VW Keys to the Match: D.C. United vs Portland Timbers

Own the ball; midfield triple-threat; eyeing Johnson and Valeri

De Rosario and Pontius exchange high five

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This Saturday, D.C. United hosts the Portland Timbers in the teams' one and only matchup of the 2013 campaign. United will look to build from the draw the squad earned last Sunday, as the team heads into the summer of soccer. Here are your VW Keys to the Match:

Possession, meet possession

The Timbers are averaging 60% possession each match, with an 80% passing accuracy rate. When asked how the team can improve, veteran midfielder Chris Pontius said the key was to “make other teams constantly look over their shoulders and defend us." The Black-and-Red will want to impose its will on the Timbers by holding onto the ball with crisp and accurate passes.

Triple midfield threat

After a slew of nagging injuries to midfielders Dwayne De Rosario, Chris Pontius and Nick DeLeon, the United midfield is beginning to return to form. All three saw time against Sporting Kansas City last Sunday and Nick DeLeon played his first 90-minute match since March 16. Pontius also added the game-tying assist when he dished a perfectly weighted ball for Kyle Porter to slot home. The chemistry in the center of the field is important for the overall flow of the game, and any midfield in the league should be wary of this triple threat.

Watchful eyes on Johnson and Valeri

Portland captain Will Johnson is tied for fifth in the league for goals with five to his name, while Designated Player Diego Valeri leads the League in assists with four. With offensive numbers like these, United's backline will need to keep tabs on the dynamic duo.

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