DC United – The Red Bulls have dominated home games against DC United in recent years and should keep their strong run going with another win here. DC have not won away in seven and are facing the league’s in-form side. Surely there’s only one winner here.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. DC United

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Thursday, September 1 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: NYCFC 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – DC United 100/30

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome DC United to Yankee Stadium for a rare Thursday night MLS clash between two Eastern Conference sides with a lot to play for as we head into the final two months of the regular season.

NYCFC are still fighting for the Eastern Conference title, but failed to close the gap on Toronto as they fell 2-1 in Orlando on Sunday night, ending an unbeaten run of four games.

Patrick Vieira’s men have done well all season and need to make sure they keep their concentration for the final stretch if they are to be successful. They have enough experience in the team to make sure performance levels don’t drop.

Frank Lampard NYCFC, MLS: New York City FC vs. Colorado Rapids

They look to be guaranteed a place in the postseason for the first time but the aim will be to top the conference after leading for so much of the campaign. A win here would move them back to the summit with six to play.

However, DC will arrive at Yankee Stadium in high spirits after putting six past Chicago in Saturday’s 6-2 drubbing, keeping them in the final playoff position in the East.

Ben Olsen’s men are looking to make the postseason for the third-straight season, and while it hasn’t been the best of campaigns, they look to be coming good when it matters most.

Embed from Getty Images

DC United haven’t been great on the road this season, failing to win any of their last six away from RFK, but will fancy their chances here given their recent form.

This will be the first of three consecutive road games for the Black and Red so any points would really help their cause as we approach the final few games.

Thursday’s contest will be the fourth between the two sides since NYCFC entered the league last year. New York City won the reverse fixture this term 2-0 at RFK Stadium and also won the only previous meeting at Yankee Stadium last year, so they are rightly favourites.

MLS: NYCFC vs. Orlando New York City FC Stadium

Team News

New York City FC remain without Connor Brandt and Shannon Gomez, who are both still out injured. Star defender Ronald Matarrita will be away with the Costa Rican national team and won’t be available, while Maxime Chanot is with the Luxembourg squad and won’t feature either. David Villa, Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard all remain available during the international break.

DC United still have a host of injuries to contend with. Chris Korb, Collin Martin, Chris Rolfe, Alhaji Kamara, Charlie Horton and Jared Jeffrey all look set to miss out, while Steve Birnbaum is the club’s only international absentee for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers. Patrick Mullins will start up front against his former side.

Key Points

New York City FC’s last five: W/D/D/W/L

DC United’s last five: D/W/D/D/W

Key Stat: DC United are unbeaten in their last six regular season matches – their longest unbeaten run since May 2015.

Key Player: Patrick Mullins – The DC United forward bagged a hat-trick in last weekend’s 6-2 drubbing over the Chicago Fire. He has started life in DC well since joining from Thursday’s opponents, NYCFC and now has five goals in his seven appearances, making him the team’s leading goalscorer. It will be an emotional evening against his former club but Mullins is in great form and will be a real threat to NYCFC’s defence.

Photo: MLSSoccer.com

Photo: MLSSoccer.com

Score Prediction

New York City 2-2 DC United – There is very little to choose between these sides ahead of Thursday’s important clash. NYCFC have won four on the bounce at home, but didn’t look strong in Sunday’s 2-1 loss at Orlando. DC, on the other hand, put in the best display of their season in their 6-2 win over Chicago and will arrive at Yankee Stadium expecting at least a draw. That’s the result we expect to see, although goals should be on offer here between two attacking outfits, who have both scored as many as they have conceded this term.