Preview: D.C. United at FC Dallas
After a quick turn around from Wednesday’s match against Houston at RFK, D.C. United heads to Texas to take on FC Dallas on May 11 (8:30 p.m. ET; Comcast SportsNet).
The last time the two teams met, United played host to Dallas at RFK on 3/30/12. The 4-1 thrashing of the visitors marked the first home win of the season for the Black-and-Red; United didn’t drop a single game at home until almost a year later on 3/23/13. The game proved a turning point and was also a multi-point performance for both United’s Dwayne De Rosario with two assists and then Rookie Nick DeLeon with an assist and his second-ever MLS goal. FC Dallas did get on the scoreboard, though, via a Blas Pérez goal.
Pérez continues to impress this season, leading his squad with three goals in 2013. Kenny Cooper follows close behind, scoring his second in Dallas’ last game against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday. Cooper notched the equalizer, saving the team’s home-unbeaten streak and advancing FC Dallas to a 5-0-1 home record—the best in the League.
Snapping two streaks at once would make winning in Dallas all the more sweet. D.C United has been struggling as of late, having dropped six games in a row. The Black-and-Red most recently suffered a 4-0 loss at home to the Houston Dynamo. With two goals coming from forward Will Bruin, and one a piece from Giles Barnes and Andrew Driver.
With only two days in between games, United’s last few practices have been shorter, allowing those who logged major minutes to get their legs back under them. The mentality, though, is focused on urgency, confidence, and the road ahead.
“You have to have the ability to have a short term memory and be able to focus on the next game.” said D.C. United midfielder Chris Pontius, who is currently listed as questionable for tonight's match. “You have to be able to go out there and play with confidence. You can’t play like a team that has the record we have.”
United midfielder Nick DeLeon is also in the 18-man roster for Dallas, only his second game since coming back from injury. But, both Pontius and DeLeon believe they’re fit to contribute big minutes and make a positive impact on a team searching for inspiration.
“We dug ourselves a hole,” said Pontius, “and now we have to get out of this.”