Bill Hamid Goalkick

Talking Strategy: D.C. United vs Montreal Impact

D.C. United faces a struggling Montreal Impact side on Saturday night. As the saying goes, though, they’re better than their record. At the bottom of the Eastern Conference, the Impact (1-5-3) still have very dangerous players who pose a threat on the pitch.

“We’ve been talking about it a lot,” Goalkeeping Coach Preston Burpo said. “They have real attacking pieces. Everyone knows [Marco] Di Vaio can be dangerous at any point. They have [Jack] McInerney that picked up a couple goals in the Canadian Cup game last night. They also have Justin Mapp, who is one of the best outside guys in the League, and Sanna Nyassi has done well coming back into the fold. Filipe [Martins] sits underneath their high guy, and he can score, or he can break the defense down with his passing.”

United has been suppressing other team’s offensive weapons all season, though. Each week, Burpo highlights the opponent’s key players, and each week the Black-and-Red puts up a fight or walks away with points. The key according to Burpo— experience.

“We have players who have been around the League a long time,” Burpo explained. “You start in the back with [Bobby] Boswell, [Jeff] Parke and [Sean] Franklin out wide or Chris Korb has now been in the League a while.”

He continues into the midfield and up through the forwards.

“You’re talking about Perry Kitchen in his fourth year and Davy Arnaud in his 13th year in MLS. Chris Rolfe has been in the League a long time, then [Fabián] Espíndola and Eddie Johnson. You have guys who understand that you’re going to go through things like we did last week, where things weren’t flowing offensively. Defending wise, though, we don’t give up anything outside of the [Andrew] Wenger scramble, where [Bill] Hamid comes up huge with a double save, and then there is Perry Kitchen to stop Danny Cruz.”

This was all in response to the idea of staying strong mentally when playing a team at the bottom of the table. DCU went to Portland as the team with the better record, played well, and returned empty-handed. After getting the win at Philly, and playing at home on Saturday, three points against Montreal is very doable.  

“Mentally, they understand that Saturday is the time to show up and be organized and put everything you have into it to get those three points.”

Join us at RFK for Armed Forces Night to watch DCU take on Montreal. Buy your tickets here!