MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. DC United

Venue: Children’s Mercy Park – Friday, May 27 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Sporting KC 3/4 – Draw 5/2 – DC United 4/1

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City welcome DC United to Children’s Mercy Park on Friday night as seventh in the West face off against seventh in the East.

Both sides have endured slow starts to the 2016 campaign and know that Friday night’s game offers a fantastic opportunity to take three points and start to climb their respective conferences.

Sporting KC have only won one of their last nine and are in real trouble. They fell 3-1 at home to Real Salt Lake last weekend and have now lost three of their last four.

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Peter Vermes and his players need to bounce back very quickly. The home fans will see Friday’s game as a winnable fixture and they will likely see nothing other than three points as success.

DC United have four less points than SKC at this stage but they have not lost back-to-back games all season and their biggest problem seems to be putting the ball in the net.

They lost 1-0 at Philadelphia last time out and have now failed to score in three of their last six. They have yet to win away from home and don’t look like a side ready to make a charge up the table.

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Both sides are really struggling but that should make for an entertaining game as neither can afford to take this game lightly.

This will be the 35th MLS meeting between the two established sides. DC are unbeaten in four-straight games against SKC and will hope to extend that run to five come the end of play on Friday.

Team News

Sporting KC will be without Roger Espinoza as he will serve a one-game suspension. Kevin Ellis remains out injured, while Seth Sinovic is a doubt and is unlikely to make the starting lineup.

DC will be without five players through injuries. Andrew Dykstra, Bill Hamid, Chris Korb, Collin Martin and Chris Rolfe are all sidelined and so Ben Olsen is without a couple of key men at a crucial time of the season.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/L/L/W/L

DC United’s last five: W/D/L/W/L

Key Stat: Road block – DC United are averaging just 0.55 goals per game away from home since the start of last season – the worst record in MLS.

Key Player: Dom Dwyer – Dwyer has scored two of SKC’s last three goals and looks to be the side’s only chance of success during this tough spell. If he is on form, the home side will likely leave with three points.

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Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 1-1 DC United – There is very little to choose between these out-of-form sides. Both are expected to go for all three points but with neither in good shape, they could well cancel each other out. A draw won’t really help either side, but that looks the most likely result.

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

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

Venue: RFK Stadium – Friday, May 13 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: DC United 15/8 – Draw 23/10 – NY Red Bulls 29/20

Match Preview

DC United host the New York Red Bulls in the latest Atlantic Cup rivalry clash on Friday night between two Eastern Conference sides that need to improve after slow starts.

DC have won just two of their ten games so far and are sitting seventh in the East, level on points with the Red Bulls who sit one place above them heading into the contest.

Both of United’s wins have come at home and so they will be fairly confident ahead of Friday’s game, though last week’s 2-0 home loss to NYCFC will have dented confidence.

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DC know they need to improve quickly if they are to remain in contention for the playoffs come the end of the campaign. They play seven of their next ten games away from RFK Stadium so a crucial period of their season is approaching.

The Red Bulls looked doomed until three weeks ago. They had lost six of their first seven before then picking up seven points from their last three games.

Last week’s 1-1 draw in Orlando moved them into the top six for the first time this season and they will now have their eyes set on sides above them, with Jesse Marsch’s team just five points off the top of the East.

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Injuries have hampered their chances so far but key players are returning with each week and so things are starting to look up for the Red Bulls, who play three of their next four at home following Friday’s trip to DC.

These rivals met five times last year, three times in the regular season and twice in the Eastern Conference semifinals of the playoffs. The Red Bulls won four of the five meetings in total, with the only other game ending in a 2-2 draw at RFK Stadium back in April.

New York Red Bulls vs. DC United

Team News

DC United will welcome back Chris Rolfe following his suspension, while Fabian Espindola could return from the hamstring problem that has kept him out for three weeks. Bill Hamid remains out, along with Andrew Dykstra, Charlie Horton, Chris Korb and Collin Martin.

New York still have doubts hanging over Gideon Baah and Connor Lade, though Gonzalo Veron made his return to action last week and will be in contention to start here. Aurelien Collin made his debut in defence alongside Ronald Zubar and the pair may play again here, with Baah unlikely to make the starting lineup. Damien Perrinelle and Ryan Meara remain sidelined.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: W/L/W/D/L

NY Red Bulls’ last five: L/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: The Red Bulls are unbeaten in five matches against DC United (W4 D1), all of which took place last year in the regular season and playoffs combined.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls striker endured a tough start to the season but has now scored three in three and will hope to continue to add to his tally in this important rivalry clash. He bagged four goals in five games against DC last term and will be confident of finding the net again here.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 New York Red Bulls – Both sides will be fired up for this game but the Red Bulls look in much better shape coming into the contest. DC are struggling for any sort of form and have not beaten their rivals in their last five attempts. It should be an entertaining game but the Red Bulls look more likely to walk away with three points.

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

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

Venue: RFK Stadium – Sunday, May 8 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: DC United 23/20 – Draw 5/2 – NYCFC 9/4

Match Preview

DC United host New York City FC in an intriguing Eastern Conference matchup between two sides looking to stretch their two-game unbeaten runs on Sunday night.

Both clubs endured poor starts to the season but have taken four points from their last two and might now be in a good position to kick on as the summer approaches.

DC came from behind to earn a point away at Chicago last week and have now scored eight in their last four.

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They are a better side at home than away and will enter Sunday’s game expecting to take all three points, despite NYCFC’s apparent revival.

Patrick Vieira’s men ended a seven-game winless run with their 3-2 win over Vancouver last weekend. That win was their first since the opening day and first at home in six attempts this season.

Those three points should have given the squad a huge boost and the aim will now be to make it back-to-back victories for the first time since September.

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This is the first of three-straight away games for NYCFC, with trips to Portland and Toronto coming up after this clash.

The home side won both of last year’s meetings, with DC sealing a 2-1 comeback win at RFK Stadium back in October, thanks to goals from Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola after an early Frank Lampard strike.

Team News

DC United will be without Chris Rolfe for this one as he will serve a one-game suspension following an MLS Disciplinary Committee decision. Bill Hamid, Andrew Dykstra, Chris Korb, Collin Martin and Charlie Horton are all out, while Fabian Espindola is a doubt as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Sean Franklin is one booking away from suspension and will need to watch his step.

New York City will be without RJ Allen as he is suffering with an ankle injury. Frank Lampard is also expected to miss out again, along with Connor Brandt and Jack Harrison as all three continue their road to recovery. Federico Bravo and Mikey Lopez are one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: D/W/L/W/D

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

Key Stat: Leaky – New York City have conceded at least two goals in nine of their last ten away games in MLS.

Key Player: David Villa – The Spanish striker scored his seventh brace since joining MLS in last week’s win over Vancouver. The NYCFC star will need to be at his best if his side are to win a second away game of the season here.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-1 New York City FC – This should be a tight contest between two sides desperate to avoid defeat here. DC have more absences than the away side to worry about and that might prevent them from having enough to overpower NYCFC. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for either but remaining unbeaten for a third week running would be a positive for both.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. New England Revolution

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, April 23 – 22:30 BST (17:30 EDT)

Match Odds: DC United 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – New England Revolution 9/5

Match Preview

DC United welcome New England Revolution to RFK Stadium on Saturday night for what will be their third home game in a row. DC have had mixed results in their last two, with a 4-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps followed by last week’s 1-0 loss to Toronto.

With just one win from seven this season, DC have yet to really get off the ground and with limited options in attack and the loss of Bill Hamid for an extended period time, things aren’t going to get much easier for United overnight.

They had plenty of possession and 18 attempts against Toronto last week yet still fell to an early Sebastian Giovinco goal and couldn’t breach the Toronto defence as their struggles for goals continued. DC have scored only seven times so far this season, failing to net in three games – including the 0-0 draw at New England last month.

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Speculation about Ben Olsen’s future has picked up this week and a few more negative results could see the manager leave his post, as recent form is simply not good enough for a club of DC United’s stature.

New England Revolution are in the playoff places and if the season finished now, they’d probably settle for 5th. They are a young side which is building for bigger things but will still feel they could be doing better than they are at this stage.

They have scored in each of their last four games so scoring goals doesn’t seem to be the problem. However, they have failed – at times – to finish teams off. They have only lost once so far, so a good early start for the Revs has set the tone for what should be a solid campaign.

Progression will come from more wins. It sounds simple but with five draws from seven outings, they need more points on the board.

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If they are to win more games, Charlie Davies or Juan Agudelo will need to step up as the Revs top scorer is Diego Fagundez (2) and so their strikers need to find the net more often.

These two sides have already met this season, drawing 0-0 at Gillette Stadium in Week 2. DC have won each of the last two meetings at RFK Stadium and will be looking to make it three in three on Saturday.

Team News

DC United are without goalkeepers Bill Hamid (knee) and Andrew Dykstra (back), as well as Charlie Horton (concussion), defender Chris Korb (knee) and midfielder Collin Martin (foot). Markus Halsti (knee) is a doubt.

New England Revolution have as many four players who are doubtful with Steve Neumann (knee), Juan Agudelo (hamstring), Darrius Barnes (ankle) and Jose Goncalves (undisclosed) all being monitored for Saturday’s game.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: D/L/D/W/L

New England Revolution’s last five: L/D/W/D/D

Key Stat: DC United are unbeaten in their last four meetings with New England Revolution.

Key Player: Fabian Espindola – DC’s star striker is back to full fitness with three goals in four starts this term. DC United will want him to be be on the scoresheet once again come Saturday night and he will look to disrupt the Revs defence from the outset.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-1 New England Revolution – Both sides are yet to really find form and we expect it to be an even encounter once again. Both could really do with three points but there is little to choose between these sides and so a score draw seems most likely.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Toronto FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. Toronto FC

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, April 16 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

Match Odds: DC United 11/8 – Draw 11/5 – Toronto FC 21/10

Match Preview

DC United host Toronto FC in a game between two struggling Eastern Conference sides that will be looking to climb the table with a view to challenging at the top end of proceedings this season.

Despite the lack of points they both have so far this term, there will be expectation that both will mount serious challenges for playoff spots at the very least and so this contest is an important one.

DC will feel more confident going into the game after a 4-0 win at home against Vancouver Whitecaps last time out, which was actually their first win of the season.

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Remarkably, DC were the best team in the Eastern Conference two years ago and now they are struggling to win a game. However, much of their ill-form will be down to the loss of star ‘keeper Bill Hamid, who has been ever-present while they have been successful in recent years. His long-term injury is doing little to help their chances.

So far, it’s too early to man the panic stations for United as they are only three points off top spot in the East. As long as they are in touch, they will not be too concerned and another win on Saturday would really give them a boost.

Toronto FC haven’t won since the opening day and for them, it could well be time to hit the panic button. They are yet to spark a run of form worthy of the squad strength they possess as some will argue on paper they should be Supporters’ Shield contenders.

Results will need to pick up soon as they will potentially lose all three Designated Players in the Summer through international duty as Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are expected to join the USMNT and Sebastian Giovinco could well go to Euro 2016 with Italy.

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Their defensive additions may have looked promising in the opening day win over New York Red Bulls but they have failed to keep a clean sheet since then. Worrying times for the Canadian side who will be looking forward to returning to home following this eight-game road swing to start 2016.

These two sides met twice last year, with Toronto the overall winners. The Reds won 2-1 at RFK Stadium before the teams played out a 0-0 draw at BMO Field just a few weeks later.

Team News

DC United are missing Bill Hamid (knee), Andrew Dykstra (back), Chris Korb (knee) and Collin Martin (foot) as all four are out. Charlie Horton is a doubt with concussion and Markus Halsti may not feature due to a knee sprain.

Clement Simonin is definitely out with a knee injury. Tsubasa Endoh is a doubt with a quad injury. Jozy ALtidore is expected to make his second start with Sebastian Giovinco playing just behind him in what could be a 4-4-1-1 formation for Toronto.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: D/D/L/D/W

Toronto FC’s last five: W/D/L/L/D

Key Stat: DC United are the league leaders in shots per game at home this season. They are averaging 19.7 shots per game at RFK Stadium.

Key Player: Fabian Espindola – The DC frontman started only his third game of the season last weekend and inspired a brilliant 4-0 win with a brace against the Vancouver Whitecaps. His return to form provides DC with a far better platform to attack and he will be out to hurt the Toronto defence on Saturday.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-1 Toronto FC – Both sides are seeking their second win of the season and both will have playoff aspirations this term. Saying that, they both – based on form – could equal each other out on Saturday evening. A draw seems most likely but home advantage may play a huge role in this one as Toronto’s long road stint continues.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs FC Dallas

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. FC Dallas

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, March 26 – 21:30 GMT (17:30 ET)

Match Odds: DC United 13/8 – Draw  23/10 – FC Dallas 17/10

Match Preview

DC United welcome FC Dallas to RFK Stadium on Saturday in a weekend with minimal MLS action due to the international games taking place across the globe.

DC’s struggles up top are ongoing and they have only scored twice in their three outings so far this season. Ben Olsen is going to need to ensure his side are as tight as possible at the back to make sure the goals they are scoring are having an impact in their fixtures.

The Black and Red are yet to win this season and come into this tie off the back of their draw against Colorado last time out.

The boost for DC will be that they have won the last two meetings between these sides at RFK 4-1, so they’ll be hoping history repeats itself once again to give them their much needed first win of the 2016 regular season.

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FC Dallas are sitting 4th in the Western Conference after their solid start to the season. They have won two of their three ties so far but there is still room for improvement.

Oscar Pareja will be delighted with how his side bounced back from their 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Houston Dynamo two weeks ago, after his side won 2-0 over Montreal Impact last time out.

Dallas havent won at RFK since 2010 and will be hoping to capitalise on DC’s slow start to the new campaign this weekend.

The international break has left the Dallas side depleted heading into this tie so it will be real a test of Pareja’s squad depth.

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Team News

DC United have four injury concerns as Bill Hamid, Andrew Dykstra, Chris Korb and Markus Halsti are all expected to miss out. Alvaro Saborio and Steve Birnbaum have both been called up for international duty.

FC Dallas have two injury concerns heading into this tie. Alex Zendejas it out, while Coy Craft is a doubt. Tesho Akindele, Moises Hernandez, Maynor Figueroa, Jesse Gonzalez, Atiba Harris, Kellyn Acosta and Walker Zimmerman are all on international duty.

Key Points

DC United’s form: L/D/D

FC Dallas’ form: W/L/W

Key Stat: Leaky – FC Dallas have conceded at least two goals in their last three away Major League Soccer outings.

Key Player: Fabian Espindola – The DC forward netted his sides late equaliser last weekend.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-1 FC Dallas – These two are tough to split for different reasons this weekend. DC United have had a difficult start to the 2016 season and Dallas have a lightweight squad due to the amount of players who have been called up for international duty. Both sides will be happy with a tie in this one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: RFK Stadium – Sunday, March 20 – 21:00 GMT (17:00 EDT)

Match Odds: DC United 13/10 – Draw  11/5 – Colorado Rapids 11/5

Match Preview

DC United welcome Colorado Rapids to RFK Stadium this weekend in a game which sees two sides looking for goals go head-to-head, both only managing to score once so far this term.

DC are obviously struggling with a lack of depth up top with Colin Doyle and Eddie Johnson both leaving the franchise during the offseason and so goals won’t be as easy to come by this season.

They do have an impressive defensive unit however, that will be tested without USMNT international Bill Hamid for the coming months and we expect Colorado to test them this weekend.

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DC’s 0-0 draw with New England last week was a solid result but they will now hope to win their home opener and start to climb the Eastern Conference.

Colorado are very much a side that are efficient in what they do. They rarely concede goals at home but equally aren’t the most threatening side in attack.

They showed their defensive qualities last week as they beat LA Galaxy 1-0, thanks to a 95th minute winner. Colorado held the Galaxy to a pass completion percentage of just 64.9%, proving how tough they are to break down.

To add to this, Rapids ‘keeper Zac MacMath has only faced four shots on target in the two games so far this term, highlighting the defensive displays Colorado have been putting in.

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Team News

DC United are missing both Bill Hamid and Andrew Dykstra so third choice ‘keeper Travis Worra will be between the sticks. Chris Korb remains out with an ACL tear and Markus Halsti and Fabian Espindola are doubtful.

Colorado Rapids are only without Sean St. Ledger and John Berner who are out with knee and wrist injuries respectively.

Key Points

DC United’s form: L/D

Colorado Rapids’ form: L/W

Key Stat: Colorado haven’t beaten DC in their last five meetings in MLS, a run which started in May 2011.

Key Player: Lamar Neagle – Utility forward Naegle was a great pick up from Seattle in the offseason and he has been leading the line in the absence of Espindola. He will be wanting to get his name on the scoresheet on Sunday night and should be a threat.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-0 Colorado Rapids – DC need to kick start their season and will look to build on last week’s draw with New England, in which they were very hard to break down, Colorado have been good so far and will keep the game low-scoring, but we see DC just edging this one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New England Revolution vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. DC United

Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday, March 12 – 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT)

Match Odds: New England Revolution 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – DC United 4/1

Match Preview

New England Revolution welcome DC United to Gillette Stadium this weekend in what is a big tie for both of these Eastern Conference sides.

New England started their 2016 campaign with a 3-3 draw against Houston Dynamo in a thrilling clash in which they showed great resilience by scoring late on to pick up a point.

Jay Heaps will be pleased with how his side stole a share of the points but will be disappointed to have thrown away their early lead. He will be looking for a much tighter defensive display in their home opener.

The last meeting between these sides at Gillette Stadium saw the game finish 1-1. New England are unbeaten against DC in their last four home meetings and will expect to avoid defeat once more here.

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DC United had an opening weekend to forget as they were thumped 4-1 by LA Galaxy. It was a huge disappointment for Ben Olsen as his side took an early lead, before capitulating in the second half.

They sit bottom of the Eastern Conference – which this early on isn’t a problem as it will be a few weeks before the standings take shape – but they will not want to be there come the end of Week 2’s fixtures.

This is going to be a tough tie and DC will give their fans a huge lift if they are to take points from New England ahead of their first home game of the 2016 campaign against Colorado Rapids next weekend.

No doubt Ben Olsen will have given his side an intense week of preparation heading into this game to ensure they don’t show the same frailties they did against the Galaxy. This is a chance for DC to show the rest of the conference what they are capable of.

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Team News

New England Revolution have no injuries or suspensions heading into this tie.

DC United are still without goalkeeper Bill Hamid who has a long-term knee injury, while defender Chris Korb is also out with a knee problem. Markus Halsti is expected to miss out, while Patrick Nyarko and Fabian Espindola are both doubts.

Key Points

New England’s form: D

DC United’s form: L

Key Stat: Travelsick – DC United have lost 11 of their last 16 away games in MLS.

Key Player: Charlie Davies – The Revs forward bagged his first goal of the season on the opening day and will be full of confidence. He could play a pivotal role to his side this season if he can score on a regular basis.

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Score Prediction

New England Revolution 2-1 DC United – We can expect these two sides to provide each other with a difficult game from the off. Both defences will look to be far more organised than last weekend as they conceded seven goals combined. New England look set just to edge it and should pick up their first win of the new season against Eastern rivals on Saturday night.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. DC United

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, March 6 – 22:00 ET (03:00 GMT)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 1/2 – Draw 100/30 – DC United 11/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy and DC United clash at the StubHub Center on Sunday night as the opening day of the 2016 season sees the two most successful sides in MLS history going head-to-head.

The Galaxy will be desperate to put things right this year after 2015’s fifth placed Western Conference finish was their lowest since 2008.

Their competitive season is already underway as they had their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal with Mexican side Santos Laguna.

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Despite a 0-0 draw at home in the first leg, Bruce Arena saw his side crash out of the competition after a 4-0 defeat in the second leg, but they can now focus all their attention on making sure of a good start to the MLS campaign.

Before their CCL tie, the Galaxy played five preseason fixtures, winning two, losing two and drawing one, including a 1-0 victory over MLS rivals San Jose Earthquakes.

DC United also had a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal to contend with, following a preseason which saw them win just one of five games (D2, L2).

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Ben Olsen’s side suffered a similar fate to their opponents, losing 2-0 away from home in the first leg of their tie with Queretaro, before being held to a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium, which saw them eliminated on aggregate.

DC’s only win in preseason was a 1-0 win over NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies, meaning that their preparation for this campaign hasn’t exactly been ideal but now it’s time to step it up in MLS.

The only meeting between these two sides in 2015 saw DC United edge a 1-0 home victory thanks to an injury time goal by Chris Pontius, which marked first time DC had beaten LA in MLS since 2008 after 10 attempts (D5, L5).

Team News

LA Galaxy defender Leonardo (leg), new midfielder Jeff Larentowicz (groin) and striker Alan Gordon (neck) are all injury doubts and will be working hard to try and make the squad. New signings Ashley Cole and Nigel De Jong could make their debuts in MLS.

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DC United will be without goalkeeper Bill Hamid who has a long-term knee injury, while defender Chris Korb is also out with a knee problem. Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas is set to face his old club – he had a two-year spell with the Galaxy between 2012 and 2014.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s preseason form: W/L/D/W/L

DC United’s preseason form: L/D/W/D/L

Key Stat: DC United have only won two of their last 15 away games in MLS (D3, L10).

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Irishman was LA Galaxy’s top goalscorer last season with an impressive 20 goals in 24 games. As club captain, he leads by example and his input will be crucial once again. He can make the difference in the blinking of an eye.

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Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-1 DC United – The last meeting between these sides at StubHub Center saw the Galaxy win 4-1 in 2014. DC’s last away victory over LA was way back in 2005. This should be a tight game, but LA Galaxy will fancy their chances of continuing their strong record at home to DC United over the last 11 years.

Podcast: DC United, Real Salt Lake and Tottenham discussed

In this week’s MLSGB Podcast, Zack Walford talks to Louis East and Jamie Ives about DC United and Real Salt Lake’s chances in MLS this year as the new season is just four days away.

The team then move on to look at Tottenham’s Premier League title bid and whether or not they have what it takes to go all the way.

As always, comment below with your thoughts, or get in touch on Twitter.