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Four key match-ups of 2013

A deeper look into four crucial duels this season

With the full 2013 regular-season schedule unveiled yesterday, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on four games we’re particularly jazzed about.

D.C. United vs. Real Salt Lake (Saturday, March 9; 7:00pm)
Home opener, home opener, home opener. Need we say more? Probably not, but we will anyway. Last year, United lost 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City in its 2012 home debut, but that would prove to be the only blemish at RFK in 2012. The Black-and-Red would then go on a 16-match home-unbeaten streak – including 12 wins – to capture the most home points (40) than any other team in MLS.

 

D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls (Saturday, April 13; 7:00pm)
If last season and post-season are any indication, then this Atlantic Cup rivalry should reach even greater heights in 2013.

In 2012, we saw the following against New York: Chris Pontius notch his first-ever hat trick, Dwayne De Rosario tally his 100th career MLS goal, Pontius score the quickest goal in club history, a swap in home playoff dates, a snowstorm-related game cancellation, Joe Willis save a PK with a man down and Nick DeLeon score the Eastern Conference Semifinals-clinching goal in the 88th minute.  

Catch your breath yet? We still haven’t either.

D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy (Sunday, September 15; 5:00pm)
With last year’s championship win, the LA Galaxy are now on equal ground with United, with four MLS Cup wins apiece. Despite David Beckham’s MLS departure and Landon Donovan’s uncertain return, the two-time defending MLS Cup champions are still the team to beat.

Be on the lookout for United’s young and talented core to give LA a run for its money. Last season, Nick DeLeon scored his first-ever MLS goal against the Galaxy en route to breaking the club’s rookie goal-scoring record and earning a 2012 MLS Rookie of the Year nomination.

D.C. United vs. Houston Dynamo (Sunday, October 27; 1:30 p.m. – Fan Appreciation Day)
Ousted by the Dynamo in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, United will be looking to exact its revenge on Houston in the 2013 season finale. The 2012 MLS Cup runner-ups from Texas – bolstered by an attacking corps that includes Brad Davis, Will Bruin and 2012 standout newcomer Oscar Boniek Garcia – always seems to put up a good fight against the Black-and-Red. Last year’s sole showdown between the teams at RFK saw five total goals, with United defeating Houston 3-2.

Looking for a cost-effective way to catch all of these big duels? Check out the 4-Match Plan, which includes the four aforementioned games. The deal starts as low as $104, and your bank account will thank you later.