Wayne Rooney and DC have playoffs in sight ahead of pivotal clash with Montreal

DC United’s upturn in form has been stunning since former England captain Wayne Rooney crossed the Atlantic to bolster their offensive ranks. The all-time leading England and Man Utd goal scorer joined a DC side sitting bottom of the Eastern Conference, with a miserable record when it came to goals, shots on target and chances created. But he has dragged them up to seventh in the standings and was instrumental once again as they drew 3-3 with conference leaders New York Red Bulls at the weekend. DC United now stand on the brink of a playoff spot and they will bid to further those claims when they take on Montreal Impact on Saturday.

Montreal are currently in sixth place, four points clear of DC United, but Rooney and co have a game in hand. Win at the weekend and they will close the gap to just one point, with a fair amount of games left in the season. The top six teams go through to the playoffs, and it would be exciting to see Rooney taking on the best in the league, so fans hope he can produce more magic.

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Check out a BetDSI review and check their odds and you will see that DC United are the favourites to pick up the win. With Rooney in the team, anything looks possible. He has five goals and seven assists in 12 starts, including the most incredible play of the season. DC United were drawing 3-3 with Orlando City and they won a corner deep into injury time, so the goalkeeper went up for it. But the ball was cleared and Orlando’s forward was in possession with an empty net gaping in front of him. However, Rooney burst back with phenomenal pace, delivered an inch perfect slide tackle, won the ball cleanly, carried it up the pitch and blazed a long ball directly onto Luciano Acosta’s head, allowing the diminutive forward to nod in the winner.

Rooney followed that up with a well-taken brace in a 4-1 victory over Portland in their following game, and he has scored in his last two matches. He is pulling the strings with aplomb, and Acosta’s performances have improved greatly since teaming up with the former Everton and Man Utd star. His arrival gave the entire team a lift, and they have not lost in four games now.

Yet Montreal Impact are also in great form, so it should prove to be a cracking game. Last time out, they travelled to fifth placed Philadelphia Union and earned a thrilling 4-1 victory courtesy of Alejandro Silva Gonzalez’s brace and further strikes from Saphir Taider and Quincy Amarikwa. That followed a 3-0 win over Red Bulls, in which former Arsenal and Man City right-back Bacary Sagna was on target. Evan Bush has arguably been the best goalkeeper in the league this season, and they too are surging with confidence.

The last meeting between these teams finished 1-1 in August, and DC United have not beaten Montreal since 2015. Yet after a testing few years there is finally optimism around this club, thanks to Rooney’s arrival and their subsequent upswing in form. If they want to finish in the top six and surge into the playoffs they need to win games like this in front of their home fans. They have the quality and the momentum to pull it off. But Montreal know that victory will leave them heavy favourites to seal the final playoff spot, so the stakes are extremely high. Both teams have been exceptional in front of goal lately, so we should be in for a high-scoring affair, full of chances and individual brilliance.

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Lodeiro breaks scoring drought, key to 2-1 Sounders win over D.C. United

After 363 minutes without a goal in MLS play, Seattle Sounders FC finally found the breakthrough against D.C. United on Saturday night as Nicolas Lodeiro scored in his first game back from injury and international duty to bring his side level in the 57th minute.

Five minutes later Magnus Wolff Eikrem would give Seattle a second as the CenturyLink Field crowd erupted with a cathartic roar that echoed through the building as Sounders took their first lead in exactly a month.

The two goals would be enough for Seattle to secure three points on the night and move them up to 10th in the West but more importantly showcased the Sounders ability to play positive, attacking football.

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Contrary to the matches against Real Salt Lake, Seattle was able to out-possess their opponents and connect passes in the final third. Compared to the 60% and 58% against RSL, Sounders completed 77% of their passes in the attacking third on Saturday.

Having Lodeiro back is definitely a big boost to the team as Sounders are at their best when play runs through the Uruguayan midfielder. Lodeiro led all players in touches and total passes with 105 and 84 respectively while completing a staggering 93% of those passes. It’s also a benefit when that same player can hit a half-volley from the top of the box perfectly into the bottom corner of the goal to end the clubs longest goalless drought (also 363 minutes from July 3rd to August 9th in 2015).

There’s also some concerns to be had with Seattle’s continued injury woes as Kelvin Leerdam had to be subbed out making it eight straight matches (including the 2-1 loss in the U.S. Open Cup in Sacramento) where coach Brian Schmetzer has been forced to use a sub due to an injury.

The silver lining to the Leerdam substitution was that Cristian Roldan played extremely well filling in at right back, eventually assisting on the game winner from Eikrem, the man who replaced Leerdam on the field. Brian Schmetzer complimented Roldan on his work rate and his ability to push up the field but then quickly get back to defend when possession was lost.

Although it was a much better performance from Seattle than of late, it was against a D.C. team that currently sits at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just two wins and 9 points.

The real test comes on Wednesday when Sounders make a cross-continent trip to face New York Red Bulls who are 4-1-1 at home so far and have a Eastern Conference best +13 goal differential. Seattle will need another strong performance on short rest from the likes of Lodeiro, Roldan, Clint Dempsey, and Osvaldo Alonso if they plan to leave Red Bull Arena with a result.

Columbus Crew vs DC United | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Columbus Crew vs DC United

MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, March 25 2018 – 18:00 ET (22:00 GMT)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Preview

Saturday evening sees Columbus Crew take on Eastern Conference rivals DC United live on Sky Sports Football for UK fans.

Columbus Crew sit second in the East after failing to make it three wins in a row to start their 2018 campaign. Their 0-0 draw with Philadelphia did however keep their unbeaten run intact and they will be hoping to continue that streak here.

An impressive start to the season has been helped by the partnership formed by new signing Gyasi Zardes and Crew SC favourite Federico Higuain. Although they failed to combine to break the deadlock last time out, they are already proving to be a very real threat to opposition defences.

DC’s comeback from being two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 last weekend against Houston will have been celebrated like a win. They showed great desire not to let the scoreline get on top of them and it stopped it being two losses on the bounce.

It hasn’t been the ideal start to 2018 for the Black-and-Red, who are yet to win a game. This wouldn’t exactly be the fixture of choice in that hunt for three points for the DC faithful either, as they have failed to win in ten on the road against Columbus.

However, all winless runs have to come to an end at some point and that is exactly what Ben Olsen will be reminding his side of ahead of this one.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Team News

Columbus Crew

🌎 International duty: Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Mike Grella (left knee) and Gaston Sauro (left knee).

DC United

🌎 International duty: Oniel Fisher, Dane Kelly, Ulises Segura, Zoltan Stieber and Bruno Miranda

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee), Taylor Kemp (groin) and Junior Moreno.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Key Stats

Columbus Crew’s MLS form: W/W/D

DC United’s MLS form: D/L/D

Key stat: Columbus Crew are unbeaten in their last ten home games against DC United.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-1 DC United: Given their strong start to 2018 and home record against DC, Columbus will be going into this one looking at it as a must win game. They will want to bounce back to winning ways after their draw last weekend and have a great chance of doing so here. DC won’t roll over easily. This fixture is far from a foregone conclusion and they have more than enough talent to come away from Columbus with a point at the very least. But it is a real possibility that history will repeat itself and we see DC going home empty handed.

Atlanta United vs DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs DC United

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Sunday, March 11th 2018 – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

Live on Sky Sports Football (UK)

Atlanta United vs DC United: Preview

Sunday evening sees Atlanta United lineup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their first home game of the season as they welcome fellow Eastern Conference side DC United.

2018 started with a bang for Atlanta, although not the one they wanted. They were on the receiving end of a hammering from Houston. That 4-0 away loss was a shock to the rest of MLS as they conceded three goals in the first half hour.

A response is needed here. ‘Tata’ Martino’s side know they have to remind everyone what they are capable of. They enjoyed a very promising debut season last year and performed very well at home. So Atlanta need to make it their business to send out a message of their own here.

Standing in the way of that is DC United. They drew their season opener against Orlando so will be looking to be unbeaten at the very least after week two.

The two sides met three times last season and the record books look good for DC, who won all three. Keeping that winning run going is not going to be easy though.

Ben Olsen’s side did not travel overly well in 2017. They have failed to win in 12 of their last 13 on the road and face an Atlanta side who scored 48 goals at home last year, the most in an MLS debut campaign since 2010.

The tie also marks the return of Yamil Asad. The former Atlanta player has described returning to face his previous employers as a strange feeling. He showed the impact he can make on opening weekend, netting DC’s first goal of the 2018 campaign – just as he did for Atlanta last season.

Atlanta United vs DC United: Team News

Atlanta United

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: Leandro Gonzalez (hip)

🚑 Out: Ezequiel Barco (right quad strain) and Jon Gallagher (ankle)

DC United

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee) and Taylor Kemp (groin)

Atlanta United vs DC United: Key Stats

Atlanta United’s MLS form: L

DC United’s MLS form: D

Key stat: DC United have won all three of the previous meetings between the sides.

Atlanta United vs DC United: Preview

Atlanta United 2-1 DC United – This should be a game that Atlanta go into with the belief they can win. Their confidence will have been rocked with the magnitude of that defeat last weekend but they cannot let that stop them playing the way they know they can. DC United will be looking at this one as a winnable game – but considering their inconsistency on the road weighed up against Atlanta’s home form, winning it is going to be a big ask.

MLS debutants run riot on opening weekend

The opening weekend of MLS has set the tone for the rest of the season. There was plenty of drama with goals, video assistant referees, red cards and shock results. However, one astonishing stat that has come from week one was from MLS debutants.

A total of 26 goals were scored across the ten games with nine of those coming from debutants – which equates to 35% of the goals scored on opening weekend.

What makes it all the more impressive is that all nine goal scorers came from different clubs, adding to the excitement.

WATCH 📹 – Take a look at all nine debutant goals from week one

Orlando City vs DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Orlando City vs DC United

Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, March 3rd 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Orlando City vs DC United: Preview

The opening game of Orlando City’s 2018 MLS season is to be played at home. They welcome fellow Eastern Conference side DC United to Orlando City Stadium as both sides kick off the new season with reason for optimism.

There have been some major changes to the Orlando roster during the offseason. Kaka has retired after his contract ended, which is a huge blow for the Lions. However, they have acted quickly to bring in a quality replacement in the form of Sacha Kljestan.

Orlando are yet to make it to the playoffs since their inception into MLS three years ago. The pressure is on them to make that happen this season. Jason Kreis has revamped his midfield and knows his side need to be more consistent. A home win in their season opener would go a long way to giving his new look side, and the fans, confidence.

DC United are in a similar position to Orlando for the start of the new season. They too have made improvements to their roster in the offseason. These were the bottom two sides in the East last season and will both be eager to show they are going to have a better 2018.

Making the playoffs will be the main aim for DC this campaign. They won’t want to make it two on the bounce where they fail to make the post season competition.

Ben Olsen will be expecting his side to show what they can do in this tie. However, DC have only won once in Orlando and they’re going to need to make a vast improvement on their away form from last season, where they came away with all three points on just three occasions.

Orlando City vs DC United: Team News

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: Sacha Kljestan (Red Card) – following his red card for his altercation with Jozy Altidore in the Eastern Conference semifinal, Kljestan serves the first of his two match ban.

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: Uri Rosell (fitness), Dillon Powers (ankle), Josue Colman (thigh bruise) and Dom Dwyer (quad strain)

(Take a look at all Orlando City’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)

DC United

❌ Suspensions: Luciano Acosta (Red Card)

❓ Doubts: Darren Mattocks (Calf)

🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee sprain) and Taylor Kemp (sports hernia surgery)

(Take a look at all DC United’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)

Orlando City vs DC United: Key Stats

Orlando City’s MLS form: N/A

DC United’s MLS form: N/A

Key stat: Orlando City have won their last three home games against DC United.

Orlando City vs DC United: Prediction

Orlando City 2-1 DC United: An opening weekend win for Orlando looks a likely outcome for this one. Both sides are missing key playmakers through suspension but given DC’s poor away record last season and their inability, so far, to cause Orlando major problems, this is a game may well follow suit.

2018 Key Transfers: DC United

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we will be running through the key additions and losses for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at DC United’s key transfers and what it could mean for them in the 2018 MLS season…

DC United head into the 2018 season with plenty to improve upon from the previous campaign. Finishing bottom of the Eastern Conference wouldn’t have been something they expected at the start of the season given they made the playoffs the year before that. Now it is time for them to push themselves back to more familiar territory and Ben Olsen’s side has seen some key names depart in a bid to freshen things up. Seven new faces have come in so far, with DC’s business unlikely to end there…

Key Signings

Yamil Asad: The Argentine attacker has joined DC United on loan for the season from Velez Sarsfield for the 2018 season. Asad spent the 2017 campaign on loan at Atlanta United, where he scored seven goals and 13 assists in 32 games. The Five Stripes wanted to make his stay permanent but an agreement could not be reached. DC United have been able to strike a deal though. They will send $500,000 in allocation money to Atlanta for Asad’s MLS rights, as well as $300,000 to Velez Sarsfield, with the option to make the move permanent in December for a further $700,000.

Frederic Brillant: DC have opted to bring in some experience into their back line in the form of Frederic Brillant. The 32 year old made 54 appearances for NYCFC over two seasons, starting the majority of them. With two defensive departures so far Brillant will bolster Ben Olsen’s options and the DC faithful will be hoping he can tighten up a backline that conceded 60 goals in 2017.

Darren Mattocks: The Jamaican forward comes into DC looking to accelerate his MLS career. Having been in the league since 2012, he has netted 24 times in 136 games but now could be the time for him to become a more influential provider. Last season saw him used in a bit-part role at Portland but you could suggest more is expected of him here as he is the only forward DC have signed so far.

David Ousted: This looks set to be the new number one for DC with the departure of Bill Hamid. David Ousted made 142 appearances for Vancouver over five seasons with the club and at 33, the Dane has plenty of experience under his belt. He has been one of the more consistent ‘keepers in MLS over the last few years and a fresh start will do him good.

Oniel Fisher: Another defensive addition for Olsen, Oniel Fisher comes in from Seattle. The 26 year old can play in either of the fullback positions. Having made just 27 appearances in his last three seasons – all with Seattle – now will be the time for him to lock down a permanent starting place. He joins fellow Jamaican Mattocks and has shown his ability to use his pace to provide attacking support from the flanks.

Junior Moreno: A player many might not be overly familiar with is Junior Moreno. The 24-year-old Venezuelan comes in with international experience and could be the midfield option that DC have been missing. A box-to-box/central midfielder who has been noted for making an impact on the game both offensively and defensively. His flexibility to play in two key positions will be a breath of fresh air for Olsen and at just 24 he has the potential to become a long-term success, providing he settles in well. One to watch…

Notable Departures

Bill Hamid: The departing fan favourite and last line of defence, Bill Hamid, is moving on after eight seasons at the club. He made 184 appearances for DC and will go down in the history books for the club, as their first Homegrown Player. He won Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014 and is tipped to be the long term option for USMNT. With all that in mind it comes as a bit of a surprise that he has left but now might be the right time for both parties to try something new. Time will tell with this decision…

Chris Rolfe: The MLS veteran has called it a day at 35 after making 239 appearances across a 13-year career. A sad end for Rolfe but the right decision, having not played since April 2016 due to a concussion, his experience is going to be missed.

Lloyd Sam: The English winger departs DC after two seasons with the club. He played a key part in pushing DC into the playoffs in 2016 despite only playing in 13 games after joining from RBNY. He started 23 of his 30 games in 2017 but at 33, D.C. have decided now is the time to find a longer term replacement.

Patrick Nyarko: Another winger who has been shown the exit door. Patrick Nyarko spent the past two seasons with DC, who have decided not to renew his contact. He departs having scored five goals in 40 appearances and he has been a good provider but perhaps not enough in the opinion of DC having decided to allow him to move on.

Sean Franklin: A regular starter at right back since his inception into MLS in 2008, Sean Franklin is going to be missed by the DC fans. He’s been at the club since 2014 and has been a key feature of the side during those four seasons. His experience will also be a loss for the DC dressing room, highlighted no more so than being part of an LA Galaxy side who won back-to-back MLS Cups in 2011 and 12.

DC United set to sign Yamil Asad in exciting $1.5m move

DC United‘s attack should be a lot better in 2018. Argentinian winger Yamil Asad is set to join the club in a big-money move that will see the Eastern Conference side pay out around $1.5 million for his services, according to The Washington Post’s Steven Goff.

The 23 year old is set to join DC on loan from Velez Sarsfield for $300,000, with the option to make the move permanent in December for a further $700,000. But as well as paying his parent club, DC United will send $500,000 in allocation money to Atlanta United to acquire his MLS rights.

Asad spent the 2017 season on loan with Atlanta and impressed on the left wing alongside fellow attackers Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron. He ended the season with seven goals and 13 assists in 32 regular season games.

Atlanta were desperate to retain Asad’s services for the 2018 season but had difficulty in striking a deal with the player. After negotiations broke down twice, the club made the decision to sell on his rights. Minnesota had expressed a strong interest but it looks like DC have won the race for the dynamic forward.

Asad will undoubtedly improve DC’s attacking play. The club finished bottom of the Eastern Conference in 2017 and failed to score in half of their games. They were the league’s joint-lowest scoring team last season, scoring just 31 times. Asad contributed to 20 goals alone so he should instantly improve the team’s fortunes in the final third.

Ben Olsen will have a wealth of attacking options to choose from this season. Darren Mattocks has joined the club and will likely share striking responsibilities with Patrick Mullins and Bruno Miranda. Paul Arriola, Luciano Acosta and Zoltan Stieber will then compete with Asad in behind the forwards.

DC are preparing to move into new stadium Audi Field in July but will have to play 12 of their first 14 games away from home as a result. The technical ability and eye for goal that Asad possesses will therefore prove to be vital if Olsen sets the team up to counter-attack on the road.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs DC United

Major League Soccer:  Seattle Sounders vs DC United

CenturyLink Field – Wednesday, July 19 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 1/2 – Draw 3/1 – DC United 5/1

Seattle Sounders vs DC United: Preview

Seattle Sounders take on DC United as Major League Soccer restarts after a two-week break for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Sounders will be missing three huge names in their starting lineup as Christian Roldan, Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris are away with the USMNT.

They come into the midweek clash having only lost one of their last 19 home matches in the league. An extremely impressive run that will be hard for DC to put to an end to.

MLS Cup holders Seattle have fallen off the pace so far this term. A surge of consistency will need to start sooner, rather than later if they are to have a chance of retaining their crown.

DC United are on course for the wooden spoon. However, Minnesota United are giving them a close battle for it. All jokes aside, this is far from the standard we expect from DC. They have lost four consecutive games in all competitions and six in a row away from home.

One win in seven highlights how tough a run of form they are in. Something has to chance, and fast. But they have lost their last three games at Seattle, without even scoring a goal. So the chances of an away win on Wednesday look very slim.

Seattle Sounders vs DC United: Team News

Seattle Sounders remain without Henry Wingo (ankle) and Seyi Adekoya (ankle). Harry Shipp is listed as questionable with a hand fracture. Jordan Morris, Oniel Fisher, Clint Dempsey and Christian Roldan are away on international duty, though Roldan may be available after being dropped from the USA squad for the quarterfinals.

DC United attacker Patrick Mullins remains out after knee surgery and Bobby Boswell has a groin problem so both will be absent. Rob Vincent (knee) and Nick DeLeon (abdominal strain) are listed as questionable. Bill Hamid is away on international duty with the USMNT.

Seattle Sounders vs DC United: Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/L/D/D/W

DC United’s last five: L/W/L/L/L

Key Stat: DC United have lost their last five away matches in MLS.

Key Player: Will Bruin – With Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris missing, this is a chance for Bruin to stake his claim for a starting spot going forward as he will lead the line.

Seattle Sounders vs DC United: Prediction

Seattle Sounders 3-0 DC United – It’s hard to see DC United finding any way to pick up points at CenturyLink Field. Their poor season has no sign of improving whilst Bill Hamid is absent too. We expect reigning champs Seattle to run riot in front of the home crowd.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Montreal Impact

Competition – Major League Soccer – DC United vs. Montreal Impact
Venue: RFK Memorial Stadium – Saturday, May 6 – 18:00 ET (23:00 BST)
Match Odds: DC United 19/20 – Draw 5/2 – Montreal Impact 5/2

Match Preview

Montreal Impact travel to the capital to take on DC United on Saturday night as two of the Eastern Conference’s inconsistent sides go head-to-head in the hunt to climb a competitive table.

DC United have been disappointing on the whole so far this term and will be looking to kick on when they finally settle on a consistent side as rotation has affected results so far. However, injures cannot be helped at times and they must ensure they pick up points when key players are missing.

Coming off the back of a huge away win in Atlanta last weekend, DC will be hopeful of a continuation of their performance there. Having said that, goals have been an issue thus far, with Ben Olsen’s men only managing to find the back of the net nine times in their eight matches so far.

Coupled with an ever-changing back four, rotation must stop soon if they are to succeed. And with a minor injury to Bill Hamid potentially threatening his availability, DC will need to find that settled back four to provide long-term stability.

Montreal have been equally, if not more disappointing this season and an over-reliance on Ignacio Piatti is clearly on show.

They remain competitive but are lacking a goalscorer to propel them up the table. A key example comes from the fact they accumulated 18 attempts on goal against Vancouver last weekend, with just four of them on target and only one ending up in the back of the net in that disappointing 2-1 loss.

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Any side that loses a player of Didier Drogba’s calibre is going to suffer to some extent. But the lack of an out-and-out scorer is proving a major problem for Mauro Biello’s side.

These sides met three times in total last season, with the pair drawing both regular season games 1-1 before Montreal emerged victorious in a 4-2 win at DC United in the knockout round of the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Team News

DC United are without five senior players. Rob Vincent (Knee), Eric Klenofsky (Knee), Steve Birnbaum (Concussion). Patrick Nyarko (Hamstring) and Nick DeLeon (Abdominal strain) are all missing. Bill Hamid is struggling to overcome a groin injury but could still start.

Shamit Stone (Foot), Andres Romero (Hamstring), Victor Cabrera (Ankle) and leading front man Matteo Mancosu (thing) will all miss this key away trip for the Impact through injury. Young forward Anthony Jackson-Hamel is listed as doubtful.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: W/W/L/D/W

Montreal Impact’s last five: D/L/W/D/L]

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have failed to win any of their last six away regular season games in MLS.

Key Player: Luciano Acosta – Argentinian play maker Acosta is in great form at the moment, having scored three in his last five matches. He will cause problems for Montreal and whether or not they can stop him will be a key factor in the outcome of Saturday’s game.

Score Prediction

DC United 1-0 Montreal Impact – With the two sides struggling their way through MLS at present, it’s really tough to split them. However, given home advantage, as well as an encouraging result in Atlanta last week, we see DC just edging this one.