D.C. United and Toronto FC finished at the bottom of the Eastern Conference last year. With a 10th and 9th place finish, respectively, both squads saw an overhaul in personnel this off-season and a new-look lineup in their season openers.
- Watch tonight's match on dcunited.com/live
In our season-opener, there were seven new faces in the starting lineup, and DCU’s newcomers have made a tremendous impact in the Nation’s Capital. A fresh backline of Sean Franklin, Bobby Boswell, Jeff Parke and Cristian Fernandez provide Bill Hamid with experienced cover. A new, veteran leader in Davy Arnaud helps Perry Kitchen, Nick DeLeon and Luis Silva in the middle of the field, and two new forwards in Fabián Espíndola and Eddie Johnson create a new and dangerous threat for us up top.
For TFC, the story is similar, boasting only five returnees in its starting eleven last Saturday. Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe made a splash this off-season as new faces in Toronto. They, along, with former D.C. United player Dwayne De Rosario, Julio Cesar, Justin Morrow, and Jackson Goncalves made an impact for Toronto on the field last Saturday.
Eastern Conference matchups are always fun, hard-fought battles. We are pumped and up for the challenge. Both DC and Toronto media are buzzing in anticipation of Saturday's game (March 22, 4:30 p.m. Watch: dcunited.com/live):
Seth Vertelney writes about the teams’ personnel overhauls as well in the Washington Express. He compares the teams’ moves this off-season and looks ahead to the match here.
Over on MLSsoccer.com, Pablo Maurer previews the match after speaking with both Head Coach Ben Olsen and Assistant Coach Chad Ashton on Wednesday. “The hype is real,” Olsen said of TFC, but he added, “Bring it on.” Damn Straight!