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
- 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.
- 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.