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.

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2016 MLS Season Preview: DC United

As the 2016 MLS season edges closer, we’ll be publishing each team’s MLS 2016 Season Preview. Today we take a look at what DC United will be looking to achieve.

DC United were the early Eastern Conference pace-setters last season, suffering only one defeat in their first ten matches. They ended the 2015 campaign in fourth place in the East as a season that began with so much optimism ultimately fizzled away, with playoff elimination coming against the New York Red Bulls for the second-straight season. Too many away defeats played a factor in their fall from the top, with ten defeats on the road a poor return. The heavy 5-0 defeat to Columbus on the last day of the regular season at the MAPFRE Stadium was the lowpoint. Sadly the season will also be remembered for being the last for former DP Eddie Johnson, who had to retire due to a heart problem that ultimately left him on the sidelines for the 2015 season. DC have CONCACAF Champions League commitments to deal with in late February before the MLS season starts, with a two-legged quarter-final against Queretaro coming up. They have suffered a huge setback with the news that goalkeeper Bill Hamid is set to miss 4-6 months with a serious knee injury.

Last Season’s Finish:

Eastern Conference – Position: 4th – P34 – W15 – D6 – L13

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What Needs To Change This Year?

Away form. As mentioned above, the road form last year brings cause for concern this season as three wins on the road just simply wasn’t good enough for a team that needs to be challenging at the top end of the Eastern Conference. This terrible away record was compounded by the fact they only scored nine goals away from RFK Stadium – something they need to seriously address. Their home form remains relatively strong, so there are some positives they can take into next season, but improving the returns on the road would put them in a much better position to challenge for success.

Key Changes To Squad:

Ins: Lamar Neagle – Midfielder, Patrick Nyarko – Midfielder, Marcelo Sarvas – Midfielder, Luciano Acosta (loan) – Midfielder

Out: Eddie Johnson – Striker, Jairo Arrieta – Striker, Michael Farfan – Midfielder, Facundo Coria – Midfielder, Perry Kitchen – Midfielder, Chris Pontius – Midfielder, Conor Doyle – Striker

Key Player:

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Patrick Nyarko – Midfielder – The midfield acquisition from Chicago Fire brings bags of experience and will hope to make an immediate impact with his new team. He recorded three goals and three assists last term and will hope to nail down a starting berth early on in what is a competitive DC United midfield. He will want to impress Ben Olsen and prove his worth to become a mainstay in that midfield and could become a key part of the side.

One To Watch:

Luciano Acosta – Midfielder – The 21-year-old Argentine has arrived on loan for the season from Boca Juniors. He made his debut against the Tampa Bay Rowdies, bagging an assist for Fabian Espindola in a 1-0 victory. Ben Olsen has said: “He’s unpredictable, he’s electric and he is a lot of fun to watch”. DC fans must be filled with glee at what this young man could bring to the RFK in 2016 and he’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Predicted Finish:

Eastern Conference – 4th – We predict that DC will finish 2016 in exactly the same position as they finished up in 2015. The lack of forward options at Ben Olsen’s disposal is a slight concern as they released three forwards during the offseason. They should still make the playoffs but the absence of Bill Hamid in particular could prevent them from challenging at the very top. A few experienced names have come in, but they are all predominantly midfield options. It should be an exciting season nevertheless and they will hope for a better run in the postseason, should they qualify for the playoffs as expected.

What are you expecting from DC United in 2016?

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

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Semifinal First Leg) – DC United vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: RFK Stadium – Sunday, November 1 – 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT)

Match Odds: DC United 9/5 – Draw 13/5 – New York Red Bulls 13/10

Match Preview

DC United and New York Red Bulls clash at RFK Stadium on Sunday in the first leg of the MLS Eastern Conference semifinal.

The match-up between these two sides sees a repeat of last season’s tie at this same stage, although DC will play the first-leg at home this time around due to their lower seeding.

DC secured their place in the semifinal by bouncing back from a crushing 5-0 defeat away at Columbus on the last day of the regular season to beat New England Revolution 2-1 in the Eastern Conference knockout round.

Ben Olsen will be delighted with his side’s strong reaction, which secured a third win in four games and keeps alive their hopes of winning an MLS Cup for the first time since 2004.

DC United vs New England Revolution

Revenge will be in the air at RFK Stadium after the Red Bulls knocked DC out of the competition a year ago, with a 3-2 aggregate score over the two legs.

The New York Red Bulls will be refreshed and full of confidence after they’ve enjoyed a week off to relish the fact they’re Supporters’ Shield winners for the second time in three years.

Jesse Marsch has inspired his team to an excellent season but must now ensure the players maintain their focus if they are to sustain a serious challenge at winning the 2015 MLS Cup.

The Red Bulls fell short in 2014 after a conference final defeat, but the platform to go all the way is now in place and they just need to continue their impressive form of 12 wins in their last 17 games (D1, L4).

Photo: Denise McCooey

DC United failed to beat New York Red Bulls in any of the three meetings between the two sides in the regular season (D1, L2), with the most recent clash ending in a 3-0 win for the Red Bulls in August, while the last encounter at RFK Stadium was a 2-2 draw in April.

Team News

DC United will be without Chris Korb (knee), Davy Arnaud (concussion) and Jared Jeffrey (facial fracture) who are all injured. Bobby Boswell will miss the match as a result of a one-game ban issued by the league for an off the ball incident against New England on Thursday.

New York Red Bulls defender Chris Duvall remains out (leg), while Roy Miller (knee) and Anatole Abang (hamstring) are also struggling with injuries.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: L/W/W/L/W

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

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls were the highest goalscorers in the MLS regular season with 62, so they’ll be looking to continue scoring freely and get that all important away goal.

Key Player: Chris Rolfe – An obvious choice, but he is crucial to DC United. He’s their top goalscorer this season, with 11 goals in all competitions. Rolfe also scored a late winner against New England Revolution in the knockout round.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-1 New York Red Bulls – DC have been strong at home with just 3 defeats all season, so it’s a tough ask for the Red Bulls to win the game. However, they should have enough to get an away goal and secure a draw – a result that would put them in the driving seat for the second leg.

MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: DC United vs New England Revolution

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

Venue: RFK Stadium – Wednesday, October 28 – 19:30 ET (23:30 GMT)

Match Odds: DC United 13/8 – Draw 9/4 – New England Revolution 13/8

Match Preview

DC United welcome New England Revolution to RFK Stadium in the first of the Eastern Conference playoff ties on Wednesday night as the two go head-to-head in the knockout round.

DC couldn’t have had a worse result heading into this game after they were thumped 5-0 by Columbus Crew on the final day of the regular season on Sunday.

The home side have won just two of their last five games, but as we know, knockout rounds see the form books chucked to one side.

DC need to come into this with a fresh approach and play the way they know they can. They won the second meeting between the sides in the regular season 2-1 back in June and can take confidence from that.

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Finishing 4th and subsequently earning home-field advantage has given DC a great chance of progressing into the next round of the playoffs. They need to make sure they come out of the blocks quickly and not give New England the upper hand early on in the game.

New England Revolution will be relieved to have made the playoffs after having to wait until the final day and will now be hoping to go one step further than last year and win the MLS Cup.

They come into this one off the back of their solid 3-1 win away at New York City FC, a result which put an end to a four-game winless run.

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The Revs failed to beat DC in the regular season, drawing the first meeting between the sides back in May before then, as previously mentioned, losing in June.

New England haven’t won at RFK Stadium since 2013, but will be feeling confident going into the game. They cannot, however, afford to let DC’s recent run of poor form make them complacent.

Team News

DC United have four injury concerns heading into this one. Eddie Johnson, Chris Korb, Davy Arnaud and Jared Jeffrey are all expect to miss out.

New England Revolution have just the one injury concern as Darrius Barnes looks set to miss out.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: L/L/W/W/L

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

Key Stat: DC have only won two of their last six home games in the playoffs (W2 D3 L1).

Key Player: Charlie Davies – The Revs forward netted four times in last season’s playoff run. He played an influential role in their win over NYCFC on Sunday, with one assist and a goal and comes into the game in good form. His ten goals in the regular season make him his side’s top scorer for the campaign.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 New England Revolution – This is an intriguing tie because so much hangs on what DC United side turn up. Sunday’s 5-0 hammering has raised plenty of questions and the Revs will look to capitalise. We’re predicting the Revs to edge a close tie and progress into the next round, heaping more misery on DC.

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 – Friday, October 2 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5) 

Match Odds: DC United 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – NYCFC 11/4

Match Preview

DC United host New York City FC on Friday night to get the final month of MLS regular season action underway in fine style as these two have lots to play for in the Eastern Conference.

DC are in freefall at the moment. They have lost five of their last six and have not won since early August.

They seemed to be cruising towards the Eastern Conference title as well as the Supporters’ Shield at the halfway point of the season but the wheels have come off and they are now just trying to hold on to their playoff spot.

DC United’s MLS record: P31 – W13 – D6 – L12

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Currently sitting on 45 points in the East, DC United find themselves in fourth spot, eight ahead of Friday’s opponents NYCFC who are chasing a top six finish with three games to play. A win here would secure a playoff place for DC but that is by no means as likely to happen as the odds suggest.

NYCFC need to basically win all three of their remaining fixtures to stand a good chance of making the postseason on their first attempt. It has been a largely disappointing season for Jason Kreis and his team but their recent form has been impressive and they finally look to be a solid force in MLS.

Three wins on the bounce set them up well coming into this one. Last weekend’s dramatic late 2-1 win at Vancouver will only have further boosted confidence and they will be looking to win four games in a row for the first time in MLS at DC here.

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New York City FC’s MLS record: P31 – W10 – D7 – L14

The reverse fixture ended 3-1 to New York City in August as the home side came from 1-0 down to record a huge victory and they’ll be looking for a repeat performance.

Team News

DC United will be without Connor Doyle and Steve Birnbaum for the game as they will serve one-game suspensions for picking up yellow cards last weekend. Eddie Johnson and Chris Korb remain out, while Davy Arnaud is a doubt as he is dealing with concussion symptoms.

New York City have three injury concerns as Iraola, George John and Tony Taylor are all ruled out. Other than that, Kreis has a full squad to choose from.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: L/L/D/L/L

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

Key Stat: New York City have scored at least one goal in each of their last eight MLS games, while DC United have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six league outings.

Key Player: David Villa – The Spanish striker is now on 17 goals for the season. He has been a shining the light for the expansion franchise all year and is consistently delivering when needed.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 NYCFC – This should be a fiercely competitive game as both need the win for playoff implications. DC have been abysmal of late and may struggle to deal with a New York City side that looks hungry. We’re going with a narrow away win in what should be an entertaining game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Chicago Fire

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

Venue: RFK Stadium – Wednesday, June 3 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Thursday, June 4)

Match Odds: DC United 23/20 – Draw 23/10 – Chicago Fire 12/5

Match Preview

DC United welcome Chicago Fire to RFK Stadium on Wednesday night as they look to continue their 16-game unbeaten home run.

DCU come into this one off the back of a 2-1 home win over Philadelphia Union last weekend. Ben Olsen‘s side are four points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference but are one point behind Seattle Sounders in the race for the MLS Supporters Shield.

DC put their three game streak without a win to bed after beating the Union and Olsen will be expecting his side to regain the form which saw them go on an eight-game unbeaten run earlier in the season.

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Chicago Fire come into the game after ending a four game run without a win. The Fire put three past Montreal Impact without response and confidence will be high again in the camp.

Frank Yallop‘s side are sitting sixth in the Eastern Conference and cannot afford another lengthy spell without a win.

The Fire are yet to win on the road this season and it doesn’t get much more difficult than Wednesday’s tie as DC are on a 16 game unbeaten home run.

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It hasn’t been the best start to the season for Chicago, but if they can take a positive result from this one they could kick-start a good run of form.

Team News

DC United will be without Eddie Johnson, Fabian Espindola, Luis Silva, Nick Deleon and Michael Farfan through injury. Davy Arnaud and Bobby Boswell are one booking away from suspension.

Chicago Fire will be without Patrick Nyarko through injury, while Shaun Maloney is on international duty with Scotland.

Key Points

DC United’s last five: W/L/D/L/W

Chicago Fire’s last five: L/L/D/D/W

Key Stat: DC United are undefeated in their last 16 MLS games at home.

Key Player: Chris Rolfe – The experienced forward netted from the penalty spot last time out and will be hoping to build on his tally of four goals so far this season.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-1 Chicago – DC to continue their unbeaten home run in a tight tie with a narrow win against their Eastern Conference rivals. There could be goals in this one but expect home advantage to count.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. Houston Dynamo

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, April 18th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: DC United 19/20 – Draw 23/10 – Houston Dynamo 3/1

Match Preview

DC United will host Owen Coyle’s Houston Dynamo on Saturday night with the opportunity to solidify their place at the top of the Eastern Conference.

United remain unbeaten at home in 2015 and are now unbeaten in their last eleven home matches in MLS, so form is against Houston for this clash.

DC have yet to deliver a performance that justifies their league position, yet they remain a force in MLS despite putting in some below-par performances.

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Though you have to assume that the performances will improve once star striker Fabian Espindola returns from suspension at the end of April.

DC United’s 2015 MLS record: P5 – W3 – D1 – L1

Houston have stuttered into the new season with an opening day victory and then a winless run of four. That run ended last time out as they beat Montreal Impact 3-0 and they will be hoping to build on that result on the road in this one.

With Houston yet to win away from home in 2015, it’s tough to see past a home win here, though you can never rule anything out.

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An away win for Houston would be a shock but MLS is known for its unpredictability as we saw with the Rapids beating Dallas away last week.

Houston Dynamo’s 2015 MLS record: P6 – W2 – D2 – L2

The Dynamo can look to improve in the next few weeks knowing that new signing, Erick Torres, will be arriving soon. Until then Will Bruin and Giles Barnes will need to continue to lead the attack, with Barnes already on two goals this season.

Team News

DC United: Eddie Johnson, Markus Halsti, Steve Birnbaum and Collin Martin all remain out. Fabian Espindola is serving the last of his six-game ban and Nick DeLeon is a doubt so Michael Farfan could deputise.

Houston Dynamo: Raul Rodriguez and Oscar Boniek Garcia are both expected to shake off minor injuries to start the game, while Giles Barnes should continue up front for the Dynamo.

Key Points

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

Houston Dynamo’s last five in MLS: L/D/D/L/W

Key Stat: DC United have only conceded four goals this season, all while playing the New York Red Bulls, and will look to record a fourth clean sheet against the Dynamo on Saturday.

Key Player: Chris Pontius – The front man is key to the DC attack as they look to hurt teams on the counter, and stealing three points is a specialty of DC’s. Pontius will look to link up with Arrieta to prove the difference in this one.

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Score Prediction

DC United 1-0 Houston Dynamo – DC to edge another one at home by the one goal as Houston’s troubles away from home look set to continue.

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 – Saturday, April 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Sunday, April 12)

Match Odds: DC United 11/8 – Draw 23/10 – New York Red Bulls 19/10

Match Preview

DC United host New York Red Bulls at the RFK Stadium on Saturday night as the Eastern Conference‘s top two sides clash in MLS for the second time this season.

The two met at the Red Bull Arena just three weeks ago when goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam helped New York Red Bulls to a 2-0 victory over DC United in the first of the three Atlantic Cup rivalry matches this season.

Head Coach Ben Olsen and his DC side will be seeking immediate revenge and have recovered well since that 2-0 defeat to the Red Bulls with consecutive 1-0 wins over LA Galaxy and Orlando City.

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There was more good news recently for DC United who will be delighted to have welcomed midfielder Luis Silva back from injury last weekend as he scored a stoppage time winner on his return after only being on the pitch for 15 minutes.

New York Red Bulls have started the season well, picking up two wins and a draw from their opening three games with the most recent victory coming in an impressive 2-1 success away at Columbus on March 28th.

Jesse Marsch‘s Red Bulls team enjoyed a rest last weekend and the players have had plenty of time to prepare for this crucial encounter and will be aiming to remain the only undefeated team in MLS alongside Real Salt Lake.

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New York’s star-man Bradley Wright-Phillips has hit the ground running this season with two goals and two assists to his name already, so he will look to continue his fine form.

It promises to be another entertaining and feisty contest between the Atlantic Cup rivals in a fixture that has seen ten red cards brandished in a total of 32 meetings.

Team News

DC United’s Fabian Espindola continues to serve his ban and will miss this game and the next one before he will be available again. Midfielders Markus Halsti, Colin Martin and Nick DeLeon are also unavailable through injury, as is defender Steve Birnbaum. We’ve learnt this week that forward Eddie Johnson’s career is unfortunately all but over due to a heart condition.

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New York Red Bulls could possibly be without defenders Roy Miller and Ronald Zubar who are doubtful because of injuries.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/L/W/W

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have made their best start to an MLS season since 2007 when they also won two and drew one of their opening three fixtures.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Englishman has started the season well and is living up to his Designated Player status at the moment. If he continues in the same vein of form, the Red Bulls will be serious contenders for honours this season.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-2 New York Red Bulls – This should be an excellent game and one that is impossible to predict. New York Red Bulls have looked impressive but DC is a tough place to go, so a draw seems likely.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs Montreal Impact

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, March 7th – 15:00 ET (20:00 GMT)

Match Odds: DC United 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Montreal Impact 3/1

Match Preview

DC United host Montreal Impact on Saturday in the opening weekend of the new Major League Soccer season in a matchup that pits the top and bottom teams from the Eastern Conference in 2014 against each other.

Both sides have been active in recent weeks, both playing competitively in the CONCACAF Champions League and should come into the game raring to go.

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DCU will be without their talisman, Fabian Espindola for the clash as he is serving a six-game suspension in MLS. So the 2014 Eastern Conference winners will need to find goals from elsewhere.

DC United’s MLS home record in 2014: P17 – W11 – D4 – L2

Montreal come into the opening weekend in the better form out of the two after successfully moving past Pachuca into the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals on Tuesday night.

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Statistically the worst team in MLS last term, the Impact will need to display great signs of improvement if they are to turn the tide in the league.

Montreal Impact’s MLS away record in 2014: P17 – W0 – D5 – L12

DC United are far from their strongest going into the new season and anything can happen on the opening day, so Montreal will be in good spirits in what should be an entertaining affair.

Team News

DC United: Fabian Espindola (suspended), Markus Halsti (leg), Luis Silva (soft tissue damage), Eddie Johnson (heart condition) and Michael Seaton (knee) are all out.

Montreal Impact: Andres Romero misses the clash with a thigh injury.

Key Points

DC United’s form: N/A

Montreal Impact’s form: N/A

Key Stat: Montreal failed to win a single game away from home in the 2014 MLS season.

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Key Player: Bill Hamid – The MLS Goalkeeper of the Year for 2014 was a huge part of why DC was so successful last campaign. Expect him to prove the difference once again at the weekend.

Score Prediction

DC United 2-0 Montreal Impact – Can’t see any surprises here despite Montreal’s Champions League success in the week. DC should be winning this comfortably in front of their own fans.

2014 MLS Season Review: DC United

Eastern Conference final position: 1st

Eastern Conference playoffs: Semi-Final

Best Moment

3-0 win against the reigning MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City at Sporting Park in August, in which they were 3-0 up at halftime.

Worst Moment

Easily the recent 2-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls in their Eastern Conference semi-final first-leg. DC failed to score and left themselves with just a little too much to do against their rivals.

Player of the Year

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Bill Hamid – it was tough to decide between him and Fabian Espindola. However, the DC keeper has more than earned this title. Superb all season and he looks set for a bright future with DC and the USMNT.

Biggest Win

DC United 4-1 FC Dallas (April 26 2014)

Biggest Defeat

LA Galaxy 4-1 DC United (August 28 2014)

What to improve for the 2015 season…

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DC United‘s remarkable improvement from the 2013 season saw them cruise into the playoffs and that deserves great credit. They will expect to be challenging at the top of the Eastern Conference once again next season but need to play much the same style. They must follow up a solid season defensively and will look to add a few more goals to their tally. Eddie Johnson must start firing (if he remains in DC) if they are to challenge for the MLS Cup.