United look to end losing streak against the Revolution


United look to end losing streak against the Revolution

There are similarities between D.C. United and the New England Revolution. As they get set to meet Sunday at RFK Stadium both teams enjoy lofty positions in the Eastern Conference, but both teams are also struggling to find the rhythm that bought them their success.

D.C. United is now dealing with back-to-back losses for the first time this season. The Black and Red seemed fatigued when they ended a five-game in fourteen day stretch with a 2-1 loss at home to Toronto. Then last week on the road United competed, but failed to ignite in a 1-0 loss to Orlando City

The Revolution put an end to their six-game winless streak with their first victory since May 2 in a 2-0 win against the Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at Gillette Stadium. Before the win over the Fire, the Revolution cobbled together four draws and two losses. Included in that stretch for the Revs, a 1-1 tie at home with DC United.

Only four points separate the two teams in the standings. D.C. United tops the Eastern Conference on 28 points from 17 games. New England is on 24 points and has played one fewer game

The challenge:

  1. Establish a connection on offense.  D.C. United’s defense has been hard to penetrate. Last week United only conceded a penalty kick in Orlando. Against Toronto FC it took two wonder strikes from Sebastian Giovinco to end United’s 20-game unbeaten run at home. United needs more of a surge on offense. Fabian Espindola’s return to the lineup and full health should help United continue to make progress on offense. It was Espindola’s return from injury that turned United’s meeting with Chicago into a 3-1 win. Espindola might have a different strike partner to begin with on Sunday. Jairo Arrieta went the distance in Wednesday’s US Open Cup win over the Pittsburgh. Nick De Leon was used as a substitute and provided one of the extra time goals against the Riverhounds. It would be nice to see De Leon build on Wednesday’s game and electrify the attack on the flank.
  2. Revved up offense.  While the Revs have struggled of late, there is no denying their potential in attack. Diego Fagundez scored a spectacular goal in last week’s win over Chicago and at 20 years and 119 days is now the youngest player MLS history to appear in 100 games. Charlie Davies is playing some of his best soccer in six years and has six goals. Juan Agudelo is back from duty with USMNT in Germany. New England has multiple options and will be highly motivated and that only add to United’s need to be organized and aggressive.

Game Preview: Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns at Audi Field

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Game Preview: Washington Spirit vs. Portland Thorns at Audi Field

The Washington Spirit, one of nine teams in the National Women's Soccer League, will pay a visit to Audi Field later this summer.

The game versus the Portland Thorns FC is scheduled for August 25 at 8 pm. Tickets can be purchased online via Ticketmaster and start at $31, but will also be available at the door. 

If you're looking for where to watch the Spirit take on the Thorns from the comfort of your own couch, the game will be broadcast on ESPNews starting at 7:38 pm. Dalen Cuff is set to host the pregame show, with USA Women's National Team alumnus Aly Wagner commentating alongside Jenn Hildreth, in her second season of NWSL coverage.

Considering the recent addition of the legendary Wayne Rooney and their move to the new facility, DC United has a lot to celebrate.

Audi Field, which opened in Washington D.C.'s Buzzard Point on July 9, seats 20,000 spectators. For DC United, who previously played at RFK Stadium, the capacity is a step down from the almost 46,000 seats at RFK. But for the Spirit, who call Germantown's Maryland Soccerplex their home, the audience will hopefully far outnumber the Plex's usual 3,000 to 4,000 spectators.

The Spirit have struggled this season, with an unusually high amound of draws and more losses than wins. Though fan favorite and star forward Mallory Pugh is still sidelined with a PCL sprain, the team hopes to improve their ability to close one-goal deficits and gain a sustained offensive advantage. 

Aside from the Audi Field game, the Spirit will host two more home games this season. Utah Royals FC will visit the Soccerplex on Wednesday, August 22, and Sky Blue FC will close out the Spirit's home season on Saturday, September 1. Tickets for either game at their usual field can be purchased through the Washington Spirit's website or upon entry. 

If you haven't paid attention to women's soccer since the USWNT's 2015 World Cup victory, no worries. There's no better time than the present to support women's pro sports. Regardless of the end result, Portland vs. Washington will be a great match-up to watch, and the event has already made DC sports history.


Wayne Rooney stuns D.C. soccer fans with surprise appearance during World Cup viewing

Wayne Rooney stuns D.C. soccer fans with surprise appearance during World Cup viewing

Washington Dulles International Airport was flooded by soccer fans alike Thursday afternoon awaiting the arrival of one specific person inside the international arrivals terminal: England's all-time goalscorer Wayne Rooney. 

Over 100 fans packed the halls as the 32-year-old made his way out of the airport while posing for pictures and signing autographs. 

Rooney penned a two-and-a-half year guaranteed contract worth about $13 million, which makes him the highest-paid player in D.C. United history. 

He officially becomes available to play for the club beginning July 10, after the transfer window opens. This means his first game could potentially be against Vancouver inside the brand new Audi Field July 10. 

After greeting fans at the airport, Rooney and his camp piled into two blacks SUVs en route to Northeast D.C. 

Little did World Cup fans taking in the England-Belgium match at Wunder Garten know that they were about to be surprised by Wayne Rooney himself. 

In an appearance that lasted just over seven minutes and included a slew of selfies, short conversations and one television interview, Rooney's presence dazzled fans and left others stunned. 

One England native who is now a D.C. resident told me: "We grew up watching him (Rooney) score in the World Cup and that was really important to us. It's hard to believe he just walked through here."

As you would imagine, management at Wunder Garten was thrilled, too.  

"It was great for us because it put us on the map. For someone as famous as Wayne Rooney to come through our establishment, shake hands and hang out, that means a lot. We loved having him here and would love to have him back," said Michael Keller, a member of the bar's management staff. 

 The Englishman will have his hands full as he attempts to put D.C. United back on the map this season. 

Follow Rooney on Twitter and Instagram @WayneRooney.