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Preview: D.C. United at Toronto FC

For the fourth consecutive match, Dwayne De Rosario will face a former team

MLS MATCHDAY 11

TORONTO FC vs D.C. UNITED

Saturday, May 5 - 4:00 PM ET
TV: CSN+ / CSN

After seeing the club's seven-match unbeatenstreak snapped in San Jose, it's unlikely D.C. United was in need of any extramotivation heading into Saturday's road showdown with Toronto FC. The winless hosts' manager served someup nonetheless.

According to Sun Media's Kurtis Larson, AronWinter said on Friday that he had no regrets over letting go of current Unitedstars Dwayne De Rosario and Maicon Santos during a 2011 campaign in which theDutchman overhauled Toronto's roster. Both players had worn the captain's armband for Winter before beingtraded away.

Given the chance to respond later on Fridayafternoon, De Rosario had little interest in the comments of his former coach.

"I'll let my play do the talking," United's captain answered when asked about what Winter had said.

What De Rosario did show an interest indiscussing was the critical nature of Saturday's match. Before Wednesday's result in San Jose,United hadn't felt the sting of defeat since losing to Los Angeles in mid-March. Though the quick turnaround will test D.C.'sdepth, it also provides the Black-and-Red with a chance for immediateredemption.

"I think there were a lot of positives from Wednesday," De Rosario noted. "We managed to produce some good soccer. Three goals away from home is not easy. Unfortunately we gave up some goals that we are not too happy about. But we will work that out."

Both sides will be looking for improvedperformances from defensive units that have been pierced regularly oflate. Toronto has allowed aleague-high 16 goals in 2012 and continues to see constant shuffling along itsback line. Milos Kocic has beenthe one constant along Winter's back line, as the former D.C. goalie is tiedfor fourth in MLS with 28 saves through his first seven matches.

Hurt more by injuries than poor form, United'sdefense has struggled as well. TheBlack-and-Red have conceded 15 goals in 2012, thanks to a total lack ofcontinuity at the back. OnWednesday in San Jose, both Perry Kitchen and Robbie Russell were forced toabandon their preferred positions to fill in centrally where the absence ofEmiliano Dudar, Dejan Jakovic and Ethan White has made for a state of emergencyalong the back line.

"We've got to survive," Olsen said Wednesday night while lamenting the injuries that have ripped apart hisdefense. "There are a lot ofteams with players out at key positions, you just have to make it work."

Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday from Toronto's BMOField. The match will be televisedlive on Comcast SportsNet Plus with Dave Johnson and John Harkes on the call.

» ANALYSIS: Breaking down TFC

» Create and share your starting XI

REFEREE: Mark Kadlecik. MLS Career: 18 games; FC/gm: 24.2; Y/gm: 3.4; R: 5; pens: 6
SAR (bench): Greg Barkey; JAR (opposite): Philippe Briere; 4th: John McCloskey

INJURY REPORT:

  • TORONTO FC - OUT: FW Nicholas Lindsay (L knee surgery recovery); GK Stefan Frei (L lower leg); DF Dicoy Williams (R knee surgery recovery); MF Nick Soolsma (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jeremy Hall (sports hernia surgery recovery); FW Danny Koevermans (R adductor strain)
  • D.C. UNITED - OUT: DF Ethan White (R knee surgery); MF Lance Rozeboom (L knee ACL tear); DF Emiliano Dudar (L hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: MF Kurt Morsink (L foot neurectomy); FW Josh Wolff (L hamstring strain); DF Dejan Jakovic (L ankle sprain); MF Marcelo Saragosa (R soleus strain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none

SUSPENDED: none

WARNINGS:

SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: none

SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: TOR: Julian de Guzman ... DC: Maicon Santos

HEAD-TO-HEAD

  • ALL-TIME (12 meetings): Toronto FC 3 wins, 17 goals ... United 7 wins, 26 goals ... Ties 2
  • AT TORONTO (6 meetings): Toronto FC 2 wins, 4 goals ... United 4 wins, 7 goals ... Ties 0
  • RETURN MATCHES: 5/19: D.C. United vs. Toronto FC, 7:30 p.m.; 10/6: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 1 p.m. (TSN/RDS)
  • LAST YEAR (MLS):
    • 4/16: TOR 0, DC 3 (Pontius 5, 73; Davies (10)
    • 8/6: DC 3, TOR 3 (De Rosario 19, 64, 88 - Marosevic 52; de Guzman 69; Koevermans 86)
  • D.C. United have won on their last two trips to BMO Field, including a 3-0 victory last April 16. In six trips all-time to Toronto, United have come away with victories in four.
  • Toronto FC have come away with points on their last three trips to RFK Stadium. They've played to 3-3 draws in two of those, wrapped around a 3-2 win in 2010.
  • For TFC, it will be a home-and-home series with United over three weeks. United have games against Houston and Colorado in between the two meetings.
  • Coaches record: Aron Winter vs. DC: P2 W0 L1 D1 ... Ben Olsen vs. TOR: P4 W2 L1 D1