MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. DC United

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Friday, July 3 – 23:00 ET (Saturday, July 4 – 04:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle Sounders 17/20 – Draw 5/2 – DC United 16/5

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders face DC United this weekend. The Sounders are sitting second in the Western Conference while DC are top of the Eastern Conference.

Seattle come into the game off the back of a 4-1 thumping at the hands of fierce rivals Portland Timbers last weekend and they have now lost their last three regular season outings.

Sigi Schmid will no doubt be concerned with his side’s’ recent form, as they are now three points behind Vancouver Whitecaps and have Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy closing in on them in second, both just one point behind.

A win here for the Sounders would be a huge victory, not just for ending their winless run but also sending out a message to their chasers that they are still to be feared.

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DC United come into this one after their midweek loss in the US Open Cup to Philadelphia Union, leaving them without a win in their last two games.

Their last regular season match was the draw at Toronto last week, which came after back-to-back wins. They are eleven points above New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference and look to be running away from the chasing pack.

Ben Olsen will be pleased with his side and will be expecting to continue building on their great season so far, an away win here would be a great result.

DC have been winning many games this season by the odd goal and will be difficult to break down. If they can make things tough for the Sounders they have a great chance of taking all three points.

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Seattle will be desperate to try and close the gap on the MLS Supporters’ Shield leaders in what should be a gripping contest in the only regular season meeting between the two this year.

Team News

Seattle Sounders are still expecting Obafemi Martins to be sidelined, while Osvaldo Alonso and Andres Correa are doubts. Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans will be away with the USMNT preparing for the upcoming Gold Cup.

DC United will be without Eddie Johnson, while Michael Farfan, Collin Martin, Sean Franklin and Chris Pontius are all doubtful.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/W/L/L/L

DC United’s last five in MLS: L/L/W/W/D

Key Stat: Seattle have scored at least two goals in their last four home matches against DC United in all competitions.

Key Player: Jairo Arrieta – The forward has netted five so far this season and scored in the midweek loss, so he will be expecting to hurt the Sounders and be on the winning side this time out.

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Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 1-2 DC United – DC United to return to winning ways and make things more difficult for the struggling Sounders.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs New England Revolution

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

Venue: RFK Stadium – Sunday, June 21 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – June 21)

Match Odds: DC United 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – New England Revolution 9/5

Match Preview

DC United entertain New England Revolution in one of the stand out fixtures of the weekend as top play second in the Eastern Conference.

The home side have lost their last two regular season games but picked up a 3-1 win in midweek over Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the US Open Cup.

Ben Olsen‘s side have lost just once at home so far this season and this is a huge tie as they could increase the gap to seven points ahead of The Revs, but they have a game in hand.

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DC are currently on 28 points, while New England have 24, and these two sides will feel they should be battling it out for top spot in the Eastern Conference.

New England Revolution come into the game off the back of their poor midweek performance against Charlotte Independence in the US Open Cup. The 1-0 home loss is a bad result which they will want to improve upon quickly.

Jay Heaps will be concerned with his sides recent form, having won just one in their last seven games. A win in this weekend’s game would be a huge result.

Their 2-0 home win against Chicago Fire ensured they cannot fall down to third this weekend, as Orlando City are just four points behind. Heaps cannot afford for a lacklustre performance as they will be picked apart by DC.

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Team News

DC United will be without the injured Michael Farfan, Eddie Johnson and Collin Martin. Chris Pontius and Sean Franklin are doubts for this one, while Davy Arnaud and Perry Kitchen are both one yellow away from a suspension.

New England Revolution have just two injury concerns; Darrius Barnes and Jermaine Jones will be sidelined.

Key Points

DC United’s last five in MLS: L/W/W/L/L

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

Key Stat: Leaky – New England have conceded at least two goals in their last three MLS games.

Key Player: Jairo Arrieta – The DC forward has netted five so far this season and will be hoping to impress this weekend.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-1 New England Revolution – A tight game with DC coming out on top. They cannot afford to lose this one and can get back to winning ways in a huge fixture for both sides.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. DC United 

Venue: BC Place – Saturday, April 25th – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver Whitecaps 8/11 – Draw 5/2 – DC United 4/1

Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps welcome DC United to BC Place on Saturday evening as they look to remain top of the Western Conference against a DC side sitting in second in the Eastern Conference.

The Whitecaps have had an impressive start to the season, winning five of eight games, but Carl Robinson will know his side will be hard pushed for a win in this one.

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Robinson’s side got back to winning ways last weekend with a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake and he will be hoping Octavio Rivero will end his two-game goalless run after starting the season so well, with five goals in six games.

Ben Olsen’s DC have drawn back-to-back games and fallen off the pace a little. They are joint top of the Eastern Conference with the Red Bulls, second only on goal difference, but have played one game more than their rivals.

Goals look like they could be a tough thing to come by from this DC United forward line, as Chris Rolfe and Jairo Arrieta have netted just one each so far and the return of Fabian Espindola from suspension is a huge boost for last year’s Eastern Conference winners.

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DCU would have expected to win last weekend against Houston Dynamo and will be disappointed they couldn’t hold out at home to Owen Coyle’s side after taking the lead.

This is going to be a hard-fought game and if either side can come away with all three points it will be a great result.

Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps have three injury concerns as Andre Lewis, Marco Bustos and Diego Rodriguez could all be sidelined, while Kendall Watson is just one yellow card away from a suspension after racking up four cautions already.

DC United have four sidelined as Markus Halsti, Eddie Johnson, Steve Birnbaum and Collin Martin are all struggling with injuries. Olsen knows his side will be in for a difficult tie, playing against a Whitecaps side who are the joint top-scorers so far this campaign.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: W/W/D/L/W

DC United’s last five: L/W/W/D/D

Key Stat: Octavio Rivero has scored just one goal less than the whole of the DC United side combined this season.

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Key Player: Pedro Morales – The Vancouver playmaker has three assists so far this campaign and his range of passing can unlock even the toughest of defences. If DCU can stop him getting on the ball they have a good chance here.

Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 DC United – The Whitecaps have what it takes to edge this one and home advantage will play a part as they are likely to remain top of the Western Conference and MLS Supporters Shield standings after eight weeks.

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, March 22 – 17:00 ET (21:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 5)

Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – DC United 3/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host DC United in their first home game of the new MLS season on Sunday evening. This has the potential to be a cracker as the Eastern Conference sides renew one of the oldest MLS rivalries as they go head-to-head for the Atlantic Cup once again.

With both sides hopeful of a playoff berth again this season, New York and DC will both see this as a must win game – even if only for the bragging rights at this early stage of the campaign.

The Red Bulls have had a turbulent offseason after losing the great Thierry Henry as well as Tim Cahill and head coach Mike Petke, but have managed to shore up their defence with the addition Ronald Zubar and have also strengthened in midfield with Sacha Kljestan coming in.

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Both sides were on bye weeks last weekend so will come into the game fresh and both will be looking for all three points.

The Red Bulls earned a hard fought point away to Sporting Kansas City in their opening game and will need to be at their best once again if they are to get a result from this one.

Ben Olsen’s DC United are one of the favourites to retain their Eastern Conference title this season as they look like a dangerous side despite playing without two of their best players in Fabian Espindola and Eddie Johnson.

The 1-0 win against the Montreal Impact looks like a great result as Montreal are significantly better than last season so far and have reached the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

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However, we are expecting the Red Bulls to challenge USMNT goalkeeper Bill Hamid on Sunday night in what should be a close encounter.

With the joint-best defence in 2014, DC United will provide a real test for Bradley Wright-Phillips and his Red Bulls teammates this weekend in what has the potential to be the game of the weekend. For any UK fans reading, it’s live on Sky Sports 5 and isn’t one you want to miss.

Team News

New York Red Bulls: Peguy Luyindula could come in for Mike Grella on the left wing. Roy Miller is a doubt but is expected to feature at left-back. Ronald Zubar has a hamstring problem but he is also expected to make the starting lineup.

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DC United: Eddie Johnson, Luis Silva and Markus Halsti are all out. Michael Seaton is a doubt and Fabian Espindola is still serving a ban that won’t see him return until Week 7. Taylor Kemp could start at left-back but is a doubt with a groin injury.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ form: D

DC United’s form: W

Key Stat: Bradley Wright-Phillips failed to register a single shot and only had one touch in the box when the Red Bulls played Sporting Kansas City on the opening weekend.

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Key Player: Jairo Arrieta – New DC United striker, Jairo Arrieta arrived via a trade with Orlando and scored in his first game against Montreal last time out. With Espindola and Johnson both out, Arrieta will be the main threat in front of goal.

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 1-2 DC United – This one could go either way, but DC United may edge this after being eliminated from the playoffs by the Red Bulls last term. Will revenge be served at Red Bull Arena on Sunday?

DC United trade with Orlando City for Costa Rican forward Jairo Arrieta

Jairo Arrieta has joined DC United despite only signing a contract with Orlando City SC on Monday in a trade that saw the expansion franchise pick up an extra international slot.

Arrieta was selected by Orlando City in the sixth round of the MLS Expansion Draft in December after spending three seasons with the Columbus Crew in a spell that saw him score 17 goals with nine assists in 67 appearances.

He becomes the fifth Expansion Draft pick to leave Orlando City after Jalil Anibaba, Mark Sherrod and Eric Gehrig were also traded away, while Heath Pearce couldn’t agree terms and hasn’t signed a contract.

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Arrieta was expected to be a part of the Lions’ strikeforce in their inaugural season in MLS but he will now hope to succeed in DC. He will need to fill in for Fabian Espindola for the first six weeks at least, as the forward is suspended for pushing a referee in the MLS Playoffs.

“Jairo ‎will provide us with important depth this year at the forward position,” DC United General Manager Dave Kasper said. “He is a smart player who finds great spots on the field, and we like his work ethic and commitment. We welcome him to the DC United family.”

The 31-year-old Costa Rican played 23 times for the Crew last season, scoring five goals and picking up one assist.

Is Jairo Arrieta a good signing for DC United?

Predicted Orlando City starting XI if the league began today

Orlando City SC now have the core of their squad together ahead of their first ever season as a Major League Soccer franchise after the MLS Expansion Draft helped them to add numbers.

The Lions now have 20 players to choose from and although more will be added before they kick off in March, we now have a good idea about what the team will look like.

Don’t miss: Predicted New York City starting XI if the league began today

With the current roster, it is likely that head coach Adrian Heath would play a 4-2-3-1 formation to accommodate the high number of midfielders in the squad.

Goalkeeper: Donovan Ricketts

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The Jamaican shot-stopper was selected with the first overall pick of the Expansion Draft and will start the season in goal for Orlando. Tally Hall will battle for a starting job when he returns from injury but Ricketts has the job nailed down for now. He played 32 times for the Portland Timbers last year and is a solid goalkeeper.

Right-back: Tyler Turner

18-year-old right-back Tyler Turner could be set to start the season for Orlando as the club don’t have a more experienced player to fill in on the right side of defence. Turner likes to attack down the flanks and that could be something Heath wants to see from his team. Will be good to see a young player like Turner given a chance.

Centre-back: Aurelien Collin

Aurelien Collin is a vastly experienced central defender and a great signing for Orlando City. He has spent the last four seasons with Sporting Kansas City and brings a wealth of crucial experience to the backline. Collin played 26 times last season and will expect to see more game time than that in 2015.

Centre-back: Heath Pearce

Heath Pearce is another experienced MLS defender. The 2015 season will be his eighth in the league and he will look to form a solid partnership with Collin at the heart of the Orlando defence. Pearce played 23 games for Montreal last season.

Left-back: Luke Boden

English left-back Luke Boden will likely start the season as the teams left-back. He has been with Orlando City since 2011 and made the USL Pro Team of the Season in 2014. The Lions have been linked with Ashley Cole but that move is unlikely at this point and Boden will hope to prove his worth if given a starting job.

Defensive-midfield: Amobi Okugo

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Amobi Okugo was acquired in a trade with the Philadelphia Union and he will look forward to being a regular in the Orlando lineup next season. At just 23, he has a bright future ahead of him. He has played 32 times in the past two seasons for the Union and will look to replicate that in 2015.

Defensive-midfield: Estrella

Estrella is just 19-years-old but he has the chance to become an integral part of a youthful looking squad with the Lions. He joined Orlando City last July and scored one goal in five games in their USL Pro campaign. Could be one to shine.

Right-midfield: Kevin Molino

Kevin Molino has been with Orlando City since 2011 and has made over 80 appearances for the club in that time. He has plenty of experience and will be looking forward to playing in Major League Soccer. At just 24, he has time to develop as a player and has the perfect platform to do so.

Left-midfield: Tony Cascio

It’s difficult to assess exactly who will start on the left side of midfield for Orlando City but at this stage, Tony Cascio looks the most likely option. The 24-year-old was selected with Orlando’s second pick in the Expansion Draft and will hope to nail down a regular berth in the team after only appearing six times for the Houston Dynamo last term.

Attacking-midfield: Kaka

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The star. Kaka will need to be the key man in this team every time he steps onto the field. The Brazilian playmaker is set to experience Major League Soccer for the first time and will hope to hit the ground running with so much expected of the first, and only current designated player signing.

Forward: Jairo Arrieta

Unless a star striker is signed, Jairo Arrieta is expected to be the man to score the goals in the Orlando team. He was selected in the sixth round of the Expansion Draft after netting five times in 23 appearances for the Columbus Crew in 2014.

What did we learn as Columbus Crew finally taste victory in win against Chicago?

The Columbus Crew ended an eight-game winless streak in MLS with their first victory since March as they beat Chicago Fire 2-0 on Saturday night. Here are our key takeaways:

1. Ethan Finlay is quick, and dangerous…and quick.

The 23-year-old made his first appearance of the season, starting on the right-wing in place of Dominic Oduro and made an instant impact on the game. He opened the scoring for the Crew after he flew past Chicago defender Greg Cochrane to latch on to a fantastic pass by Federico Higuain, and slotted in from a tight angle after rounding goalkeeper Sean Johnson. It was his second of the season after he scored in last week’s 3-3 draw with Portland. His incredible pace was a threat all night and he is certainly dangerous.

2. Federico Higuain is playing excellent football.

The Argentine added to his wonderful performance last week by grabbing two assists against the Fire to ensure his team would finally win a game. His first past to Finlay was weighted perfectly, as was his pass with the outside of the boot to Jairo Arrieta, who coolly slotted through the legs of Johnson to make it 2-0 early on. Higuain is making everything tick for the Crew and they will pick up more and more wins if he continues in the form he is showing.

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(Photo: Higuain is putting in some inspired performances for the Crew)

3. A depleted Chicago really missed Mike Magee.

Magee missed the game with a late calf injury, and Chicago were not the attacking threat they have been without him. Quincy Amarikwa was partnered by Juan Luis Anangono up front, but the two couldn’t click as Magee and Amarikwa have been. Anangono had a glancing header come off the post in what was the Fire’s best chance of the game, but they were flat and below par all night. They will hope Magee returns in time for their game against LA Galaxy next week.

 

Columbus will want to add to their overdue win when they travel to Toronto next weekend. The Crew now sit in fifth place in the Eastern Conference on 16 points, four higher than the Fire who fall to eighth.

Highlights via MLS on YouTube: