D.C. United pay a visit to Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, where they’ll take on Atlanta United FC, live on Univision, TUDN and MLS Twitter.
The Black-and-Red and the 5-Stripes face off for the second time this season—the first of which saw Atlanta escape from Audi Field with a stoppage-time winner and all 3 points. D.C. hope to return the favor at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
The match will kick off at 4 p.m. ET, and in addition to the national broadcast, D.C. United supporters can catch the match at the official Heineken Watch Party at Across the Pond.
Last Time Out
After a disappointing loss against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, D.C. United Head Coach Wayne Rooney said the team was “unrecognizable” from the team he’d seen in previous training sessions and previous matches, particularly in the second half.
Rooney praised midfielder Chris Durkin for taking responsibility and showing leadership. “He was the only one who kept trying to do the right things, trying to organize the team, and keep working.”
Sunday’s match will be about showing the attitude and fight that Rooney has grown accustomed to in his first months as Head Coach.
When asked about the team’s morale heading into the weekend, D.C. United captain Steven Birnbaum told reporters, “We know that [performance] is not who we are, and hopefully that kicks us in the butt a little bit and gets us moving. Now we just have to take it one game at a time. It’s about bouncing back from that and putting our best foot forward for the next game.”
Atlanta, like D.C., struggled in the middle third of the season. Since the last meeting in April, both teams have won just four matches.
The Black-and-Red (6-16-4), W-L-D) sit 8 points behind Atlanta (7-10-9) with 8 matches remaining. Rooney admitted after Saturday’s match that the playoff hopes for D.C. are all but gone. At this stage, it’s a competition for places in next year’s squad, and every match will be looked at as a chance to earn it.
Sunday’s match could have big implications for Atlanta’s odds, however. In order to spoil those hopes, the Black-and-Red attack will look to find its spark again against a defense that has struggled in recent matches—at least in their own end.
Atlanta United left-back Andrew Gutman has been in great scoring form and will be one to watch as D.C. also try to deal with a stable of individual playmakers.
Next Home Match
After Atlanta, D.C. will head back up the East Coast to take on NYCFC on Wednesday, where Wayne Rooney said DP Christian Benteke could make his MLS debut.
They’ll return home next Sunday to take on the Colorado Rapids at 7:30 p.m. ET.