The risks these two teams take might make for a wild one in Massachusetts tonight
D.C. United is on the road for the first time under Hernán Losada, with the Black-and-Red heading north to take on the New England Revolution. The Revs, who went to the Eastern Conference Final last year, are unbeaten in six games against United and have aspirations to be a serious contender in MLS this year. For a short-handed United, this one is shaping up to be a stern test.
Key player: Chris Seitz
United’s still learning a new system, they’re a pressing team now, and they’re missing a lot of projected starters. On the road against a dangerous Revolution side, and with Bruce Arena taking some big tactical risks of his own to get his top attackers on the ball close to goal, it stands to reason that this could be a very open, end-to-end 90 minutes.
As such, tonight figures to be a busier night for Seitz than last weekend’s win over NYCFC ended up being. Keeping the group in front of him organized will be critical, and even if Seitz does a standout job on that front, he’s still probably going to have to match Matt Turner when it comes to big-time saves. New England’s firepower and the spaces both teams are willing to give up to get what they want make this game feel like it could be a busy one for both goalkeepers.
Location: Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, MA)
Kickoff time: 8:08pm Eastern
Projected D.C. United starting 11: (3421) – Chris Seitz; Brendan Hines-Ike, Frederic Brillant, Tony Alfaro; Julian Gressel, Russell Canouse, Junior Moreno, Joseph Mora; Edison Flores, Yamil Asad; Erik Sorga
Bench: Jon Kempin, Andy Najar, Moses Nyeman, Kimarni Smith, Adrien Perez, Nigel Robertha
I wish this section had better news to start with than this:
#DCU is up to 11 players on the “Player Availability List” MLS uses now instead of an injury report:
Arriola, Birnbaum, DeShields, Greene, Hamid, Kamara, Odoi-Atsem, Paredes, Pines, Reyna, Yow
— Jason Anderson (@JasonDCsoccer) April 23, 2021
On top of that, United’s plan for Jovanny Bolivar for now will see him on loan with Loudoun, so he’s out, meaning United is probably without at least 12 players. Felipe Martins is not on the
injury report Player Availability List, but a return this early would be about a month early based on previous statements about his recovery from last year’s ACL tear.
All of this means Hernán Losada has 17 total players to choose from. We’re expecting the same starting eleven from last week’s win, though it could be possible for Robertha to make his first start over Sorga up front. That’s really about it as far as question marks though, as there’s just not a lot of flexibility with this many absentees.
Projected New England starting 11: (442) – Matt Turner; Tajon Buchanan, Andrew Farrell, Henry Kessler, Brandon Bye; Carles Gil, Matt Polster, Tommy McNamara, Teal Bunbury; Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa
Arena will be without DeJuan Jones to a late red card last week, causing the only real question mark in their lineup. However, there’s a real domino effect at play as a result. Buchanan could drop in as a right back, with Bye moving to the left, or it could simply be Buchanan at left back and Bunbury coming in on the left wing.
New signing Christian Mafla (who played most of Revolution II’s USL League One opener) could step right in at his natural position, or Arnor Traustason (another new signing) could be the winger coming in on the left instead of Bunbury. Or maybe Arena starts veteran AJ DeLaGarza, or perhaps Polster moves to right back and yet another winter pick-up, Wilfrid Kaptoum, comes into central midfield. Or maybe it’s Scott Caldwell!
Other than that, look for the Revs to take huge tactical risks to get what they want, which is numbers in the attacking end of the field. Bou and Buksa stayed very high against Chicago last week, with Gil given lots of freedom from the right and Buchanan doing a ton of work to make sure there was width in the attack. There should be a ton of space for United to play through in the midfield as a result.
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Available TV: NBC Sports Washington +, TeleXitos
Feel free to check our our DCU how to watch guide to figure out what your best option is.
For listings in other countries, check out LiveSoccerTV.com.
What do we have to say about it?: The latest episode of Filibuster gets into what the Revs looked like in their week 1 draw with Chicago, and what to expect out of them tonight.
What are you drinking?: As soon as the post-game ends, I’ll be cracking open a Heavy Seas Pounder pils. Before that though, all signs point to seltzer.
This is the place for all your pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion. Vamos dictating the terms!
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