Nick Deleon at TFC

Talking Strategy: D.C. United vs Toronto FC

D.C. United heads north of the border to take on Toronto FC, a team undefeated in six matches. Despite United’s 1-0 loss to Seattle last Saturday, the Black-and-Red played well, showing continued progress as well as room for improvement.

“I think we need to continue to do what we did here at home,” Head Coach Ben Olsen said earlier today, post-training. [We need] a little bit more class, a little bit more composure in the final third, with the final ball, the last touch. All that stuff is basically what it comes down to in this sport.”

Though the final result was lacking, DCU outplayed its opponent, showing promise and a foundation from which to grow.

“Overall, looking at the tape, it was good performance, something to build off,” Olsen continued. “We were a little unlucky not to get something out of it.”

With last weekend’s match in the rearview, the squad sets its sights on TFC, but will travel without leading goal scorer Fabián Espíndola who remains out with an MCL sprain.

“I think the identity is different with out Fabi,” Olsen stated. “He’s a special player; he’s a very unpredictable player. That doesn’t mean its better or worse, it’s just new.”

Even without Espindola’s creativity, United had 15 shots to Seattle’s five. Though the Black-and-Red was shut out, the offensive production was there, and Olsen believes his team can find its goal-scoring rhythm again moving into the second half of League play.

“We created enough chances. We got ourselves into the final third with good looks, enough to win a ballgame,” Olsen said. “That last pass that Fabi has been able to deliver for us wasn’t there on the night, but I’m confident that we have that in our group. There’s no question about that.”

D.C. United visits Toronto FC on Saturday, July 5 at 7 p.m. EST. You can watch live on Comcast SportsNet and follow along on Twitter with @DCUmatchday.